June 28, 2010
Book Review: Firespell by Chloe Neill
Author: Chloe Neill
As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…
When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.
The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.
Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…
After reading several reviews for this book I was super interested in reading it. I wasn't disappointed. The story started out pretty quickly with Lily getting shipped off to boarding school because of her parents' job. I remember growing up secretly wishing I could go to boarding school. I thought it would be cool to live there without my parents and so on. This book would've made me want to go to a boarding school even more! But Lily didn't feel the same way. She did not want to be there! I worried at first that one of two things would happen - she'd get overly whiney about the whole thing and drive me nuts or get so picked on my the other girls that it would get hard to read. To my suprise neither happened! I was happy to see that Lily pushed past her crabbiness about being there. She sucked it up and delt with it. I liked that about her. It was nice to have a main character that did that. I don't think I could've stuck with the book if Lily had lacked a backbone and self determination.
What I also liked was that even though some popular girls did pick on her, she stood up to them. I loved that she didn't curl up and let them win! On top of standing up to the bullies, she wasn't afraid to step up and make sure a new friend was safe and ok. She went above what most people would do for a friend by putting herself in danger. It may have seemed a bit unrealistic how far she went for a girl she hardly knew, but her (ok I'll say it) spunkiness was fun to read! Lily's strong, smart personality is what really made me like the book.
As for the plot, it was suspenseful with a good mix of mystery. I had a few things figured out, but much was a suprise. At the end some questions were answered, but it's clear if you want to know the full story, you're gonna need to read the next book. A few more answers might've been nice, but I understand why they weren't there. Who I'm really interested in is Sebastian. He's plays a big role in this book, but you don't learn a lot about him at all. He does one big thing that makes me want to know more about him! Definitely a question I want answered :)
Few other thoughts - I liked Scout, Lily's roommate and new friend. She was brave and smart, and I think we have more to learn about her. I also liked the bit of romance between Lily and Jason. It wasn't so overly done, and it didn't have Lily falling all over herself and playing helpless girl. She was prepared to act with or without his help! The romance didn't take over the story and that was a nice change.
Final thought: Fun read with a good dash of mystery and suspense.
Best stick-with-you image: The second firespell
Best for ages: 12+ I think it's intended to be YA but I didn't find much that would concern me to have a bit younger audience read it.