Note: I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review. You can check out both the novel and other reviews here.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my fellow Canadians out there! I hope you’re having a fantastic time off, and if, like me, you’re hoping to get some reading in, you might just try Gypsy Magic. I just finished it and it’s a very easy read. And hey, if there’s magic involved, I’m bound to enjoy it. This tale by Tonya Royston is no exception.
Gracyn Pierce is starting over. She has a new home, a new boyfriend, and a new horse. Everything is perfect, or so it seems. Because Gracyn left a secret behind. In her quest to erase the memory of that stormy night, she forces herself to study hard, her sights set on an Ivy League college. But her attempts to stay focused are derailed when the neighbor suspected of murdering his sister returns to town. As if that isn’t enough, her senses begin to change in ways that aren’t physically possible. As hard as she tries to find an explanation, there isn’t one. Gracyn soon learns that things are not what they appear to be. Even her sister who took her in is hiding something. Will Gracyn continue pursuing her goal of getting accepted to a top-notch university, or will the secrets of the past and present ruin her future?
I would like to start off with a trigger warning. This book does contain an attempted sexual assault, so please keep this in mind before diving in.
While I love fantasy and magic, I was a little hesitant with Gypsy Magic as it is a Young Adult novel. I’ve had some great experiences with YA, don’t get me wrong, but it is a genre that I find can get quite repetitive, very fast. And while there were definitely elements I wasn’t the biggest fan of, overall I enjoyed the book!
What was most interesting about this story was its pace. While in most YA novels, you’ll find the protagonist thrust into an unknown world with newly found powers usually at the end of the first act, Gracyn doesn’t truly encounter magic until the end of the final act. Surprisingly, however, this actually adds to the book’s pace. We get time to know Gracyn as a normal girl and we get to deal with some of the more trivial aspects of her life before delving into this magical world. I found it was a new and refreshing take.
I really liked that I didn’t see a love triangle in the story. This is a cliché that is so overused and not at all enjoyable. While there are two leading men, Alex, her normal boyfriend who is a surprisingly good influence on her, and Lucian, the mysterious loner who kinda gives Gracyn the creeps, there isn’t a confusion of which man is more important to our protagonist. However, I did get the feeling that could change, and I hope Royston avoids this. Even if Gracyn’s opinion on Lucian changes (which I think it should, and where it logically is heading), I hope she doesn’t struggle between the two guys. At least, not for a long while.
I found a few typos while reading, and there were certain basic YA traits that presented themselves throughout, the most obvious being a big city girl moving to a seemingly nice small town with hidden secrets. But Royston overcame these tropes with new ideas of her own, particularly when magic was involved. There’s a lot to be discovered and a lot to work with there, and I especially love the bond between Gracyn and Gypsy. Too often, YA books feature and focus on romance and romance along. Here, Royston focuses on sisterly bonds, friendships, and an animal to human connection that is more special than any romantic bond. That was something I was really impressed with.
With a novel named Gypsy Magic, I have to admit that I expected to see more of Gypsy, as well as more magic. But since this is the first book in the trilogy, acting more as the introductory act than anything else, I can understand it. As I said, this book was a very easy read, and while there were parts I wasn’t crazy about, I liked the flow. I definitely want to read the sequel, and can maybe even see myself reading this book again! Royston gives her readers enough to keep them interested and get them invested. I want to know more! Plot wise, it wasn’t the most original thing I’ve ever read, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment of it. So, for its entertaining nature, I give this book 4 out 5 stars and would recommend it to any YA fans, or anyone looking for a nice, easy read.
You can check out Gypsy Magic at Online Book Club here, as well as see what others thought about it!