Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll & Housewitch by Katie Schickel
I got this book from an book app I backed on Kickstarter a while back called Read This Next. It’s a little app that combines goodreads and instagram together and is pretty fun to use! I got to be a part of the beta testing and I even got a book out of it too! This is book tells the story of a woman, Ani, who seems to have it all, but she hides a dark past that she wishes that she could just forget about. She has tried her whole life to erase who she was in high school, going so far as to even change her name so people stop associating the events of the past to her present. Ani wants to leave the past in the past.
Although she can’t get away, as there is a documentary film maker that wants to make a film about those tragic past events and tell her side of the story completely. She fights at first, but decides that yes, she does want to have her side of the story told, and she does want everyone to know the truth about those fateful events and what lead up to them. Obviously I don’t want to spoil anything about said events, because I didn’t really know much as I started reading and when it all finally was laid out in front of me I had one of the moments of clarity, where things all just click together so nicely. I enjoyed the story and the way the author handled the slow trickle of hints about the past, until finally bringing everything to light.
It’s a story about survival, guilt, revenge, blame, public scorn, tragedy, how sometimes you can’t forgive and forget, and the turbulent emotions of high school. I also think it deals with (spoiler kind of, highlight to read) I think it handled the victim blaming of date rape rather well, and the emotions that follow in the wake of such a terrible crime. The way that the parents and public deal with the crime, and how there is so much victim blaming that goes on and how the victim is attacked from every angle, even more than the attacker. Which is why I liked the ending and how she finally gets the truth out after a confrontation that she’s been avoiding for years. (End spoiler) I enjoyed the book from start to finish. The characters grated on me a bit until more and more past events came to light.
What to say about Housewitch, I grabbed it because the title really caught my attention. I do my own house-witchy things in my own home, so I was curious to read a fun fiction about witches. The story takes place in modern day, in a small suburban town that had Stepford Wife vibes. The social scene in the town is dominated by a woman who has her hands in just about anything. If you want to succeed there, you basically have to get on her good side. Not to mention, all her friends seem to have it going on. Devoted husbands, hassle-free children, great sex lives, and they never seem to battle weight gain or bad skin. Our plucky heroine, Allison, is a house-wife, struggling to juggle everything on her plate while her husband tries to pitch building plans to the mayor. Looking at these Stepford-esque wives that run the town, she wonders how she can fit in with them and their soap-selling outfit called Glamour Girls.
Well, there is more to this perfect little town and it’s queen bee, leader of the Glamour Girls, than meets the eyes. Upon learning of the death of her estranged mother, who was in a home, and whom Allison never really visited at all. (Bad feelings all around between Allison and her mother) She goes to talk to the owners of the home where her mom passed, only to run into other relatives she didn’t know she had, and low and behold, they are witches. Her mother had a coven, and now she has a sassy aunt in her life, who happens to be a witch. Allison is shocked by this revelation, is still angry with her mother, and suddenly traditions of witch-hood are being thrown at her. What is a normal woman with magic heritage to do? It doesn’t stop there though, she learns that she has yet another aunt, but this aunt is evil. Like I said, a lot to take in.
Back in town though, things are turning around and she’s invited to the social event of the year. Where she talks with the queen bee of Glamor Girls, Astrid, and realizes that they might not be so bad. Not just that, but there might be something more to how they appear to have such flawless lives. Although, being a Glamour Girl isn’t quite what she thought and it’s not like you can afford to just back out…
It’s a fun story, nothing too serious, and was a nice read while relaxing on the couch. Although, I wish I would have read it closer to Halloween! It would have paired well with watching Hocus Pocus, which I watch every year! I kind of like the way magic works, it’s very simple and easy to imagine, in a very kitchen witch sort of way. Modern magic.