Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz (2011)
Series: The Beauchamp Family #1
Goodreads Summary: The three Beauchamp women–Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid–live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret–they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there’s Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.
For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it’s time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.
I picked up this book after I started watching the TV series. I’d heard people talk about how much they loved the show and at first I didn’t know it was based on a book. I decided to give it a try and really enjoyed it. So when I got through all 10 episodes of the first season and was craving more, I ended up grabbing the book.
While reading comments on a forum about the show, one viewer said they read all three books in 3 days and really loved them. So I was expecting to really like them too. The first book is quite short and I did finish it in 2 days. It has a very light writing style and is very easy to read quickly. However, I have to say I still really like the show more than the book.
The plot of the book didn’t draw me in at all. If I hadn’t seen the show, I doubt I would have ever picked it up. Plus the writing I felt was very dry and boring. It was simple, but it just didn’t pack any excitement for me. And the characters were really hard to connect with. I didn’t really care about any of them and couldn’t really feel what they felt or put myself in their shoes. Plus I found the story really confusing, not suspenseful at all, and it didn’t really make me want to keep reading to find out what happens next.
There are also a lot of differences between the show and the book. For starters, the character of Wendy is totally absent. She’s one of my favorite parts of the show and I don’t know if she shows up in later books or not. There were other changes, like the mother looking older than she does in the show, and Freya was a blonde instead of dark haired. I didn’t mind those at all, but I felt like all the magic and atmosphere of the show just was gone. The book felt very black and white to me, not in a moral sense, but in a lacking color way. It felt very drab and just didn’t pack a punch.
So I doubt I’ll be continuing on with the series unless I hear they get better as they go along. Even the cliffhanger ending wasn’t enough to draw me in. So we’ll see…maybe if I’m in withdrawal after season 2 I’ll pick up book 2 to tide me over. At least the books did give me something to do after watching season 1 and now I don’t crave the show or feel like I can’t wait for it to start again. So, yeah, read the books if you want to slowly transition out of your Witches of East End the TV show addiction. Otherwise, I’d say pass on them.
My Rating: 3/5 stars