ENTANGLED (SPELLBOUND 1) BY NIKKI JEFFORD
PUBLISHED BY NIKKI JEFFORD
3 OUT OF 5 STARS
Read this if: You like magic and mean girls – its a wonderful mix of the two.
Don’t read this if: You are expecting a masterpiece, there is a lot of work that needs doing, but as the review says the bones of the story are there, and they are good.
Like many, I often avoid self-published works, unless they have a major buzz surrounding them. Most SP works are unpolished, and subpar to those who’ve been through the rigours of the editing world. But even the best publishers can’t make a bad plot good, and sometimes SP works are that diamond in the rough. Lets face it the writer brings the most important part, the story, the vision and emotion behind the story. So which was Entangled? A great SP or one of the many sub-par works? In all honesty it was in the middle.
***This review may contain slight spoilers – nothing that will spoil the plot or ending, but little info bits along the way***
The story behind Entangled is great, its unusual, a bit twisted and pretty interesting. Entangled is about two teenage withes (no Sabrina here though) Graylee ‘Gray’ and her twin Charlene, Gray dies and her mum brings her back, but something goes wrong and she ends up in her sisters body – she gets 24 hours, her sister gets the next 24 – they alternate. Like I said – an interesting premise. Gray has to pretend to be Charlene (as most people don’t know magic exists) a fact thats not made easy by the fact that her twin is a ‘mean girls’ boy obsessed, grade A bitch. This plot is probably what saves the book from being a 2 star (in truth I’d put is as a 2.5 but pushed it to a 3 due to some promising moments)
BUT where things go wrong is the lack of depth to the story. Gray is aptly named, there is absolutely nothing to her, she’s dull, unlikeable, a pushover. The only thing she does in the entire book that I can say was notable is cut her sisters hair – and even then she only cut it, if that’d been me I’d of shaved the lot off. When she wakes up in her sisters body she doesn’t notice, HOW? I mean HOW CAN SHE NOT NOTICE? Seriously, yes they are twins but even twins can be told apart, the story mentions how she looks in the mirror a few times, but DOESN’T notice….and there is many a mention about how Gray eats too much and Charlene is on a constant diet – surely she’d notice she’d lost weight? NOPE. Then her mum comes home and doesn’t notice either, she knows its Gray but not that she’s in Charlene’s body. A big error on Jefford’s part, and the opportunity to write a complete freak out is also missed – it’d be much better to have written her seeing her sister in the mirror and the panic that followed.
The lack of ‘freak out’ in the book is another major flaw, Gray just accepts it as normal, everyone she tells, not only believe her straight away but also just shrug and say ‘ok’ . Not one person thinks she may be lying, or playing a trick. Its just weird. The twins mum is another underwritten, beige character – she has no backbone, Charlene threatens to kill a girl a school, so mum gives her a few days off, Charlene blocks Grays powers for years – mum does nothing, Charlene throws all of Gray’s things away – yup mum does nothing. It goes on. This little sadistic brat is given the power to do anything she wants, and yet the reader doesn’t hate her, doesn’t want Gray to win, because neither girl’s character is anything other than paper thin.
The final issue with the book for me was related to the lack of character depth, the set up for the whole body swapping too a while (and its a short book) but was made up of nothing really. Nolan and Raj are thrown in as new friends, Raj is apparently evil – yet they are the two that Gray tells the truth to. Why? She and the reader have no connection to them in fact the first few chapters tell you how Raj should be avoided at all costs. Personally I’d of written Nolan as the long-term best friend who is in love with her (cliche but it works) and Raj as the bad guy (who she falls for) who figures it out – rather than her running to tell him.
I may have ripped some of the book apart in this review, but there are positives, as I said the plot is great – the bones are there for a great series but there needs to be more of everything to make it a worth while read. The story was short, by expanding it and getting more detailed set ups for the characters, things like explaining why Charlene is such a cow, why Gray is such a walk over etc – would bring the story to life.
ARC/eGalley kindly provided by NetGalley