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Old Magic

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Author: Marianne Curley

Published: February 26th 2002 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 2000)

Format: Mass Market Paperback , 317 pages

Isbn: 9780743437691

Language: English


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Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why. The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm "inside" their classroom. Jarrod doesn't believe in Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why. The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm "inside" their classroom. Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey -- one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.

30 review for Old Magic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Curley

    Old Magic was my first published book and has remained a favourite with readers in countries around the world, having translations in fourteen international languages. It is a young adult paranormal fantasy with romance, adventure and time-travel with one of the original strong female leads for this genre.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sara ♥

    May 8-10, 2010 I REALLY like this book. It's really a coming of age story for both the hero and the heroine, but especially for Jarrod, who has a LOT of growing to do. The magic is really interesting and the big bad guy is REALLY scary! My only complaint: There wasn't NEARLY enough kissing. ;) I wish there had been one more scene at the end......

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mars

    Bought my copy for less than a dollar. I started reading it at least three times, but I couldn't get past the first chapter each time. Finally, on a Friday night when our ISP sucked big time and I had no internet to distract me from reading, I went through the pile of to-read books beside my bed. The story eventually picked up, and I finished it in this sitting! The description at the back of the book didn't hint anything about what happened in the second half, so: And I happened to be a sucker fo Bought my copy for less than a dollar. I started reading it at least three times, but I couldn't get past the first chapter each time. Finally, on a Friday night when our ISP sucked big time and I had no internet to distract me from reading, I went through the pile of to-read books beside my bed. The story eventually picked up, and I finished it in this sitting! The description at the back of the book didn't hint anything about what happened in the second half, so: And I happened to be a sucker for (spoiler) "TT", so it was a pleasant surprise! And that new..."setting" fascinated me so. It was like reading a different book! I kept going back to the pages where the family tree was detailed - because you know what usually happens with "TT" - but nothing happened. The twist in the curse, that's what happened. I wasn't contented with the explanation behind the breaking (or not) of the curse. One thing that got me really excited was the fight: specifically, the choice (or not) between weapon and magic. That was pretty wicked. I don't know what exactly was refreshing about reading this: that it was set in Australia (and somewhere else that was not in America), or that it was set in an earlier time (haha!), or the story itself. But what I knew is that I can't believe I gave up on this earlier!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    One of my favorite books that I read when I was younger. It was very easy for me to understand and with the reading problems I had at that point in time that shows a lot. I think this book would be very good for preteens or even older if you like this type of book. I read this book a long time ago, but I can still remember the last sentence in the book, just because of how much I enjoyed the book and was sad for the story to be over.

  5. 5 out of 5

    CaRo

    I can not put in words how much I love this book. I have first read it when I was 14 years old and I don't know how many times since than. Jarrod was my first book crush and still is

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    'I recall the look in Rhauk's eyes the moment he spotted Kate. It will stay with me forever, carved into my brain like an engraving on a headstone. It's as if he found something he treasured, something he's been looking for all his life.' (view spoiler)[THE PLOT Kate Warren lives with her Grandmother, after her Mother abandoned her as a baby. Kate has powers, and everybody at School knows that she's different. When Jarrod Thornton, the new kid at School, walks into the classroom, Kate is mesmerise 'I recall the look in Rhauk's eyes the moment he spotted Kate. It will stay with me forever, carved into my brain like an engraving on a headstone. It's as if he found something he treasured, something he's been looking for all his life.' (view spoiler)[THE PLOT Kate Warren lives with her Grandmother, after her Mother abandoned her as a baby. Kate has powers, and everybody at School knows that she's different. When Jarrod Thornton, the new kid at School, walks into the classroom, Kate is mesmerised by him, and has no idea why. As Kate gets to know Jarrod, she senses that he's different too, and she must convince him that he has strong powers that need to be controlled. Jarrod goes along with her theory, thinking her mad, but he's mesmerised by her too. Kate and Jarrod are about to embark on an incredible journey, one that will show them the truth behind Jarrod's cursed family. They will become involved in a battle of epic proportion, one that will determine both of their futures. As they face terrible dangers, they start to grow closer together, and achieve the impossible. (hide spoiler)] MY OPINION I got this book as a Birthday present when I was a lot younger, and I've read it several times. The complex story, and the strength of the characters, keeps bringing me back to this book, and I always enjoy reading it. The plot moves fast enough for me, whilst still holding back enough to keep me interested until the very end. There's enough twists in the story to make it an incredibly enjoyable read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new Fantasy/Magic book, with a hint of Romance thrown in too. THE AUTHOR This book was written by Marianne Curley. I haven't actually read any of her other books, but I intend to in the near future. This book was incredibly well written, it had just the right amount of Romance, without making it into a full blown Romance Novel.

