- Publisher: Entangled Teen
- Publication date: 10/1/2013
- Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
Worst. Summer. Ever.
Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper's sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.
Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Face with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.
I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was excited when invited to review this one. This one, like the first, is full of adventure, danger, and of course, hoodoo magic to break yet another curse. The characters were pretty much the same, which makes sense since it's still the summer and this takes place just about right after the first left off. This one did have more of a YA feel to it than the first one. To me the first one read more like an upper MG book. This one is darker, and a bit more grown up content wise than Conjure was. That being said, I don't feel like we really got to know the characters any better and they were just kind of there. I did like the story progression, but would have liked more in the way of character growth.
Emma is getting much stronger in her Hoodoo powers, but she wasn't much stronger as a person. Her love for Cooper also kind of overshadows other things and it got tiring listening to her drone on and on about him so often. I didn't expect her to be much more mature since she is only fourteen, and this takes place right after the first book, but with the things she has been through, you would think that would change her a little. One thing that hasn't changed about her, and I hope it doesn't, is her loyalty and devotion to those she cares about. She is such a good person and only wants to do good. Yes, she does some selfish things, but it's because she doesn't think before acting and all the consequences that doing such things can bring. She feels really bad after, not just because she has been caught doing it, but because she realizes how badly she messed up and how it affects the people around her. Jealousy gets the best of her in this sequel, but in the end she does understand and I think that she may have more growth going into the next book.
Cooper is an absolute tool in this. As much as I disliked Jack in the first book because of his behavior, I think I disliked Cooper even more in this. He was so mean and hurtful to not only Emma, but to Jack too, who is supposed to be his best friend. They both are. Okay, so it's not all his fault, but I still didn't like him one bit and I really didn't care whether they broke the curse or not since he was so awful. The real Cooper broke through once in a while, but it wasn't enough for me. Of course, I don't care for him the way that Emma and Jack do either. He wasn't a character I enjoyed at all this time around.
The tough thing with sequels is that it's hard to not fall into middle book syndrome. This one didn't, but I didn't like it more or less than the first. I thought the story moved along well, but it was super predictable, so there was not much in the way of twists or surprises. It was enjoyable though, and I am looking forward to where the story will go now. I do hope for more growth from the characters after all that has happened, but I will definitely be continuing this series.
*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.