Hi! Happy Book Birthday to The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts! I’m here with a review (as you can tell from the title, and also, you know the drill… I post ARC reviews on release date). Let’s get into it!
- Publication Date: May 26th 2020
- Publisher: Owl Hollow Press
- Genre: Fantasy
It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Seventh grader Abby Shepherd is just getting the hang of it when weird stuff starts happening all around her hometown of Willow Cove. Green slime bubbling to life in science class. Giant snakes slithering around the middle school gym. Her best friend suddenly keeping secrets and telling lies.
Things only begin to make sense when a stranger named Miss Winters reveals that Abby isn’t the only young witch in town—and that Willow Cove is home to a secret past that connects them all. Miss Winters, herself a witch, even offers to teach Abby and the others everything she knows about witchcraft.
But as Abby learns more about Miss Winters’ past, she begins to suspect her new mentor is keeping secrets of her own. Can Abby trust her, or does Miss Winters have something wicked planned for the young witches of Willow Cove?
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For some reason, going into this book, I thought it was YA… it’s not. It’s most definitely MG and at that, one of the most enjoyable MG I’ve read in a while.
If you know me, you know I’m always up for a witch story. My favourite time of the year is Halloween so any spooky, magical, witchy story is right up my alley. And while The Witches of Willow Cove was not spooky, it definitely ticked all the other boxes.
The story follows Abby and Robby (have I only copped now that their names are very similar – yes!), who are best friends, and on Halloween night they go to snoop around an abandoned mental hospital, to try and solve the mystery of Robby’s mom’s disappearance, but instead they meet the new owner of the Whispering Hill, get chased off by chimeras and find out Abby can fly (none of this is a spoiler, as it happens literally in the first chapter). Needles to say, they get in a bit of trouble, especially after two more people mysteriously disappear.
The Witches of Willow Cove was a really enjoyable, fast paced and magical story. It had everything I love in MG – exciting plot, likeable characters, great atmosphere and heaps of amazing friendships.
I really liked Abby as the main character and I kind of wish the whole book was told from her perspective, instead of alternating with Robby’s. I understand Robby’s POV was important to solving the mystery, but I didn’t much care for his relationship with Becca. I very much enjoyed seeing Abby learn magic and discover secrets from the past. I loved all of Abby’s new friends (Amethyst in particular) and Zeus! They were all fun to read about and had distinct personalities.
The ending definitely had me intrigued, as it’s hinting at a series… if it is, I’ll definitely be reading future books.
As always, thank you for reading! Do you enjoy Middle Grade? If yes, you should be reading this book soon!