Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
Witches of East End Paperback – March 13, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I am glad to see I am not the ONLY person who did not enjoy it, but I am baffled by the millions who seem to love this author's work.
Then we're supposed to believe they've been stripped/banned from using their powers for hundreds of years by some all-powerful council who then just shrugs and goes oh, well, when the women inexplicably start using their powers again.
This book is not written in such a broad manner as to be an allegory, nor is it fantastical enough to be an adult fairy tale. If this were the old days, I'd have thrown the book across the room at about page 95. As it was, I simply deleted it from my Kindle.
It doesn't take long before mysterious happenings start to occur and all three start to use magic to "fix" situations and people. There's an environmental crisis, a suicide, affairs, infertility issues, a sick kid, a man in a coma and even murder. The early part of the book feels disjointed, unsure of what it wants to be. The writing style has a very YA feel to it, but then out of the blue we have a few sex scenes thrown in. It made me feel uncomfortable was I wasn't expecting it (I am no prude I assure you) and with references to Freya passing for 17, it felt a bid odd. Her sister, Ingrid, on the other hand is the stereotype of the prissy librarian which is a shame. She has the potential to be a more interesting character than Freya but I don't feel this opportunity was used to its fullest. The same is true for Johanna, the mother.
I preserved with the book and it wasn't bad exactly, it was just...odd. The plot bumbled along until it was at the 50% mark and then bizarrely, lots of exposition and subplots were thrown in. Suddenly, vampires and even a zombie were shoe horned in, followed by some fast and loose interpretation of Viking mythology. I found the whole thing very confusing. Towards the end, it felt as if De La Cruz was running out of her word count but wanted to ram in as much as possible. Again this very much feels "shoe horned" in, making it clunky and out of place. Loki, Ragnarök and a host of Norse characters and myths all make an appearance with very little context built into the plot overall.
I don't often give a "bad" review as I can usually appreciate the merit of a book even if I don't like it. I can still give five stars to a book I didn't enjoy as I can appreciate that its well written, it's just not to my taste. Perhaps if I was reading this on a beach somewhere or relaxing by a pool, I'd have enjoyed it more, as on holiday I can pretty much read anything, but sadly this was not the case. It's not without merit. Much of the characterisation is fairly well done and I very much got a sense for the places and locations. If you strip back the story there is some really good stuff here but it's a bit of a jumble I'm afraid.
Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).
I rated this book WARTY!
WARNING! MAY CONTAIN UNHIDDEN SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
In which Melissa of the Cross tries, but fails dismally, to shed her YA roots. This is the second of two reviews posted today which look at books that were turned into TV shows. In both cases, the show is much better than the book.
The last time I read a Melissa de la Cruz novel, I thought it would be the last time I read a Melissa of the Cross novel because it was awful. The novel was Frozen and so was the plot. I mean that novel was so atrociously bad that I've avoided de le Cruz and Johnston like the plague ever since.
So why did I pick this up? Well, I started watching Witches of East End on Netflix not knowing it was from a de la Cruz novel, and I loved the show. Note that it was actually written by not de la Cruz, so this probably made a difference.
The story centers on three witches: Joanna Beauchamp, the white-haired mom (her hair isn't white in the TV show), Ingrid, her twenty-something daughter, and Ingrid's slightly younger sister Freya. Joanna is ancient, although she doesn't look anywhere near the centuries old woman she is. Her daughters are reborn routinely after dying early deaths. So far the same as the TV show - minus Joanna's white hair.
All three are banned from practicing magic (for reasons unspecified) and the ban has been in place for hundreds of years, yet at about the same time, all three individually decide to flout the ban, and they start doing minor magic, which slowly comes to play a greater and greater part in their lives. Joanna's specialty power is in being able to resurrect people. Ingrid is a prophet and a healer. Freya can create love and anti-love charms.
Why this is called 'East End' and they live in North Hampton I don't know. Maybe they live in the east end of North Hampton, but that still doesn't explain why this novel went south.... It makes as much sense as the claim that North Hampton is somehow 'hidden' or 'shifted' from the rest of the world, yet is still a tourist resort. How does that work again?!
This novel is actually nothing more than the full-length novel prologue for a series, and it becomes pretty obvious that's what it is, the further you read into it. If you haven't got it by the epilogue, then rest-assured that the cliff-hanger will hit you on the head with it.
The novel and the TV show follow each other quite closely for about the first third of the novel, then the two depart rather dramatically. For example, Joanna's sister doesn't appear in the novel at all, whereas she appears in the TV show right in the first episode, but Ingrid (whose real name is Erda in the novel) does work in a library and Freya does work in a bar.
The TV show was hilarious (to begin with, and it's still amusing but not quite as funny as it used to be)) and it made sense within its context. It was inventive and entertaining, although there was some juvenile dumb-assery going on, but it was worth watching, and having gone quickly through the first season, I started watching season two which conveniently started up right after I'd finished watching all of season one!
