spellbound

Spellbound by Jacqueline West

Released July 11, 2011.

This second book in The Books of Elsewhere series is just as magical as the first.  Olive is still searching for a way to save Morton, the boy trapped inside a painting.  Now that the spectacles are broken, Olive must rely on the permission of one of the three cats to enter the paintings.  But nothing she tries is working.  So when her new neighbor, Rutherford, mentions that there may be a spellbook left by the McMartins, Olive immediately begins searching.  When she finds it though, she may not be ready for what it brings with it.  Plenty of adventure, magic and surprises await the reader.

West writes with an ease, a comfort that makes the book read quickly.  At the same time, she does use imagery very well, especially when describing characters.  Olive continues to be a great protagonist.  She is far from perfect, allowing her pride to get her into further scrapes in this book.  I am a fan of a flawed protagonist and Olive manages to be human and relatable throughout the novel.

As Olive spends more time outside the house, the neighborhood begins to come to life in this book much more completely than in the previous novel.  Olive’s parents are also more involved in this second book, though they do continue to leave Olive alone often, much to the delight of the storyline.

This is a charmer of a series filled with witches, magic, cats, and danger.  Fans of the first novel in the series will be clamoring for this second one.  A perfect summer read for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC received from Dial Books.