• Trial by Charm
Trial by Charm Book Cover Trial by Charm
Charmed Trials Series
Jolene Buchheit
Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy
Elephantine Publishing, LLC
April 20, 2016
Paperback, Kindle

Seventeen-year-old Julia Wright doesn't understand her friends' obsession with boys. She's never even had a crush, and proudly maintains her composure no matter who is in her presence. In fact, the hotter a guy is to her friends, the more annoying he seems to Julia. When she is blackmailed into being the manager of the men's swim team, she finds herself face to face with the worst of them all. Team Captain Vander Thelxinoe is the typical self-assured jock, with a not-so-typical ability to change people's minds at will. It's a talent he uses often to get what he wants--only his charms don't work on Julia. Now he's anxious to figure out why, and the closer he tries to get, the more desperate she is to stay away-especially when he somehow awakens a side of her she never knew existed. Their unexpected friendship puts Julia in the middle of a quest she doesn't quite understand. As her familiar world begins to unravel around her, Julia must partner with the one person who knows how to push her buttons-and, in doing so, discovers the unbelievable truth about who she really is. Can Julia and Vander survive the trial set before them, or will they succumb to a more terrifying fate?

Fan girls, Greek gods, and speedos. Oh my!



free copyIf any, or all, of the above things are of interest to you then I have a book for you.  Trial by Charm,  by Jolene Buchheit is like your favorite teenage drama meets Percy Jackson with a heaping spoonful of swoon, worthy hunks.

I loved Ms. Buchheit’s style of writing.  She has a unique (a polite way of saying quirky, which I know because my brain FanGirls2works like this too) take on things, she knows how to make the reader think while keeping them amused. With her great use of sarcasm, snarkiness, and comebacks to remember its obvious she understands teenage wit.  This was especially true between the heroine and her two best friends.  They were audacious, they were shameless, and they were totally unpredictable; I literally had no idea what they would say or do next! You know an author has a good understanding of comic relief when you laugh out loud and make a mental note to use that comeback yourself.

rollercoaster-147x150As much as I enjoyed Trial by Charm there were a few speed bumps in my journey through this story.  One of the things I found confusing was the inconsistency with the character’s emotions.  Some of the interactions between characters flowed naturally, taking a timing that felt believable.  But, sadly, other scenes felt forced; one minute the leads claims she cannot stand the love interest but the next she is in la la land singing with the angels about him.  It gave me whiplash.  I mean, truly, even stories like Pride and Prejudice, where the main couple’s relationship takes a 180 from true hate too true love, tumblr_mx3y8meNu11rerlo8o1_500was more believable.

I was also confused by the murky foreshadowing.  For example, in their literature class they learn about specific characters in Greek mythology, and then suddenly the main character has on obsession with them? This is even before she really starts interacting with her love interest and realizes who he is. Maybe it’s not a problem for other readers but it made the story seem choppy to me. I can’t help but notice inconsistencies, which there are a few, in a story or with characters, even if they are small.

Trail by Charm isn’t perfect, but the memorable comedy and borderline psychotic characters made it worth the read.