Book of Shadows (Sweep #1) by Cate Tiernan
Published by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers (January 29, 2001)
Something is happening to me that I don’t understand.
I see things, feel things in a new way. I can do things normal people can’t do. Powerful things. Magickal things. It scares me.
I never chose to learn witchcraft. But I’m starting to wonder if witchcraft is choosing me.
How I Feel About It:
Okay, so I’m sort of cheating. This is the third time I have read this book. The first time I was 14, second time I was 20, and now again at 27. I started reading it to see if my feelings toward it have changed since I am older and wiser (ha!). It was like watching my favorite movie over again. I just fell right back in tune with my old friends.
Since this is a series of 14 short-ish books I’m going to try to give a review of all of them. However, some I might condense into a two-part.
What I Loved:
Morgan. I think the reason that I loved this series so much is because Morgan and I have a lot in common. She is a very relatable character – if you were a scholar-nerd who had super popular and beautiful friends that were hard to compete with. Morgan is very quiet, a follower, and she has big dreams. I feel like Morgan is always standing in her friend Bree’s shadow and is desperate to find something that is all her own. I didn’t blossom until after high school so I understand her pain.
Cate’s Writing Style. Everything is from Morgan’s POV with the occasional journal entry from unknown characters. The journal entries (little snippets at the beginning of every chapter) are only recognizable by different fonts. Each character has their own font – but you still have to guess who they are. I think it’s very enjoyable to get an insight in a character through their own mind without actually knowing if it’s them or not.
The Magick. I feel like Cate did a lot of researching Wicca to give us such a great story. I never feel like she just made something up off the cuff. I truly believe she honors the religion in this story.
What I Didn’t Love:
The Length of the Book. I know from reading them before that these were cut up and divided into smaller books when some of them could have been combined to make one. For instance, books 1 and 2 could have merged and been book 1. I’m not sure why they decided to make 13 small ones and 1 special edition novel for 14 total. Maybe it’s a Wicca thing.
High School Drama. I realize it’s a book about kids in HS, but some of the moments just oozed High School. Granted, the first two times I read the book I didn’t notice it. So even though it bothers me a little now, it’s completely appropriate for the story and these characters. (Plus, I know how it all ends and I’m excited to see them all grow as characters!)
All in All:
I’m so excited to be reading these again. I keep going over in my head scenes from future books and I’m honestly thrilled to be reminded how the characters get there. Even though I’ve read this more than once I still don’t have it memorized and have forgotten quite a bit. I can’t wait to finish this journey with my old friends again!
I highly recommend this series if you’re interested in magick and fictional history!