Blog Tour: A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens – Review & Favourite Quotes

Hello, friends! I’m so excited to be back with another blog tour and this time it’s with the lovely TBR & Beyond Tours for A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens. This is the tour company’s first blog tour and I’m so happy that I got to be part of it 😃 Thanks to ladies behind TBR & Beyond for organising this blog tour and to the author, Sasha Laurens, for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: A Wicked Magic
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: 28 July 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal
Panda Rating:

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The Craft when modern witches must save teens stolen by an ancient demon in this YA fantasy-thriller debut.

Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless. During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?

Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with. When another teenager disappears, the girls know it’s no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?

Set in the atmospheric wilds of California’s northern coast, Sasha Laurens’s thrilling debut novel is about the complications of friendship, how to take back power, and how to embrace the darkness that lives within us all.

Buy: Amazon (US) |Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

SASHA LAURENS grew up in Northern California, where she learned to drive on Highway 1’s switchback turns and got accustomed to the best weather in the world. After studying creative writing and literature at Columbia University, she lived in New York for years and, at various times, in Russia. She currently resides in Michigan, where she is pursuing a PhD in political science.

Website | Twitter |Instagram | Goodreads

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

Before I go on, I should also mention that although this doesn’t have CW/TW at the start, the author does have a list on her website and I would definitely advise reading it because you pick up the story:

  • Self-harm, including depictions of self-harm
  • Suicide and suicidal ideation
  • Mental health issues (depression, obsessive behaviors, anxiety and alcoholism)
  • Violence, body horror/gore, blood
  • Child abuse (Depictions and references to parents inflicting physical harm on teenage children; emotional abuse; and references to negligence)
  • Abduction, kidnapping
  • Depictions of and references to sexual interactions between teenage girls and adult men
  • Drinking and drug use, including by underage characters

A Wicked Magic ended up being very different to what I expected! It’s being compared to The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which I don’t watch because I’m too scared, and The Craft, which I did watch when I was in middle school eons ago and I can still remember how much it TERRIFIED ME. So I was definitely prepared to encounter bone chilling monsters and rituals! That said, it didn’t end up being half as terrifying as I expected (lucky for me, I guess?).

“Magic wasn’t friendly. It amazed you with its power to destroy, the same way the salt waves of the Pacific hammered cliffs into rubble, broke boats, annihilated beaches.”

The writing itself was fairly easy to read as it’s not overly descriptive. There are alternating POVs and switching timelines between their junior and senior years and while that could’ve been confusing I thought the shifting scenes were written smoothly. Although this didn’t end up being as scary as I thought, Laurens definitely knows how to create a sinister atmosphere and it almost felt as if this town was shrouded in a bubble of creepy darkness. There were also some scenes that made me wish I had come across the part earlier on in the day instead of at midnight when I was actually reading because my toes curl in fear!

“Sometimes, I just feel so bad. Like being alive is suffocating me. Like I’m suffocating me. I’d rather feel anything else than keep feeling like that.”

Our three MCs, Liss, Dan and Alexa, were interesting but difficult characters. All of them were far from perfect and at times it was so frustrating to see how toxic their relationships were. They were all dealing with heavy personal issues that I felt eclipsed the magic/witchy aspect of the book and in that sense, it really didn’t feel like I was reading a YA paranormal fantasy but more a contemporary with some magical elements. When I say that some scenes can be quite triggering I really do mean that because this story is overflowing with heaviness–even I had quite a difficult time reading at some points because of it. By the end though, all of them experienced significant growth and it was clear that the author really wanted to turn this dark and depressing story around into something more hopeful and positive. I do appreciate how the author explored teenage friendships though; despite the initial toxicity between the three, I think Laurens painted a very raw and realistic picture of female friendships and the internal struggle that a lot of young girls experience.

“Sometimes, I just feel so bad. Like being alive is suffocating me. Like I’m suffocating me. I’d rather feel anything else than keep feeling like that.”

That said, because the focus was really internal on the girls, the pacing was quite slow from the beginning and I felt it slowed down even more in the middle as they try to work through their issues while trying to unravel the mystery. This “journey” takes up a big chunk of the story and since I was expecting some big reveal and epic magical battle after the long build up, I was a bit disappointed to find that the battle was very short and the bad guy was beat without much of a struggle. If I’m honest, it was a little anti-climactic. Although the chicken in me is glad that this wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be, I also wish that we got more magic in the end.

“[…]how the people you love can somehow become the only place of stillness in the wild and beautiful world that all of them shared and none of them understood.”

Enter the Giveaway (US/Canada Only) for a finished copy of A Wicked Magic ➡ HERE.
Giveaway ends 03 August (TOMORROW!) so be sure to enter ASAP!

Have you read A Wicked Magic or is it on your TBR?

9 thoughts on “Blog Tour: A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens – Review & Favourite Quotes

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  2. Oof anti-climatic bad guy scenes are always a bummer for me! I don’t get why they are always so easy to beat! Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

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