BOOK REVIEW: Book of Shadows by M. Verano

Hello! I know I just recently put up a book review but I finished this book recently and had a lot to say about it. My next post won’t be a book review I promise. This review will not include any spoilers.

Let us jump right in shall we!

If you do not know this book is the third book in a collection (whoops guess who didn’t know that? ME -_- ). This book is about a girl named Melanie who is searching for the perfect book to use as a diary. She finds this beautiful book which she decides will be her new diary but at home she is too intimidated to use the book. Melanie has a Wiccan friend named Lara who suggests to use the book to hold magical spells. This type of book is called a Book of Shadows (hence the title of the book). Melanie and Lara along with Lara’s boyfriend Caleb and his Lucas begin using the book writing their own made up spells. One day a spell appears that none of them wrote in. They discover that the spells they write in the book do work but not without consequences.

Sounds pretty interesting right? Well it was. Before I keep going I would like to point out that I am a huge chicken and hate scary books, movies, and haunted houses. So the book might not spook you if you are really into the horror and scary reads kind of thing. That being said lets continue. Can we take a brief moment to admire the cool cover? Eyeballs everywhere!!

I enjoyed the book.  I gave it about 3.7 stars just because I have some complaints that I will explain later. I thought the book was pretty spooky. I didn’t get super scared but I did get really creeped out especially by some of the artwork included in the book. I think it accomplished the goal but I wouldn’t say it is a full on horror book. When I think of horror books I think of books like Misery by Stephen King (LOVE THIS BOOK). So when I checked to make sure BOS was categorized as horror I was kind of surprised to find out it is Young Adult horror. I really thought it was middle grade despite characters being high school age. The book was not super scary, eerie, and creepy yes but not something that would stick with you or give you nightmares.

I have read horror books before and gotten hooked to the story and actually gotten scared. This happened when I read The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. I got super scared and that was a middle grade book. So I did go into BOS with high expectations because it sounded promising. Not a bad read but not the scary read I was looking for. I would still say the book is very much worth a read.

Now onto what bothered me about the book. This book features Wicca and Witchcraft. I will have to say it really bothered me to see those two words used interchangeably throughout the entire book. For those of you who might not know much about this stuff let me fill you in. Wicca is a religion. It has rules and very specific beliefs. Witchcraft is a practice that differs from witch to witch. It can be religious or not religious at all. It was a huge pet peeve of mine to see the two terms used to describe only Wicca. Why? NOT ALL WITCHES ARE WICCAN. Say it with me now…Witch≠Wiccan. Not the same thing at all. I know one can only so much research but just a tiny bit of searching would have easily shown that the two are not the same thing.

The last thing that bothered me and I suppose I only noticed this because I am a practicing  pagan witch was just the way witchcraft and wicca was handled in the book. Now as I said they are not the same thing but they both have reputations among religious communities. As a witch myself and a pagan I have heard the endless argument that I am worshipping satan and blah blah blah. I feel like the book perpetuates this because of how the events play out. I kind of felt like this went along with that whole idea and that bugged me. Despite all this I still enjoyed the book.

Sorry this one was so long. I never usually have super personal problems with a book but ya know stuff happens.

Have a great and spooky October!!

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