Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blog Tour - Review + Giveaway: Spell Book & Scandal by Jen McConnel

Title: Spell Book & Scandal

Series: Spell Book & Scandal #1

Author: Jen McConnel

Publication date: October 31st, 2017

Published by: Jen McConnel

Source: For review from Xpresso Book Tours

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Shelby King is tired of living in her sister’s shadow. Just because Christina is the most powerful caster in school doesn’t mean Shelby’s any good at magic; she’s a scribe, like her mom, and everyone expects her to write spells for her sister, the way her mom always has for her dad. But Shelby’s spells fail spectacularly, and by the time she’s a sophomore, Christina won’t touch them with a ten-foot-pole; their parents aren’t much better. Shelby is fed up, and she decides to show the world she doesn’t care if she isn’t as good as her stuck-up sister, or as talented as their powerful parents. In fact, she decides it’s time to break all the rules, magical and otherwise, and she starts sneaking out to meet Jeremiah Smallwood, the second-best caster in school at illegal pop-up spell battles around town. She may not be able to scribe for him, but she doesn’t mind letting him think that she could; Shelby’s been half in love with Miah as long as she can remember, but he’s never paid attention to her until now, and she’s not going to risk her chances worrying about a pesky thing like the truth. But when Christina rats her out to their parents, Shelby can’t control her anger, and words come pouring out of her that she can’t take back even if she wanted to, threatening Christina’s future…and Shelby’s own chances with Jeremiah. It’ll take more magic than Shelby’s ever dreamed of to set things right, but no scribe has that much magic…right?

My rating: ★★★★☆

Shelby is not that great with magic. Like, every time someone tries out a spell she has written, it backfires spectacularly. At this point, Shelby has pretty much given up at magic. Especially when she is being overshadowed by her super talented, perfect older sister, Christina. And it doesn’t help that Christina is a total...


She is so awful toward Shelby—always insulting and belittling her. She is just the worst! But then things start to change for Shelby. She’s done with all these magical malfunctions and decides that she doesn’t care anymore.

She starts sneaking out to spell battles (totally illegal btw) with her crush Jeremiah, who just broke up with his girlfriend and started paying attention to Shelby (yay!). But then things go wrong when Christina outs Shelby. In an angry fit, Shelby starts writing things she doesn’t mean to imbue with magic and turn into a spell, but she does and makes things go from bad to worse... for both Shelby and Christina. Both their futures hang in the balance. It will take more than magic to fix this situation that has suddenly gone awry.

I really liked Shelby! I felt so awful for how hopelessness she felt regarding her failing magic and for how she was treated by her sister. I really sympathized with and just wanted to give her a big hug.

You're too precious for this world! - 2x15 Tall Tales

Speaking of Christina, she was just the worst! I cannot believe what an awful person she was to her own family!

big jerk

But then again, I don’t have any sisters, so I don’t know how those relationships go. However, I really liked seeing their relationship shift throughout the story as they are forced to work together after a certain magical incident.

I also really liked Jeremiah. However, I am still unsure about what his true intentions were throughout the book. You see, he’s a castor and Shelby is a scribe, and maybe he only wants to use her for her spells. Shelby herself even voiced this concern a couple of times throughout the book. But I really hope that isn’t the case because he is really sweet and I like him!

One of my favorite parts about the book was the magic.

BAM! - 7x05 Shut up, Dr. Phil

Magic and any type of magic user is my absolute favorite thing to read about! And I found the magic in this to be very interesting. You see, there are two types of magic users in this world: scribes who write spells, and castors who actually cast said spells. I really loved the displays of magic, like in the sell battles, and how the magic is used in general in this world. I also found it refreshing how the general public know about magic and that Shelby and other magic users attend the same public schools as “normies.”

One thing I wish we would’ve been shown was some of Shelby utter fails at magic because they sound... Hilarious? Amazing? Awful? Amazingly awful? I don’t want to hurt Shelby’s feelings, but I would’ve loved to see her magical attempts and then them backfiring on her. Lol.

Piper-Fanarts-piper-halliwell-23271029-500-376.gif (500×376)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I loved the world and magic. I loved the protagonist and how relatable she was. There were actually some crazy things going on with Shelby and her magic... I won’t go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but her magic is changing and I need to know what it is! It’s just so exciting! I am very much looking forward to the sequel!

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About the Author:

Award-winning author Jen McConnel writes NA, YA, and nonfiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Visit to learn more!

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If not, what do you think? Does it sound like something you might want to read? Leave me a link to your review or comment below! :)


  1. Great review, Liliana! This sounds like a well written and fun read! The characters seem well developed, too!


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