So this is why I picked up the book - from the library. There was no way in hell I was going to lay out actual money on a de la Cruz effort, not after the execrable Frozen. I started reading it with slight misgivings, but in the end, I began to enjoy it and get into it - right up until about the last third or fifth or so of it, where it went downhill so fast I almost got whiplash.
There was some sad examples of poor writing and some predictable dumb-assery (such as the improbable encounter in the "powder room" at her engagement party which went a lot further than it did in the TV show - and went there twice! How come no one noticed?!), but I'm glad to report nowhere near the extreme level of Frozen. I was able to finish this novel, although I confess I began skimming the last five chapters or so because they were so bad. One example of how clueless the writing is, is that at one point, Killian assures Ingrid that he gave her some blueprints to the mansion in which his brother lives - not loaned, but donated. Just a page or two later he tells Freya that he lent them to Ingrid. Well-edited this novel was not.
As in the TV show, Freya and Ingrid are involved in one way or another with two brothers, Bran, who is Freya's fiancé, and Killian, who is Freya's stalker, but with whom she falls in lust anyway, because you know that the one thing young women need to get through their heads above all else is that it's not only fine to embrace someone who stalks you and wants you for your body, it's actually both expected and indeed required. Got it?
Killian is a pain in the TV series. In the novel he's worse: he's a stalker and potential rapist who outright lies to Freya, keeps crucial information from her, and ignores her wishes, so while I tolerate him in the TV show where he's still way too pushy but (just) bearable, in the novel I sincerely hoped (but was cruelly denied) that a piano would fall on him and that would be the end of this jerk. Freya is hardly any better in the novel than she is in the TV show, but since she doesn't have her own broomstick, why wouldn't she make the Balder dash?
Yes, I know the conceit here is that Killian is the 'good twin' and Bran is really the evil one, so it's really ok that he's schtupping her every chance he gets, but guess what? Low key, he's not. Killian could have come right out at Freya's engagement party and told Freya exactly who he was and who Bran was, told her what a huge mistake she was making, told her that she was being deceived, and cleared up everything right there. he fails.
Opening up to her, trusting her, and being completely honest with her would have been the decent and honorable thing to do. It would have been the thing a true friend would do. It would have been the thing that someone who loves you would do without hesitation, but no, Killian doesn't say a word about who he and Bran are. Instead he has sex with Freya, thereby dumping all kinds of guilt on her over being unfaithful to her fiancé. He's a lowlife and a jerk, end of story.
I know that Melissa of the Cross couldn't have got herself this novel by having her people behave realistically and lovingly, so in order to tell this tale, she has chosen to portray one of her characters as a bitch in heat, who lacks self-control at best and morality at worst. Why would a female author deliberately do this to a female character? It's a sign of an atrociously bad writer that she can think of no better way to tell this story than the way she did - either that or worse: that she can think of a better way to tell it but still chose to tell it in this misogynistic, abusive, and insulting manner, and it's a sign of sad, sad readership that people actually spend money on such badly-plotted trash. Do people buy this crap because they can find nothing better, or because they deserve nothing better? I'd really like to know the answer to that.
What is unintentionally funny in this novel is that the main characters, Ingrid and Freya (and also their mother, a much more minor character here than in the TV show) are witches, yet they never consider casting a spell to deal with their various troubles. Freya needs a spell to get Killian off her ass (literally), and to get her mind off him, yet never once does she consider actually casting one. Ingrid needs an anti-love potion to get her mind off the cop, yet she fails to consider that, too.
Interestingly, in the TV show, the cop is black. In the novel, he's white of Irish descent. I have to ask why someone who is quite evidently of Hispanic ethnic origin would choose to exclude non-white ethnic groups from her novel. I can't recall any character who wasn't a WASP in this novel. I know it's set in a bastion of old white money, but does that mean there can be no Asians, Hispanics, or African-Americans there? If we can't count on non-white writers to bring cultural diversity to their writing we're lost indeed, because white writers are doing a piss-poor job of it.
In the TV show, the writers wisely chose to inject humor, and to exclude the more asinine and pandering aspects of witchery - flying on broomsticks, for example, or bringing in vampires and zombies, but the novel has all of these cheap toys. Joanna flies on a broomstick, Freya turns into a cat, there are vampires, and zombies are at least mentioned. Cauldrons and wands make an appearance or get a mention. Norse mythology plays a crucial role in the plot (so-called) so it's pretty pathetic for something which began so well and avoided these pitfalls, to suddenly end-up with everything being tossed into the pot.
The writing deteriorates so badly that towards the end, Joanna, Ingrid, and Freya are brought into the police station to be questioned about their employment of witchcraft! I am serious. They're actually in danger of being charged with casting spells on people. That's how awful this is. YA disguised as adult.
I cannot recommend this god-awful trash. Watch the TV show instead. You'll get much more out of it.