Review: Stirring up trouble–Juli Alexander

 

Stirring Up Trouble (Stirring Up Trouble, #1)
Stirring up trouble
(Stirring up trouble trilogy #1)
Juli Alexander

My rating:

2 star

Goodreads summary:

Zoe Miller is a 15-year-old witch with a talent for potions. She’s working hard to find a substitute for toad slime. Since fat-free margarine has been found to be a substitute for dead man’s toe, she’s hopeful that she’ll find one.
Then there’s all the so-called normal stuff. Like high school, her annoyingly selfish “friend” Anya, and her crush on Anya’s ex-boyfriend Jake.
Now, Zoe’s dad is dating Jake’s mom, and things are getting more and more complicated. If only Zoe could brew a potion or two and set everything straight. Zoe can’t. If she brews a self-serving potion, bad things will happen to her appearance. Like a crooked nose, giant wart, green skin, rotting teeth–the whole ugly witch stereotype.
Zoe’s tired of fate interfering so cruelly in her life. Can you really blame her for putting her potions to not-so-good use and stirring up trouble?

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I was disappointed in this story, mainly because I had envisioned the focus of the story to be on the magical aspect of Zoe’s life instead of her run of the mill “love troubles”. Let’s be honest when the title is “stirring up trouble” and it’s about a witch who has an affinity for potion making, you’d expect more potion-y things from this.  I was barely engaged while reading this book and never really felt any connection with Zoe or her world.

The notion that self-serving magic is bad and will be punished is an interesting one, but the way it’s just repeated all the time in pretty much the same wording throughout the book just didn’t excite me anymore after the first time. I actually wasn’t happy with the writing in general. It’s not that it was really bad, it just didn’t do anything to pull me into the story or get me invested in the lives of these people. If they had all died in a huge disaster I’d probably have gone “Meh” and shrugged it off. That’s how little I cared for these people in the story.

There were a couple of different plot-lines going on at the same time in this story, most of which are hinted about in the synopsis already. I felt that they lacked depth and were pretty standard. It’s nothing I haven’t read before and in most cases I’ve read better examples elsewhere.

Character-wise and plot-wise this story could have definitely done better.  Perhaps this was meant for younger readers than myself, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to like it? Anyhow, I just don’t have a lot of things to say about this book as it just didn’t make me feel anything. I didn’t hate it but I surely didn’t like it either. So I’m going to stop talking about it after I say this: There’s a lot of people out there (on goodreads) that liked this book, so check out what they have to say before prematurely giving up on this book simply because I didn’t like it.

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