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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 15 star ratings
2 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
15
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    Fun magical adventure!

    This was such a fun adventure! When Sarah Smith, housemaid to a magical Guardian household nearly knocks over a priceless vase, her world is completely turned upside down. Instead of the vase shattering, Sarah sets the vase spinning in midair. Only Sarah doesn't have magic powers. She is part of the Snipes, the non-magical working class of servants and caretakers. In order to avoid a complete scandal, Mrs. Winters, the intimidating matriarch of the Winter household invents a new identity for Sarah, a distant cousin named Cassandra Reed. Now Cassandra must prove herself to be a haughty, well educated lady of the upper class. Sent to Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies, Cassandra must hone her powers, avoid dancing at all cost, survive the social complexities of the upper class, and learn where her magical powers came from. Full of witty dialogue and strong female characters, Changeling is a fun look at friendship and the power of kindness. Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book!
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Familiar yet Engaging

    3.5 stars. I’m rounding up as I will read book two. It's a commonly said these days that there are no original ideas left to write about. While this may be true to a certain extent there is usually a new way to spin a similar story or make it your own. Molly Harper has 'borrowed' from so many of the most popular YA/Teen fantasy story lines that it's almost funny. Yet, the way she puts these ideas together, and her compulsive writing style, had me flipping pages quickly and deciding that I was okay with her borrowed ideas. Borrowed Elements Let's start with Harry Potter. The following are direct correlations in Changeling: - orphan who didn’t know she could do magic = Harry Potter (but female this time) - little blue bird (familiar) = Hedwing the owl - Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies = Hogwarts - Houses = Houses... there's five instead of four, but whose counting... - Snipes = Muggles From Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or Charmed: - magical tomes that can only be read by certain people - magical spells that may give you 'too much' power - demons and vampires; and not all are evil Cinderella: - ‘Auntie’ = stepmother - slave who cleans = Cinderella herself Now, you might be thinking: 'oh boy Mel, how can this be good?' Honestly I didn't think it could be at first. But our leading girl, her friends and even the possible love interest(s?) are all solid characters unto themselves. Characters These are not just characters dropped into a cliche setting. Instead I felt connected and had empathy for each of the students we meet. I even began to like the Auntie/stepmother at points. Creating anti-hero characters is not easy and yet Harper has made it seem effortless in Changeling. Additionally both our main boys are strong, unique and realistic. And neither sparkles! It helps that there is no insta-love and (so far) no love triangle, square or other shape. By creating genuine relationships between characters Harper has done what so many other teen authors continue to fail to do. This alone puts her a step above the average teen genre writer. Political Intrigue We all know noble families must be entrenched in corruption (lol). Harper takes the conspiracy, greed and backstabbing to a whole new level in Changeling. Not only does everyone keep their friends close, and their enemies even closer; but they all have dirt on one another that could ruin them. Add a stepmother with a steely glare and a bunch of ridiculous laws in place to keep Snipes ‘in-line’ and you've got a complex society to try and navigate. And our gal goes from scrubbing the floors to walking across them in glass slippers. So to say she has trouble navigating this new political landscape would be an understatement. There are so many opportunities that Harper has clearly opened up for future books in the nobles and rich families narrative that I would want to read more of this series even if it didn't have good characters. And did I mention amongst all of this is magic? Overall It's an odd thing to realize that a book is really a bunch of other stories you know well dropped into one and yet feel like you are reading a new story. I really didn't expect, from the opening 50 pages, to like Changeling so much. I expected to get frustrated and bored quickly. Instead Harper has set-up a world that is both familiar and original in it's own way. If you want to revisit your youth, get some Harry Potter magical school vibes or just visit a cute little fantasy world where the teens are not immediately in love with each other (how refreshing!), then Changeling may be for you. But watch out as you may be hooked and find yourself frustrated that book two hasn't even been announced (never mind have a name or a cover)! Someone needs to let Molly Harper know that she now needs to keep feeding the readers she has entrapped in her cute story web. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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