Saturday, 6 July 2019

Kissing Magic: Book Review

Kiss him. Don't fall in love.
Break a spell with a kiss. Karina has heard and seen enough weird stuff for this request to sound legit.


Title: Kissing Magic
Series: Portals to Whyland : 2
Author: Day Leitao
ISBN: 9781775063773          Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Type: YA portal fantasy
Themes: future, cause and effect, human impact

What's it about?
Karina finds herself back in Whyland to help a guy she barely knows to escape his stone statue curse. Once there though it becomes apart that much has changed since she was last there and that tough choices will need to be made..

Embrace
Characters are the standout again for this novel. The cover is stunning and perfectly inline with the branding of book 1.

Beware
Plot meanders. Character changes aren't perhaps the most compelling.

My Thoughts
Kissing Magic is the second in the Whyland trilogy. You might remember I reviewed book 1, Step into Magic, last year. While the first book I labelled lower YA, this one is more mid-YA with the main character being sixteen.

Admittedly, I was keen visit Whyland again. While I had not been a fan of Darian and Cayla, I did like the leading protagonist, Karina, and Darian's brother, Sian - who had a small role in the first. This novel centres primarily on Karina and Sian.

SIan is still a standout character, although I felt he'd moved somewhat away from his characterisation in first book I was mindful when reading that about 18 months had transpired. Sian is hell-bent on becoming the ruler and concocts a rather complicated plan in order to achieve this. I felt at times he was less mature than in book 1, but that can be explained by the difference in focus for his character in regards to Karina.

Karina I was disappointed in. Older than in the first book I expected more growth in her character and I felt, especially in the middle of the story, that she reverted to a whiny girl who couldn't make up her mind. A little I can take, but a lot becomes tiresome to read.
There was a cast of other characters, some of whom I felt could have been better left out. Many only seemed to be there to get the main characters from A to B.

The plot meandered dreadfully in the middle. There were some stunning paragraphs but the point of view was all over the place to the point I felt it headhopped too much with little point. One moment we'd be with Sian, then Karina, then a chapter with Darian and Cayla, back to Karina...I'll be honest, I was reading this because of Karina and Sian the story I felt could have been much stronger if the author had narrowed in on one or both of them and left the other characters passages out.

I also got a bit confused with the plot in the middle purely because a lot was going on but the romance maybe overshadowed necessary details that might have made the purpose clearer.
Another odd addition was an illustration in the second half of the book. It was gorgeous but threw me out of the story for a moment mainly because the characters depicted, Sian and Karina, looked substantially older than the described ages (like instead of 16, Karina looked more 19 and Sian even older).

Overall, it wasn't a perfect book, but there was enough there that I liked that I will go on to read the final in the trilogy because I am curious to know the fates of Karina and Sian in particular. This is a novel most suitable for lower YA to mid YA readers.


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