  7. 5 out of 5

    AMythicalBeast

    2.5 stars is what I really want to give it. When I first read an excerpt of the first chapter at Amazon.com, I thought- fantastic! A high school story, yes, but one where this bumbling boy, unaware of how much power he has, comes into contact with a girl who realises just how dangerous he could be- and he refuses to believe her! It seemed like a plot that could only get funnier and more complicated as the chapters turned. Right? NO. When I finally chased the book down- it was because of this book th 2.5 stars is what I really want to give it. When I first read an excerpt of the first chapter at Amazon.com, I thought- fantastic! A high school story, yes, but one where this bumbling boy, unaware of how much power he has, comes into contact with a girl who realises just how dangerous he could be- and he refuses to believe her! It seemed like a plot that could only get funnier and more complicated as the chapters turned. Right? NO. When I finally chased the book down- it was because of this book that I first took to online book stores- I found that after that first very promising chapter, everything goes downhill. Bummer, right? I'll give you a synopsis here- SPOILER! SPOILER! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! It begins in a classroom where Kate is sitting amidst a class full of people who think she is crazy and a witch- the real thing. A new boy walks in and its clear that he could win awards in clumsiness as he makes his way to his seat. He is, however, good-looking and something about him attracts Kate's attention. As the blurb says, he then gets teased by the (forever indispensable) class bully and starts a storm inside the room. Completely unaware that he caused it, the guy- Jarrod- is taken aback when Kate confronts him. He thinks she's crazy, but beautiful and when she leaves the school building and decides to go home, he goes with her. She tries to convince him that he has a lot of powers and that she had never seen anything like it. Jarrod decides that even the company of a pretty girl isn't enough to make him tolerate all this nonsense and tells her he's going back. Kate convinces him to come home and meet her grandmother- the local witch- and when this lady comes screaming out of the house, crying, 'snakes, snakes!' Jarrod figures he's really had enough! OK, now I'll fast forward. After that first day, Jarrod avoids Kate like the plague and Kate feels hurt because she liked him. He gets drawn into the local cool cliché and starts going out with a girl (the prettiest, most popular, cheer-leader stereotype) who hates Kate with a vengeance and loves making her miserable. One evening, in a restaurant, Jarrod's out with his new friends and Kate's there with her best friend. His friends make fun of Kate and as Jarred's anger rises, he spins out of control again and an unprecedented earthquake hits the place. After this particular incident, Jarrod starts taking Kate a little more seriously. Together they discover that a long time ago a powerful curse had been placed on his family resulting in extreme bad luck for all the descendants of that line and that sooner or later Jarrod was likely to either be permanently mutilated in some way or die. With the help of Kate's grandmother they try finding some way out of this and they do- they decide they must go back to the Middle Ages to prevent the curse from being placed in the first place. Now you must be thinking- wow, exciting concept. Bleh. For one thing- the ease with which these two stumble around old (very old) England is laughable! They walk up to Jarrod's ancestral castle\fort and claim they are distant relations and oh! married to each other. And the family embraces them in their loving way. Why, oh why, did the author think she could pull this off? The story was still okay while they were in present day, but after the time travel it became almost unbearable! They save lives of people who would have been killed by poison (because they had read in Kate's grandmother's 'book' that that was what happens) and thus prevented war and then Kate gets kidnapped by the evil, evil bad guy and Jarrod now must prepare (with the help of the grateful family) to go into a magic duel to the death. Damn, I'm still making this sound good. The problem is that I don't buy it. Yes, it's fantasy and make belief- but a good, really good story is the sort that says and does outrageous things all the while making you wish that it was all true because- damn- its all so amazing! Kate and Jarrod are obviously supposed to (and do) fall in love, but it's handled with such a clumsy hand, I really don't want to go into that. The witch grandmother was waaay too stereotypically wiccan to say anything more- she is also stereotypically nice. Basically she has the character of a cardboard. Same with the cheerleader girlfriend and the class bully, and in a parallel, the pretty girl in the middle ages who wants Jarred. Okay, now. I'm done.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Saniya

    Oh my gosh. This is one the best book I have ever read!!! Or maybe I am getting super extra excited because I am reading these freaking awesome books after 1 month bcuz to exams!!! This book was totally awesome and I just can't believe how can anybody give this book a very low rating and freaking weird books high. And this was the first time ever that I liked the witch craft stuffs in a book. I don't know but I just don't like witchy stuffs in other books. I rather prefer vampires and shape-sh Oh my gosh. This is one the best book I have ever read!!! Or maybe I am getting super extra excited because I am reading these freaking awesome books after 1 month bcuz to exams!!! This book was totally awesome and I just can't believe how can anybody give this book a very low rating and freaking weird books high. And this was the first time ever that I liked the witch craft stuffs in a book. I don't know but I just don't like witchy stuffs in other books. I rather prefer vampires and shape-shifters. Spoilers Alert! The Characters: Kate is the lead heroine in this book and shes that kind of an action girl that makes you wanna go "Ahan, show me what you got!" at first, "Yeah! That's my girl!" in the middle but then "Yeah yeah!" at the end. I loved her in the beginning because she was tough and strong which I guess all the readers like. But then slowly slowly she transformed into that kind of heroines that can't do anything except for shouting and crying and asking for help. Even though she was in a curse and tied with chains..... Ohk! I accept that there was nothing that she could have done but the author should have written a stronger part for her as well too! I love her so effin much! buh she was annoying when she was explaining the "gift" part to Jarrod! Overall she was great! Jarrod. Umm, I don't hate him...but I don't like him also so well. He was very disturbing in the beginning but I loved loved and loved him in the end! I laughed like hell at his clumsiness and he was so god damn funny! I love funny heros btw =D We readers saw him coming out of his shell and not being a coward anymore at the end and I really liked him. Hes actually that kind of character which grows during a story! Jullian was so awesome! It made me wish that I had a super awesome grandmother like her! =] I don't care if other readers say Rhauk is very scary or bad or whatever! I like him!!! :D I don't know why, but its just in my genes to always fall in love with evil heros! Other Characters were good too. But never got to know about Hannah and other sort of characters. =\ The Plot: The story was good but its that type of a book in which every readers knows the ending. The beginning of the book was too frustrating to be true. Because it was like: Kate: You are supernatural... Jarrod: No I am not! Kate: You are supernatural... Jarrod: No I am not! Kate: You are supernatural... Jarrod: God Damn! Will you just shut up! Kate: You are supernatural... Jarrod: -_- I am outta here! The first and the main question I got is that the author didn't explain us about Kate's parents which I was expecting alot and about her family past. Same goes with Jarrod. Like why was Jarrod's ancestors so bad?! And what about Hannah?! Part 2: The Journey was really awesome! I loved it :D The rest of the book was really good too! ;] The book was really awesome but I am so sad that this was a stand-out book, not series. Marianne impressed me and I am looking forward for more of her books =]

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adi (Reading in the Windowseat)

    Loved it! Couldn't put it down. This is a story I adored from beginning to end. For once the girl was the brave one, and the guy was the one who wouldn't take peer pressure or any risks for what he believes is good. The mythology and time-orientation were great. This is a book about magic, but also about history. There were great references to the Middle Age culture and English history, all mixed up with witchcraft and present-day teen issues. I loved Kate's character - brave, confident, self-suffi Loved it! Couldn't put it down. This is a story I adored from beginning to end. For once the girl was the brave one, and the guy was the one who wouldn't take peer pressure or any risks for what he believes is good. The mythology and time-orientation were great. This is a book about magic, but also about history. There were great references to the Middle Age culture and English history, all mixed up with witchcraft and present-day teen issues. I loved Kate's character - brave, confident, self-sufficient, believing in the unusual. Jarrod had lots of issues, most of them ticking off the reader - like his inability to stand against the "popular crowd", his disbelief of all things paranormal, even when he's causing them, his treatment of Kate. But that was the idea - seeing him grow and change, and beginning to appreciate what's special in life and to stand up for it. Absolutely loved the ending, and though I started the book thanking the author it wasn't the first of yet another series, I closed it wishing there was at least a novella that followed behind. For those who've read Anne Osterlund's Academy 7 this one should be on the read/to-read list, and for the fans of Old Magic - try Academy 7 - I think these books have a certain spark in common, though one is set in the past, the other - in the future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    Awesome book too. Magic and young romance mixed together. What could be better? Kate is a witch and so is her grandmother. When Jared is new to town and her school she realizes he has magic and power beyond hers and that he doesnt even know it! She finds out he has an ancient curse that has been put on his family and every 7th born in his ancestry. They go back into time to kill the sorcerer who created it and... die trying? It's up to you to find out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jill Hughes

