Verdict: STORIES FROM THE WITCH STORE is a a light, breezy read full of cute and cuddly sweetness than can easily be read in an afternoon. The perfect book for folks who want a quick escape.
In the sleepy town of Burnaville, Arelia the witch runs a potions store. To stave off boredom, she keeps a journal of her daily routine as she serves suspicious customers and makes magic with her supernatural friends.
In searching for a word to describe STORIES FROM THE WITCH STORE, “fluff” is what comes to mind. But when you’re in the right mood, fluff is fine. And if you are indeed in a fluffy mood, STORIES FROM THE WITCH STORE fits the bill. It’s a light, breezy read full of cute and cuddly sweetness than can easily be read in an afternoon.
Author Olga Gutsol explains in a foreword that STORIES FROM THE WITCH STORE came about as an act of rebellion inspired by a middle school assignment. While her teacher may have been less than impressed, Gutsol has made a gutsy move in bringing her story out for the whole world to see. There’s nothing new or groundbreaking here. STORIES FROM THE WITCH STORE is a simple, mindless story, but it’s pleasant and entertaining in its own winsome way. Some tighter proofreading is warranted, though, as there is a considerable number of spelling and grammar errors, but they don’t make the book any less readable.
As to the story itself, it’s pure fun-and-games. The reading level is suitable for kids over the age of ten, as is the content of the book itself. Parents who might be concerned about harmful material can set their minds at ease, as STORIES FROM THE WITCH STORE is no more frightening than a day at the beach. There’s no graphic sex or violence, no truly scary scenes, and occult references are mostly fantasy-based, although bits of real-life Wicca crop up here and there. The lighthearted plot meanders at a leisurely pace, and there are some nice bits of humor, too, along with adorable illustrations that perk up the pages.
Arelia’s dry sense of humor and sassy attitude make her a fine witchy heroine, although a bit more of her backstory would have been appreciated. The diverse supporting cast consists of Arelia’s fantastical friends and the myriad of customers who initially regard Arelia with suspicion but come gradually to respect and even depend on her. All the characters come together to make the book a sweet treat.
In a nutshell, STORIES FROM THE WITCH STORE may not be innovative or ingenious, but it’s laid-back, feel-good fun.
~Heather McNamara for IndieReader