Book Review: Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross

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Synopsis

Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.

Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel. 

Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

**I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions, as always, are my own.**

Rating: ★★½

Before picking this book up, I was avoiding it for a while. For weeks it sat there on my desktop staring at me and me trying not to stare back. “Don’t look at the book, Jay,” I said. ” You don’t want to read it. Wait no you actually do but not right now”. You see, I tend to stay away from reading throughout exam period because I’d like to remember the equations instead of the characters’ names and struggles while doing my exam. So the minute I reached home after finishing my exam I turned my laptop on and had an oh-dear-lord-pls-dont-be-expired moment before jumping straight into it.

Thoughts

I’ll be the first to admit that I went in to this book with really high expectations. I adore witches and anything related to them and this book promised a LOOOOT of witchy stuff. What I got wasn’t something very far off but boy was I let down. My favorite aspect about witchcraft, potion making/spells and the like, got skimmed over. If a character was, let’s say, making a potion, all we’d get is something like “she read the scroll, got the required ingredients, and started working”. Why aren’t the ingredients mentioned? And when a character uses a spell, why isn’t the spell actually mentioned? Have you guys read Night World by LJ Smith? Spellbinder is one my favorite books in that series. Everything I love about witchcraft was there, from love spells to summoning to complex potion making. I love it. This book? Not so much.

In general, I was disinterested in what was going on. I couldn’t feel any thing for the characters and I certainly didn’t care about their struggles. I didn’t care if the MC’s “curse” got removed or if it killed her. I couldn’t even remember her name when I was writing this review.

On goodreads, someone said that this book reminded her of Harry Potter. This book is NOTHING like Harry Potter. Harry Potter is rich with elements of magic. We actually get to know the incantations of spells, different ingredients for potions,book titles etc. In contrast, this book is bland. the lack of those elements caused the author to appear too lazy to do the proper research to write a witch book.

Since July 11 and I was forcing myself to read this book. I didn’t want to add another book to my DNF list so I ploughed forward. Eventually, I gave up and stopped reading it altogether. Everyday I would promise myself that I will finish it that day but I couldn’t get myself to pick it up again.

Character Analysis

Bianca

Bianca was very, very powerful (she’s the MC what do you expect???). She simply had too much powah. Her father taught her a lot of things but it’s hard to believe that throughout her stay in the school she never had to learn any new spell. She never struggled in learning new things but she just suffers a lot with studying, you know?? Why the hell can’t we have a character who actually LIKES to study, huh?

Did I also mention that she is the witch version of Mary Sue? She just never does anything wrong. Everyone is in awe of her.

Leda

Bianca’s smart friend. She has a curse of her own and she wants to stay away from people. She’s also really rude and heartless. Even to her friends.

Camille

Bianca and Leda’s bubbly friend. The friend who simply always fails no matter how hard she tries. Tut tut.

Miss Mabel

The nonredeemable antagonist. She was weeeelllyyyy weeeelllyyyy bad that it’s simply not possible for you to like her if you had an ounce of pity and morals.

Bottom Line

I seriously don’t know what was wrong with this book. I almost died from boredom while reading it.

Recommended to: People who aren’t interested in the witchy aspect of a witchy book.

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