    Okay. I dislike this book. I read it awhile ago, around last year or so, and back then it used to be more of a vitriolic hate, and it's simmered down now, but I still remember this one with some distaste. The plot itself is fine, and is actually rather a cool concept. Kate, the granddaughter of a witch, and Jarrod, a boy from a family cursed with generations of bad luck, meet when Jarrod transfers to Kate's school. With her knowledge in magic and her grandmother's help, the two travel back in ti Okay. I dislike this book. I read it awhile ago, around last year or so, and back then it used to be more of a vitriolic hate, and it's simmered down now, but I still remember this one with some distaste. The plot itself is fine, and is actually rather a cool concept. Kate, the granddaughter of a witch, and Jarrod, a boy from a family cursed with generations of bad luck, meet when Jarrod transfers to Kate's school. With her knowledge in magic and her grandmother's help, the two travel back in time to medieval Britain to stop the curse at its root. The problems are mainly our main characters, Kate and Jarrod. Kate is "not like other girls" to the extreme, in the way that she's an outcast at her school and seems to put herself above other people. This book, like many others, seems to have an issue with typical femininity, and that shows through Kate's treatment of Tasha. Tasha pouts sulkily. The image sparks a vicious thought. One thing that annoys me is Tasha's portrayal of a dumb airhead. She's not dumb. In fact, she's the most intelligent girl in the whole grade. But she acts like a bimbo, puffing out feminine charm by the bucket load. And the guys love it. I think of a spell that will make her body create a flush of testosterone. I colorfully visualize her delicate flawless cheeks disappearing beneath a layer of bristly dark facial hair. The thought makes me dizzy. Tasha doesn't do much else but be pretty and hit on Jarrod. We see more animosity from Kate towards Tasha rather than vice versa. Characters like Tasha and Pecs don't exist to be people, they exist to fulfill some fictional stereotype about high school hierarchy and show how awesome and different the protagonist is. This book was written in 2005, which I might cut it some slack for (I remember a lot of media with stuff like this back then) but it's something that still persists to this day. It's beyond old, quite frankly. I only just graduated high school last year and let me tell you, the people writing characters like Tasha and Pecs seem to have had a very different high school experience from me. So yeah, this is the girl we're supposed to be rooting for. Kate shows a lot of hatefulness for a protagonist, and that would be fine, interesting even, if she were ever proven wrong or called out on it. Not only that, but she's a bit of a hypocrite, saying once that she's respectful of privacy (towards her grandmother Jillian) but then invades minds and reads the thoughts and emotions of her peers every opportunity she gets. She only holds up her own moral standard when it's in regards to someone she actually likes. "I'm taking you to see my grandmother." "Is she a nurse?" "Not exactly, but she's a whole lot better than the office staff playing with first aid." Did I say condescending? Because yeesh, that is definitely a thing. Kate, the girl who wrapped a cut with a "clean-looking" rag used for wiping up spills in a high school chemistry class, is looking down professionals who needed four years of nursing school and a legal licensing to practice, minimum. As opposed to her hippie witch grandmother who runs a tourist shop for a living. (This story takes place in Australia, not the states, so I imagine laws are slightly different there, but one would hope Australia would not allow any amateur to walk onto school grounds and get hired as the nurse.) There's also the later line of "These poor peasants don't have the skills to procure a curse" which is a whole problem in its own right. She keeps this attitude up until the middle to end of the book, at which point she starts getting attacked, harassed, and kidnapped at every turn and loses all her own agency in favor of Jarrod's own development. Ahh, Jarrod. He's slightly more tolerable. Definitely spineless around the beginning, but still just a bit of a dick. He can't seem to decide if Kate is crazy or if he actually believes what she's telling him about magic; he flip-flops between the two constantly in their first few meetings. I can't blame him for being iffy about Kate, considering how she is she runs hot and cold with him a lot, either berating and insulting him, or... Well. She runs over, takes my elbow, crooning softly and petting my arm. I suddenly feel like an abandoned puppy she's found on the side of the road. "It's okay. Don't worry," she says. "I shouldn't have gone off like that. Jillian is always better with words than me. C'mon Jarrod, come back with me. It's not far now." Yikes. You know, this is just a hunch, but something tells me the mood switching wouldn't be so tolerated if the genders were switched. That's just me, though. Immediately after that, we get: Eventually I let her lead me. It's easier to give in. My policy is to avoid scenes wherever possible. And I guess my curiosity has kicked in. Surely she can't be too sick, at least not dangerously. She has to be about sixteen, like me. She's in my class. And I imagine they don't let delusional teenagers into schools nowadays. They have special homes for that sort of thing. YIKES. And not just for the abysmal sentence breaks! So! With those protagonists, we go back in time to England, to a village with a castle whose name escapes me. But that's not important. They go and stay with Jarrod's ancestors, who accept their relative and his young "wife" no questions asked! It's all very convenient. What else is convenient is our villain! By which I mean he literally wears all black and lives in the creepy dark castle on the hill surrounded by swirling storm clouds. I am not exaggerating. To the north, on the twin peak stands another keep, also on a cliff edge. I can't seem to draw my eyes away from it. It looks isolated and strangely sinister. The tallest point is a circular tower that stretches so high, rumbling dark clouds threaten to obscure it. I wonder who the villain is and where he lives. We don't know. The only thing he's missing is a moustache to twirl. Since Tasha is missing, she's replaced by Jarrod's cousin Emmeline! She is introduced with a "mix of shyness and slyness" and Kate dislikes her instantly, of course. Yawn, moving on. Kate gets kidnapped by Rhauk, who tempts her with offering to teach her dark magic, and Jarrod stays at his family's keep to focus on training his own magic to save her. Kate...somehow loses her ability to use her own magic to save herself, and with the POV switching the only description of Jarrod's "training" is him standing shirtless in a garden. And for witch-hunting era, his family is surprisingly okay with all this magic their long-lost relative is displaying! It's a book with a good concept, but some bad and cliche execution. Horribly, horribly cliche. Possible ways I personally could like it more: Take away Kate's awful judging mentality, stick with one characterization for your characters, actually give others some real characterization. Give Kate and Jarrod's romance some more development, I don't know. I had ideas for improving the story but that's not my place to go on about/that's what fanfiction is for. I mean, granted, it was published ten years ago. Authors can very definitely improve a lot in that vast span of time; I definitely have since I started writing five years ago, and indeed, I did read Curley's far more recent work Hidden, and while not perfect it's certainly a step up. So while I really didn't like this book, I wouldn't have a problem looking into more of the author's recent works.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Akylina

