Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman (Audrey's Guides, #1)

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft - Jody Gehrman

When her mother goes missing and her mysterious "cousin" shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

I confess to grabbing this as a freebie mostly because of the gorgeous cover of gorgeousness (although it looks a bit blobby in thumbnail, it's really very pretty). So I was pleasantly surprised to find the book was rather enjoyable. 


It's very typical YA witchy fare: Teenager Audrey discovers she's actually a witch, and it might just be up to her to save everyone she knows. Nice worldbuilding, light on the infodumps, and the protagonist is funny, if very over-eager. I rather like that she's told flat out (more than once) she has delusions of grandeur and has to learn to walk before she can run. I also liked that the author via her heroine pokes fun at some genre tropes. 


The series title comes from the fact the heroine keeps a journal, and often summarises her exploits in bullet list form in it, and some of those entries are really funny. Also the format is not overused to the point it's annoying, it's just about right (it comes up often enough that "Audrey and her notebook" are her "thing", but not so often it feels like you're just reading her diary entries). That kind of format is difficult to pull off, but I really think it succeeded here. 


Despite being pretty typical, it's a fun read. There's an interesting and entertaining mix of a light comedic style and a really heavy dark villain of the very nastiest kind - who actually is written in a rather delightfully charming way. He thinks he's a do-gooder out to save the world, and can't for the life of him understand why people are objecting just because his methods happen to include murder, kidnapping, demon summoning and necromancy.


It does end on something of a cliffhanger, but this book worked for me enough I'll pick up the next book (so far there are only two, not sure how many are planned).