Published: January 5, 2010
Signet, 256 pages, paperback
GoodReads Summary: New Girl.
Lily’s parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie’s creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.
They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It’s too bad Lily doesn’t have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she’s discovered yet...
Although this one started out kind of sluggish for me--like, the first 100 pages--I am super happy I stuck with it.
Maybe I'm nostalgic for the days when the Morganville Vampires were mass market paperbacks (DAMN YOU, HARDCOVERS!) but Firespell has always been aesthetically pleasing. First, I am filled with the reassurance that they'll be quick reads. Second, I can hold this book up with one hand and not pull a muscle in my fingers (I'm literarily lazy.) Third, I like the cover. I can't hate on the mysterious pretty girl with her "I have a secret and I AM MAGICAL, but it's totally obvious but it's gonna take a long time for you to find out anyway, lulz" look on her face.
Chloe Neill can write some pretty fab female characters. This really did have a Morganville feel. You've got Lily, the new girl with attitude. You have the punky outcast BFF, Scout. The two hottie crushes, Jason and Michael, for the former and latter, respectively. And you have the mean girls who immediately target the new girl for no apparent reason whatsoever. VERY similar.
And yet it works.
There was a bit of hurrying towards the end of the book to throw everything together, but doors are opened for the plot to seriously branch out. I have high hopes for these Chicago-based books about secret societies of high school kids with a wide variety of magical powers. Though I'm gonna need the romance to be a little more developed than "I like his blue eyes." I get it: blue eyes rock. And I'm sure he's super cute and all. But I can't see that, so I'm gonna need some convincing.
Also, is it too much to ask for a character that can teleport? That's my magic power of choice and I think YA is sorely lacking in the teleportation genre.
And can they please look like Hayden Christensen?