    3.5 stars The story was rather predictable but enjoyable nevertheless. Sometimes, a good old story that reminds you of the books you loved as a teen is all you need to pull you out of that reading slump.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this book almost ten years ago, but I still count it at the very, very top of my list of favorite books. There are a number of authors and books that have helped build my reading preferences, but "Old Magic" is the book that created my preference of Young Adult fiction. This book sets a bar that I judge almost every book I read by. Marianne Curley has written a novel that to this day I can describe in vivid detail, partially because this boos, the Harry Potter series, and The Hunger Games I read this book almost ten years ago, but I still count it at the very, very top of my list of favorite books. There are a number of authors and books that have helped build my reading preferences, but "Old Magic" is the book that created my preference of Young Adult fiction. This book sets a bar that I judge almost every book I read by. Marianne Curley has written a novel that to this day I can describe in vivid detail, partially because this boos, the Harry Potter series, and The Hunger Games trilogy are the only books I crave to read over and over. This is a book about magic--original, imagination commanding magic--that stays on track, that goes just far enough, but not too far into the land of the fantastical. This is a book about love--heart-wrenching, knee-shaking love--that holds back the absolutely perfect amount, that is so realistic and astonishing when set against the back drop of the world and powers Curley creates. This is a book full of characters, stories, and lives that come to life with every turn of the page. Unlike other Young Adult authors (who shall not be named in this review), the author creates characters so intensely fitting, so true to the story--but without being perfect. The characters has real flaws, the characters have real lives, the characters have real and raw emotions; all of which ooze within the book's pages. This is not a novel that involves intervention and magical means for no reason, the characters aren't just thrown together--Jarrod seeks Kate and her grandmother out with purpose. Kate genuinely cares and falls for him in a true to life fashion--she doesn't become obsessed with no cause. And Jarrod seeks popularity and acceptance the way any teen who has moved to a new town will relate to. The curse is a tale passed down generations, the same as stories in everyone's family. And Kate and her grandmother agree to help--not because Kate has a crush, but because it is their job, their passion and purpose to help people with their talents. Even the aspects that take place in the past keep true to the story, true to the vulnerability and raw feelings that the characters (and most people) have at all times. When I first read "Old Magic" I would feel build-ups to many moments and climaxes of the plot, thinking at first that it would be a predictable, one-size-fits-ass story line. It wasn't. Curley maintains the base of the people she has invented, in another book it would be certain that the young couple, ripe with new feelings and freedom in the past, would be met with amazing things, and would fall deeply in love within moments of landing. But Jarrod and Kate spend their first moments in the mud, their first night on a hay bed filled with lice and bugs. Their closeness that takes place is the proper style for them. This review may sound a little laudable--but I assure you, this book is moving, it pulls you in and stays in your mind for years.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Miranda

    What a great read! I cannot believe I hadn't found this book sooner, it was written in the early 2000's! I really liked the progression of Jarrod's character, in the beginning I wasn't too crazy about him. I don't want to give too much away but... If your looking for a book that includes magic, time-travel, curses and some light romance then this book is for you! :)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gelisvb

    I've read this book when I was thirteen, and I was obsessed with it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judy M.

