Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: Crushed by Kasi Blake

The Witch-Game Novels, Book One
by Kasi Blake
Clean Teen Publishing
YA Paranormal
269 pages

The Noah girls have beauty, powers, and brains.
They use all three to play their games.
They blow the dust,
the boys are crushed,
and no one is ever the same.

Each year the Noah girls play a secret game— Crushed. The rules are simple.

1. Use wisdom to pick your target. The boy can't be too weak or too strong-willed.
2. Blow the enchanted dust into your target's face to enchant (Crush) him.
3. Give verbal commands and assign them tasks to perform throughout the year. The more tasks completed, the stronger the witch's power grows.
4. At the end of the year, the witch with the most power wins cold, hard cash.

As if being a witch in high school isn't complicated enough, Kristen picks the wrong boy to Crush. Zack is tall, handsome, and a little scary. Her Crush spell isn't working on him like it has with the others. In fact, he is behaving the opposite of every other boy she's Crushed, hating her instead of adoring her. Something is definitely wrong. After someone attempts to kill her, Kristen realizes there is more at risk than a few hundred dollars. She may be betting with her life.


Magic and teenage high school drama combine to form an intriguing adventure, where jealousy is almost as dangerous as love itself.

Kristen is one of three sisters, all of which are witches. Each year during high school, they have played a magical game, where each has enchanted a boy to crush on them. So far, Kristen has never been defeated. Now, in their Senior year, especially one of her sisters has sworn to make this change. When Kristen accidentally crushes on the wrong guy, more than the sister's silly game is at stake.

This story sets off into full motion right away and doesn't stop until the very end. The high school scene is well done, portraying the girls and their friends with normal teenage worries and problems. The dialogue is very natural and wonderfully snappy at times. The three girls aren't the most loving siblings, but rather a very tense rivalry exists between them. But the bonds of sisters is a great thing in these pages. Even when the girls get pretty nasty with each other, they still have each others backs.

The tension grows steadily, leading into an ever deepening and dangerous situation. Although some moments and twists are predictable, the layers of secrets are well laid, making it hard to put this book down. Especially Kristen starts out a little rough, but it doesn't take long before she's a true heroine to sympathize with and root for until the end. And her hero, Zach, is a gentleman pure. They have decisions to make, ones that aren't easy, and all the while, they have more than themselves at heart.

It's a world to fall into and feel at home in. The descriptions are kept to a minimum, leaving the exciting plot on center stage. Magic is kept fairly calm outside of a few exciting battles. A couple of the characters could have used a little more depth, but Kristen and Zach pull through, capturing and holding the attention as they should. The ending comes with many emotional moments, ones that make true heroes and heroines. The final result wasn't quite my thing and chopped off quicker, making me wish there was more of these two to come.

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