I’m reading all kinds of wonderful books, both recently published and backlist, that I am able to share and talk about on this blog. But I recently realized there are so many books that hold a special place in my reading life that I don’t talk about because I’ve read them years ago. Note: I’m really bad about re-reading lately because there are so many new books I want to read. So, I’m instituting Flashback Friday so that I can share some of my favorite titles from the less recent past.
Old Magic by Marianne Curley
I’ve included the cover from my 2002 paperback edition above. There are other great editions of this book floating around, including one to match Curley’s Guardians of Time trilogy (which I will probably talk about later).
Not to know what happened before you were born is always to remain a child. For what is a man’s life if it is not linked with the life of future generations by memories of the past?
When Jarrod Thorton walks into Kate’s science class, she knows he has powers. After all, she’s a witch. Too bad Jarrod doesn’t believe her. After all, the paranormal doesn’t exist. But as his powers increase he has a harder and harder time denying them. Soon they are embarking on a journey to understand his powers and unravel his family secrets (hint: there’s a curse involved). This involves traveling in time for Jarrod to visit his ancestors and try to undo the curse. Along the way Jarrod and Kate’s relationship deepens. Kate and Jarrod’s story is told in chapters that alternate POV.
Bonus Points: telepathy, witches, Australia (including a handy-dandy glossary of Australian lingo in the back for us Yanks. I laugh now but I remember needing to use it to understand that bush= forest instead of, you know, a bush. I was 11.)
Upon flipping quickly back through the novel I realized it takes about halfway through the novel for Kate and Jarrod to travel back in time. If you had asked me I probably would have told you there were a couple of chapters of exposition, a quick inciting incident and then all past all the time. Obviously that’s what excited me most about this novel to completely misremember the structure (also it’s been over ten years since I read it).
Will this hold up as well for me today? Probably not. If I remember correctly the villain was kind of campy. Would I read it for nostalgia and enjoy every campy moment. Yup. I also like that Kate is the one who starts out understanding herself and her powers in this one. Curley was turning the gender and genre tropes on its head before they even really became YA tropes. There you go.
Also, my edition of this novel is a wonderful $6 mass-market paperback. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a YA novel as a mass-market paperback, especially as this was a new release when I purchased it. In theory that’s the market ebooks now fill, but often ebooks are still more expensive. The Kindle edition of Old Magic is currently listed at $6.87. I am too lazy to calculate inflation right now but I recognize that is also a factor. Regardless, I got a good bang for my buck here. Or my mom’s buck.