    A long time ago, maybe about a year, I found Old Magic through the asks and small amount of reviews I read from one blog I used to frequent: @marysueproblems. Everyone joked that the characters were so bad that there’s no way they can finish the book. I thought “how bad can the book possibly be?” And well, I finished the book. It’s pretty bad. A lot of my friends got interesting texts from me that either said “I HATE THIS FUCKING BOOK” or “I beg for the sweet release of death”. For good reasons, I A long time ago, maybe about a year, I found Old Magic through the asks and small amount of reviews I read from one blog I used to frequent: @marysueproblems. Everyone joked that the characters were so bad that there’s no way they can finish the book. I thought “how bad can the book possibly be?” And well, I finished the book. It’s pretty bad. A lot of my friends got interesting texts from me that either said “I HATE THIS FUCKING BOOK” or “I beg for the sweet release of death”. For good reasons, I hate this book. Let’s start with the characters No one in this story really is important other than Kate and Jarrod. All the others just fill their stock role. Hannah appears three times in total in the entire novel, and despite us being informed her and Kate are best friends, they don’t interact like it. She’s just there randomly and leaves really quickly. Tasha Daniels exists to be the stereotypical popular girl that’s blonde and a “bimbo”, and part of an elitist group called “the trendies”. Kate pretty much hates her because she’s feminine and hits on Jarrod. That’s all her role is for. Even though we’re told Tasha is one of the many people that bully Kate, we never actually see it. It’s like Curley thought that’s the only thing we needed to be told in order to convince the readers that Tasha shouldn’t be liked and is a Bad Person instead of showing me actual proof she is. Pecs is really the only person that bullies (and sexually assaults at one point) Kate, and he’s your stereotypical bully character: dumb, muscle bound, only appears to be a dick. Literally, the dude bullied her twice in the whole book and called her “Scary Face”. Seriously, they’re in high school. High schoolers can insult people way better than that. Give them some credit, okay? Kate Do you know how many times I had “oooh kate is just so unique and beautiful and not like other girls” rolled up in a wet towel and had slapped across my face for 369 pages? Too. Many. I rolled my eyes every time I had the same old line regurgitated onto the page. And the fact it always kept going “wow Kate has such unusual almond eyes she looks Hawaiian and stuff”. God, it felt like Curley looked at a white board with the traits “occasionally witty” and “magic boner” written on it, thought she needed to make Kate truly unique or a good character, but just shrugged and tacked on Kate being part East Asian instead of giving her depth and patting herself on the back for making such a one of a kind character. “Ah yes my character is part east Asian, has true black hair, pale skin, and blue eyes nobody is like her”. Really? No quirks? No hobbies other than magic? No anything? Oh okay… not even a consistent personality at times. It seemed like her (along with Jarrod’s) personality changed to conveniently make the plot or romance go forward. The most I can say about Kate consistently is that she’s fucking arrogant and wishy washy. For example, Kate and Jarrod are always spouting how smart and clever she is when I had to sit there and read her be like “there’s no way the evil villain won’t keep his promise jarrod that’s ImPoSsIbLe” and then of course she was proven wrong like two seconds later “You would break your promise?” He laughs coarsely. “My lady, did you really think I would keep it?” “But… you said… if I stayed –” “I lied.” “Why? I lived up to my end of the bargain. I came back to you!” Like Kate is so fucking dumb. The villain is the level of a villain from Fairly Oddparents and she still couldn’t see this happening??? Are you???? Serious???? “No, you don’t know him like I do. He lies, he makes promises he has no intention of keeping. He’s using you just as he used me. He tricked me into staying with him, and now he’s tricking you.” KATE HE LIVES IN THE MOST STEREOTYPICAL EVIL CASTLE. BLACK CLOUDS, CREEPY BUILDING, CALLED BLACKLANDS, HAS CROWS EVERYWHERE. HOW DID YOU NOT NOTICE. And she was surprised. And then like two seconds later she complains about not being able to beat Rhauk’s logic. “Of course you do. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” His eyes narrow, assessing me. “But I will have to do something to stop you from interfering.” “Noooo!” God, he’s one step ahead of me every time. How can anyone beat this logic? By using their brain for a grand total of two seconds. Also??? She acts like she’s superior to the popular people. Sanctimonious as hell. Back when Jarrod caused a restaurant to be destroyed by an earthquake, Kate complained about the popular people abandoning Jarrod while this place is crumbling, and then proceeds to abandon Hannah (her best friend mind you) in the building to go rescue Jarrod. In short, I fucking hate her. Jarrod Boy oh boy do I not care for Jarrod that much either. He’s the one that usually pushes the whole “Kate is so unique and not like other girls” propaganda into my bleeding eyeballs. He’s instantly smitten with her once she drags him off to the forest to help a tiny ass scratch on his arm. And he always folded because Kate is pretty. Believable, especially considering he’s a teenage boy. I was constantly bombarded that he’s a spineless coward in every chapter up until the second half of the book because I dunno I guess it just suddenly disappeared when they went back in time? In the beginning, I found Jarrod to be annoying. I noticed first that his personality changed a lot every time the point of view changed, and that led me to realizing Kate is just as guilty. While I don’t really like Jarrod, he was the only one between the two that actually showed character development but it wasn’t that good because it just randomly happened in Kate’s point of view and was impressed by literally everything she did. I shit you not, I had to hold my face together after reading this god awful line when they encountered some random dude in 1252 England: “We’re weary travelers from afar.” Jarrod’s head swings to mine, his face registering surprise at my fluency of the ancient language. See what I mean. I just got bored with him. He spent the entire first part of the book whining “magic isn’t real oh shit this thing happened it is rea- no it’s not jk” For almost 200 pages. It was boring as fuck. Rhauk Our villain. He dresses in all black, lives in a creepy castle called Blacklands, has a pet crow, can transform into a crow, has black hair and black eyes, and tells all of his plans all the time. Randomly gets a boner for Kate because OF COURSE she’s just so PRETTY AND UNIQUE. How nobody suspected him to be the bad guy, I have no fucking clue. Everyone in this book is really dumb. Rhauk is no exception, but at least he was trying to kill Kate and Jarrod. Honestly, I started rooting for him at one point to kill Jarrod. I knew it was a fruitless endeavor, but you can’t blame me for trying. He’s a shit villain. Basically all the characters have the personality of twenty-year-old piece of chewed up gum that you accidentally touch under the bottom of your desk and you scrunch your face in disgust at and have to wash your hands for thirty hours until you feel clean again. Plot Pretty fucking basic. Basically just about ridding Jarrod of the curse on his family. Jarrod secretly has a magical gift that’s super powerful. His family suffers to the point his little brother nearly drowns and his dad tries to kill himself (which all in all that part was pretty sad). So Kate did a spell she didn’t think would really work because she’s ass at magic unless it’s convenient to make her try and be cool but since she has as much substance as a potato it never really hits home. Then they go back in time to England to fight a stupid ass villain. Kate gets kidnapped, Jarrod trains, he battles Rhauk, and wins. Biggest twist I guess was the whole part at the end where it was revealed Rhauk already gave them the cursed wine over twenty years or so ago but hey at least Jarrod and his family is okay now. Writing Okay, sometimes the writing was good, but those times… were few and far in between. I’ll just leave these here: “Shut up, Hannah.” My mood is black. “I’m looking for something really different,” she explains, giving their reason for being in the “Witch’s Hut,” as the Crystal Forest is generally referred to by her lot. Fun fact! None of the fucking characters ever refer to it as that. Ever. This is the only time it’s mentioned and the last. The fuck. “Jarrod!” Tasha Daniels purrs. She’s followed by her favorite lap dog, Jessica Palmer. “Fancy seeing you here. I heard about your brother. I hope he’s all right. Mom’s been cooking since the crack of dawn. Did you get the food?” He doesn’t reply to the verbal onslaught, just gives a kind of nod and angles his body subtly so that now I have his profile and Tasha his full attention. Jessica Palmer moves in closer, edging her “best friend” slightly behind. I think the action quite brave, especially for Jessica. Dr. Reed’s smile is reassuring. “There’s no permanent damage, Mrs. Thornton. He was apparently resuscitated within a safe margin of only minutes.” I don’t mean the accidents, she’s not shallow, she’s looking deeper than that—right into my soul. … but the thought alone of sipping water out of her cupped hands does strange things to my anatomy. I am careful, though, to avoid the sun, my skin burns too quickly. And ‘cause Jillian didn’t like “Nana” words, not, she reckoned, suitable for a thirty-one year old, I grew up calling her by her first name. After a pathetic attempt to fly away it transforms back into its human form and drops, half on top of Jarrod, Malcom’s sword still wedged deeply in his heart. “Eloise!” he calls in a ghostly voice Jarrod crawls out from beneath a lifeless Rhauk. Wut I panic and whack the cup straight out of his hands. Emmeline screams as sweet red wine saturates and spoils her pretty blue dress. She jumps out of her seat, her dismal mood exploding into frustrated bursts of idiot speech. (Right after the villain invites them over for dinner) Once he’s sure of our attention Rhauk explains. “Jarrod’s fears for his family are certainly not unfounded. Right now, in the solar tower, I am preparing a frightful curse. Every seventh-born Thorntyne son will know its wrath from now to eternity. Fools they will be, born clumsy, while evil and misfortune will befall every member of their family.” Really? Clumsy? That’s the best you could do? God, you’re a shitty villain. I could go on, but I’m tired of typing up a bunch of quotes. Oh but I almost forgot this treasure: “We were starring to worry.” Right before the book ends, we get this obvious typo. Oh boy. My biggest issue with this writing style is how much it just tells me or shoehorns shit in. For an example of the former, Jarrod spends three weeks training and it starts like a page before the chapter ends and part of a two page chapter, and I get nothing more of just basic shit like “I GOTTA TRAIN FOR KATE” and suddenly he becomes strong as shit despite only being able to teach himself magic???? And his medieval family just kind of accepts his witch powers is like “aight I’mma help you”. For the latter, randomly, Emmeline starts having this giant lady boner for Jarrod (adding to his harem) and is practically dry humping his leg throughout the last one hundred pages even though she never played a part before then nor cared about Kate existing. Jarrod told me Kate likes to bury her face and smell things a little bit before the book ended, but I had never seen her do it once in the entire book until just that moment. It’s like Curley is standing in front of me, waving her hands around, and screeching “MaGiC” while doing some weird folk dance to try and mask how horrible she is at showing me characters’ habits or actually showing me shit about the Popular People being Bad. If you want that to be the habit or what to convince a character is worth my hatred, you have to show it to me. And god, the INFO DUMPING. I GOT IT. YOU WANT TO TELL ME STUFF ABOUT YOUR OH SO SPESHUL CHARACTER but you have to space that shit out. I didn’t want to read Kate’s sudden life story thrown at me on what? The third page? It completely disrupts what’s going on and makes it feel like the author doesn’t trust me enough to figure out bits and details of the characters’ lives so she has to write all of the history down in one go and rub it all over my face. Another issue I have is how downright bland the characters are. Kate and Jarrod, the two people I’m forced to be in the head of throughout this boring ass journey, are as interesting as chewed up dog food mixed with six month stale Cheetos you find in the back of the pantry and regret trying to see if they’re still edible or not. Overall, this book is pretty shit. If you don’t want a fun time, read this book! If you want to keep your sanity, don’t. Dear god, don’t. Rating: 0/10. I really wish I was capable of throwing books away right now https://book-assassin.tumblr.com/post...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hope Ann

