Right off the bat, this book started off with a quote from The Great Gatsby and I feel like it set my mind in that direction. I could see some influences in the writing, with the purple light the witches use to draw their customers and the grand parties, but I think it was a little more than that. Excuse me as my English Degree shows, but not only was this book about vapid rich people wanting to escape from life at wild parties, the thrower of which was seeking out one girl, but it was about true loss, love that is doomed, and breaking free from your past. Not only that, but it felt like a gay, magical verson of Gatsby which I think we can all agree just makes it 10 times better.
The writing of this book was so eloquent, it felt like an instant classic. I loved the writing style and the way that Francesca put so much meaning into every line. It really felt like a story Annie would tell about her life, and it felt magic to experience it with her. It is a true gift to be able to make a story sound like it truly came from the main character, and this book did a great job of that.
I loved the spin on magic in this story as well. The darkness and the realistic way that magic was handled made the story feel real. It was about balance, and herbs, and fighting to make a change even when you know it costs too much. I liked that it wasn’t the typical magic that just flows from a witch, but it was a give and take. It was powerful and so real. I think this made the story feel real as well. It felt like hidden history almost. Every character felt like someone who really lived this sad, broken life, but they continued on fighting.
Overall, everything about this story drew me in and kept me hooked until the very end. The magic and the characters were so captivating, I just wanted to see how things would work out in the end. I loved getting to uncover all the secrets about each person as the story went along, and I found myself constantly worried that everything would fall apart. Truly one of the best, dark stories I have read in a while.
This is the first audiobook I have ever listened to that had three narrators. I always like it when they have a male narrator if the book is from multiple points of view, but this is the first time I have ever come across two female narrators. It was a really nice touch because it allowed Annie and Emmeline to be truly distinct from one another. The narrators were Marisa Calin, Gemma Dawson, and Ralp Lister and I think they could not have done a better job matching up these narrators. Each of them put so much passion and emotion in their readings, I loved every one of them!