    Great book! Thanks for recommending this to me Haniya. I loved it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane ϟ [ Lestrange ]

    "romance with some time travel action" Kate has had a strange childhood, raised in a remote Australian village by her grandmother, who is a witch. Not your brewing small children in a pot witch, but more a wise woman, who knows old magic...still, when you combine having such a grandmother with having strange powers yourself, it can make for high-school awkwardness. Especially in Kate's case--although her class is very small, her classmates slot themselves neatly into the stereotypes of unpleasant "romance with some time travel action" Kate has had a strange childhood, raised in a remote Australian village by her grandmother, who is a witch. Not your brewing small children in a pot witch, but more a wise woman, who knows old magic...still, when you combine having such a grandmother with having strange powers yourself, it can make for high-school awkwardness. Especially in Kate's case--although her class is very small, her classmates slot themselves neatly into the stereotypes of unpleasant teenagers, with Kate as the outcast. Then, enter Jarrod, a new kid, strangely mesmerizing, strangely klutzy. Kate knows he has powers of his own, but he denies that magic even exists. But then he is confronted with overwhelming evidence that his family is cursed, and he is forced to accept that magic is real. The only way to break the curse is to travel back to when it began, the middle ages. So Kate's grandmother sends them back in time...to face the evil that awaits them there. I have to admit to some disappointment here. I never warmed to Jarrod, despite his mesmerizing green eyes, and the romance between him and Kate left me cold (although perhaps if I had read this when I was younger I would have felt differently). The time travel part of the book was even more disappointing--this is not a convincing picture of life in the middle ages, and my credulity was strained past breaking point. The cliche of miserable peasant existence is in full force: "The cottages were full of life. It's incredible to think they are filled with people who know nothing of computerised technology, nor even running water, sewage systems, or electricity. And yet here they live. Surviving." (page 167 of 2001 edition) And Curley's portrayal of life in the castle was not much more nuanced. Not to mention the utter thin-ness of the story Jarrod and Kate use to explain their arrival at the castle door. Oh well. What this book does have, however, is the most extraordinarily detailed description of the magic Kate's grandmother prepares to bring them back to the present. It involves scrapping a dying marsupial mouse off the side of a vehicle, extracting two dead marsupial mouse foetuses from it, and making them into charms...most odd. So anyway, this one might be enjoyed by fans of magic and romance who are willing to suspend their disbelief, but I can't recommend it as a time travel book. Here's the old cover. It is a good thing that it got changed, because it was whitewashed. In the book, much is made of Kate's long, straight, black hair, and the possibility is raised that her father (who didn't stick around) was Asian. The girl on the cover does have long hair (rather unwashed looking), but is white as all get out.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ~Tina~

    Living in Canada this was a very rare book to get a hold of. Only by a dear friend of mine, who lives in the US, sent me a copy, that I had the pleasure of reading this wonderful gem. OLD MAGIC was a wonderful story of boy-becomes-man and having faith in what you are...even if you don't want to admit the Lady is right ;) Kate and Jarrod's journey takes them to olden times where they must make right what has been wronged to Jarrod's ancestries. Through this time they will find the growth to heal more Living in Canada this was a very rare book to get a hold of. Only by a dear friend of mine, who lives in the US, sent me a copy, that I had the pleasure of reading this wonderful gem. OLD MAGIC was a wonderful story of boy-becomes-man and having faith in what you are...even if you don't want to admit the Lady is right ;) Kate and Jarrod's journey takes them to olden times where they must make right what has been wronged to Jarrod's ancestries. Through this time they will find the growth to heal more then just OLD MAGIC used. The characters were refreshing and unique. Jarrod in particular. I thought it was nice that he was a clumsy, negative, self doubting character, only to find his true strength when it's needed the most! Kate is Brilliant and her faith addicting. I loved her strength and will! It made for a very enjoyable read! OLD MAGIC, being written in Australia, took a bit to get use to the style of writing but didn't take away from the experience. It's filled with just that. A wonderful, romantic, magical romance that put a big smile on my face. Anyone who enjoys reading magic, has to put OLD MAGIC on there shelves. It's a very happy read! ~Hugs To Amber~ Thanks for the gift sis!

  20. 4 out of 5

    P.Q. Glisson

    My daughter has had this book in our family library since a book fair came to her school when she was in middle school. It's been waiting patiently for about ten years now. She pulled it off the shelf and read it first. Then she hounded me to read it so I finally gave in. Did I ever tell you that she has never steered me wrong? Well, this was no exception. It started out like every other teenage angst novel. The unusual girl and the boy she is drawn to. But, what got me was it turned out to be a My daughter has had this book in our family library since a book fair came to her school when she was in middle school. It's been waiting patiently for about ten years now. She pulled it off the shelf and read it first. Then she hounded me to read it so I finally gave in. Did I ever tell you that she has never steered me wrong? Well, this was no exception. It started out like every other teenage angst novel. The unusual girl and the boy she is drawn to. But, what got me was it turned out to be a time-travel story. Kate and Jarrod had to go back to medieval time to stop a curse a sorcerer had put on his ancestors. The chemistry between Kate and Jarrod is smokin hot. If I had anything negative to say, it would be that Marianne Curley needed to write a sequel. It left it wide open for one. Hey, maybe we can get a petition together and present it to her. What do you say? Solid 5 stars for Old Magic!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    While Old Magic'splot is semi-intriguing, the cover's promise that the two main characters share an "undeniable passion," is never realized. The romance is tepid. At best. And worse: while the main character is 16, she reads like a tween which makes it further difficult to buy the star-crossed lovers theory. Basically: decent concept, bad writing and characterization.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ellinor

    At first I thought this would be another Twilight. Two teenagers - one of them the new kid at school, the other one with strange abilities - falling in love. But I lost this impression after a few pages and started to really like this book. It was a quick read. I was only a little disappointed by the ending which I had expected to be much more spectacular.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Brynn

    If I could I would actually give this book 3.5 stars. I really really enjoyed part two of the book and I if I was reviewing that alone this book would be 4 stars. The magic and the suspense in the second half of the book had me at the edge of my seat! The beginning however was slow and the writing felt rushed at times. All in all though I enjoyed reading it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Wang

    http://fiction-freak.blogspot.com/201... I walked into Half Price Bookstore, expecting to find a little treausure among all the discarded books. I mean, a person's trash can be another person's treasure, right? And guess what I foudn...Old Magic. The cover drew me in, the title hooked me on, and the summary sealed the deal. This book had all the cliches of a fantasy/paranormal novel. New guy. Check. Cute. Check. Something freaky happens. Check. Secrets are found. Double check. But hey, we all nee http://fiction-freak.blogspot.com/201... I walked into Half Price Bookstore, expecting to find a little treausure among all the discarded books. I mean, a person's trash can be another person's treasure, right? And guess what I foudn...Old Magic. The cover drew me in, the title hooked me on, and the summary sealed the deal. This book had all the cliches of a fantasy/paranormal novel. New guy. Check. Cute. Check. Something freaky happens. Check. Secrets are found. Double check. But hey, we all need a little cheesiness in our lives right? Anyways, in this story, the roles are reversed. As many readers know, the new kid always has a mysterious past and is hiding a secret and the narrator is the oblivious one. Now, its vice versa. Onto the author's writing style. I think Marianne has a nice writing style and the reactions are right and all that. There was one thing I hated though. One thing that constantly got on my nerves. One thing that was a big part of the story. Jarrod. Throught the story, he kept annoying me. Why? Because he kept denying over and over that he had magical, and powerful, blood. For half the book. Usually, denial only lasts one chpater. Here? Not the case. So if you're planning to read it, expect that. Character time! As we all know, I hate Jarrod. So much in fact, that I started rooting for the antagonist. Seriously, I was just that pissed off...until I remembered that Kate would've been killed too...in some way. (I'm not spoiling anything) Anyways, slowly I started cheering for Jarrod, but you don't know how hard it was until he finally did something helpful. All in all, it was a pretty OK book. Not the best...not the worst...sorta close to it though. Short story: It'll leave you mildly suprised, smug, and relieved. It'll make you twitch for one moment, then relax. Not enough for a scream or tears, but a twitch. Doesn't make sense? Well, that's the best I can say.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Oda Renate

    I just realised I have rated this but not reviewed it. ( Bad Oda BAD. Go and be ashamed of youself... goes to the corner for an appropiate amount of time) I first read this back in 2004, I found it in a flea marcket at my middle school one of the few good memories from those years(yupp that old being bullied in middle school story is mine). I picked it up because the cover was beautiful and I was intrigued by the plot. Flash forward to me after reading it :O:) :O My thoughts: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FO I just realised I have rated this but not reviewed it. ( Bad Oda BAD. Go and be ashamed of youself... goes to the corner for an appropiate amount of time) I first read this back in 2004, I found it in a flea marcket at my middle school one of the few good memories from those years(yupp that old being bullied in middle school story is mine). I picked it up because the cover was beautiful and I was intrigued by the plot. Flash forward to me after reading it :O:) :O My thoughts: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A BOOK TO BE THIS AMAZING! IT SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE, SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THE POPE AND REPORT A MIRACLE! The fact that the protagonist is bullied and exluded is something I identified with 100 %, the fact that she does magic made me SOO envious of her, the fact that she DOES NOT try to become popular(before this ALL the books I found had characters that NEEDED to be popular that trope got old),Kate liking how she was and being happy in generall, having there be a family curse in the story, and it involving multiple povs, time travell AND magic... I dare you to find a reason not to love this book. ... Cant? Told you so. This book has ever since been my ALL TIME FAVE book

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Fun, easy read. A teen romance about a clumsy boy whose family is cursed. They eventually go back in time to the Middle Ages to take care of the curse. Fun concept that teen girls would eat up. Positives: Liked the character's physical descriptions. Very clear visuals in my head. The villain was the best crafted character in the book though. This author knows how to do EVIL. Criticism: While I liked the book being told in alternating points of view (between Kate and Jarrod), I feel like often thei Fun, easy read. A teen romance about a clumsy boy whose family is cursed. They eventually go back in time to the Middle Ages to take care of the curse. Fun concept that teen girls would eat up. Positives: Liked the character's physical descriptions. Very clear visuals in my head. The villain was the best crafted character in the book though. This author knows how to do EVIL. Criticism: While I liked the book being told in alternating points of view (between Kate and Jarrod), I feel like often their reactions to situations or the writing skipped out on the feelings I expected them to have. Kate would say she was crazy about Jarrod, but her actions/feelings didn't always reflect it. For example, Jarrod would say how he held he hand in one chapter, but then when we switch to Kate's point of view, we wouldn't even hear about it. The plot would just move on. A real teen girl would dwell on touching the guy she liked and think about it. I know it's picky to criticize, but it felt strange while reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    kari

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Old Magic is an entertaining read. I liked the two voices telling the story, each in first person present. There wasn't a lot of differentiation between the two voics, but that didn't particularly bother me as I was caught up in the story. Jarrod and Kate are well-written characters and once they meet up, I wanted them to get together and for Jarrod to accept himself and his family history. He did go on a bit too long with putting Kate down for her weird, in his opinion, beliefs, but then I guess Old Magic is an entertaining read. I liked the two voices telling the story, each in first person present. There wasn't a lot of differentiation between the two voics, but that didn't particularly bother me as I was caught up in the story. Jarrod and Kate are well-written characters and once they meet up, I wanted them to get together and for Jarrod to accept himself and his family history. He did go on a bit too long with putting Kate down for her weird, in his opinion, beliefs, but then I guess if someone told you out of the blue that you had great magical power and a curse on your family, you might have some doubts, too. The travel back in time was handled clearly and I was able to believe that Jillian was able to do that for them. I liked how they quickly learned to count on each other and there were some surpises along the way as well. The ending made sense and the ending was perfect. I'll look for this author again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    Old Magic has an interesting storyline. Two high school students Jarrod and Kate meet and experience an interesting fascination for one another only to discover both of them have secrets and those secrets are putting one of their families lives in jeopardy. The chapters of the book flip-flop from being told from Jarrod's perspective and then Kate's. I for one usually like this approach as well as enjoy reading first person narratives. However, the writing of this book was lethargic, choppy and b Old Magic has an interesting storyline. Two high school students Jarrod and Kate meet and experience an interesting fascination for one another only to discover both of them have secrets and those secrets are putting one of their families lives in jeopardy. The chapters of the book flip-flop from being told from Jarrod's perspective and then Kate's. I for one usually like this approach as well as enjoy reading first person narratives. However, the writing of this book was lethargic, choppy and basically uninteresting. Plus the hero is such a flaming coward I could hardly stomach reading it to completion. This book had so much promise but the writing detracted from holding my interest. Too bad. This book may be entitled "Old Magic;" but the writing held nothing magically for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    I read this book ages ago (okay, no, it was just seven or eight years ago). It was one of the first fantasy novels I read, and something in me just... clicked on. While I loved books before, this for me was a discovery. It was cathartic to let go of all my problems for a few hours and disappear in a fictitious world. In somebody else's life. Everyone has been an awkward teen, this novel taught me that I could become someone else in a novel. I wrote for the first time, after I read this novel. And I read this book ages ago (okay, no, it was just seven or eight years ago). It was one of the first fantasy novels I read, and something in me just... clicked on. While I loved books before, this for me was a discovery. It was cathartic to let go of all my problems for a few hours and disappear in a fictitious world. In somebody else's life. Everyone has been an awkward teen, this novel taught me that I could become someone else in a novel. I wrote for the first time, after I read this novel. And that, too, felt liberating. I... I'm very grateful for this novel. It's not the best novel I've ever read, but it changed me a bit. For me it's very important and I hope that those of you that read it will enjoy it a tenth of what I did,

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara Grochowski

    Title: Old Magic Author: Marianne Curley Publisher: Simon Pulse Date Published: 2002 Genre: Young Adult Main Themes: Magic, Curses, Love, Time travel Pages: 317 Plot (from back cover): "Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why. The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstor Title: Old Magic Author: Marianne Curley Publisher: Simon Pulse Date Published: 2002 Genre: Young Adult Main Themes: Magic, Curses, Love, Time travel Pages: 317 Plot (from back cover): "Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why. The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm inside their classroom. Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey - one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and shape the future." First off, I have to say that I thought this was a pretty good book for being the author's first published novel. It has a lot of interesting elements, like the time travel and the curse on Jarrod's family. However, I felt like there was a lot of loose ends that didn't really get tied up - and perhaps some things that didn't really fit right for me in the story. First off, I was a bit bothered by the fact that Jarrod goes from being bullied to suddenly being one of the cool kids. It didn't really make any sense to me. And for someone who desperately wants to be accepted, he sure is quick to shun Kate, who accepted and helped him from the beginning (even if he does think she's a bit crazy). I also felt like the antagonist wasn't fully developed - he just seemed half-hearted to me. I found more annoying than devious. Otherwise, I thought that this was a good effort by Marianne Curley. I enjoyed it much more than The Named, which she wrote after Old Magic. I've read lots of reviews raving about all of her books though, so I think its just a preference thing. I read A LOT of epic fantasy, so I think my standards are a bit high and Old Magic just didn't really cut it for me. But I think its worth a read simply because the romance and Jarrod's transformation and very well written. If you like Old Magic, then you should give the The Named a try... and the next two in that trilogy. Ratings (Out of 10): Plot: 7 Characters: 8 Writing Style: 10 Romance: 10 Originality: 9 Total: 44/50 (B+) My copy was from the library and I suggest you find it there too... :)

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