Book info

Old Magic (2002)

Old Magic (2002)
Rating
3.91 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0743437691 (ISBN13: 9780743437691)
languge
English
publisher
simon pulse
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Old Magic (2002)
Old Magic (2002)

About book: Okay. I dislike this book. I read it awhile ago, around last year or so, and back then it used to be more of a vitriolic hate, and it's simmered down now, but I still remember this one with some distaste. The plot itself is fine, and is actually rather a cool concept. Kate, the granddaughter of a witch, and Jarrod, a boy from a family cursed with generations of bad luck, meet when Jarrod transfers to Kate's school. With her knowledge in magic and her grandmother's help, the two travel back in time to medieval Britain to stop the curse at its root. The problems are mainly our main characters, Kate and Jarrod. Kate is "not like other girls" to the extreme, in the way that she's an outcast at her school and seems to put herself above other people. This book, like many others, seems to have an issue with typical femininity, and that shows through Kate's treatment of Tasha. Tasha pouts sulkily. The image sparks a vicious thought. One thing that annoys me is Tasha's portrayal of a dumb airhead. She's not dumb. In fact, she's the most intelligent girl in the whole grade. But she acts like a bimbo, puffing out feminine charm by the bucket load. And the guys love it. I think of a spell that will make her body create a flush of testosterone. I colorfully visualize her delicate flawless cheeks disappearing beneath a layer of bristly dark facial hair. The thought makes me dizzy.Tasha doesn't do much else but be pretty and hit on Jarrod. We see more animosity from Kate towards Tasha rather than vice versa. Characters like Tasha and Pecs don't exist to be people, they exist to fulfill some fictional stereotype about high school hierarchy and show how awesome and different the protagonist is. This book was written in 2005, which I might cut it some slack for (I remember a lot of media with stuff like this back then) but it's something that still persists to this day. It's beyond old, quite frankly. I only just graduated high school last year and let me tell you, the people writing characters like Tasha and Pecs seem to have had a very different high school experience from me. So yeah, this is the girl we're supposed to be rooting for. Kate shows a lot of hatefulness for a protagonist, and that would be fine, interesting even, if she were ever proven wrong or called out on it. Not only that, but she's a bit of a hypocrite, saying once that she's respectful of privacy (towards her grandmother Jillian) but then invades minds and reads the thoughts and emotions of her peers every opportunity she gets. She only holds up her own moral standard when it's in regards to someone she actually likes."I'm taking you to see my grandmother.""Is she a nurse?""Not exactly, but she's a whole lot better than the office staff playing with first aid." Did I say condescending? Because yeesh, that is definitely a thing. Kate, the girl who wrapped a cut with a "clean-looking" rag used for wiping up spills in a high school chemistry class, is looking down professionals who needed four years of nursing school and a legal licensing to practice, minimum. As opposed to her hippie witch grandmother who runs a tourist shop for a living. (This story takes place in Australia, not the states, so I imagine laws are slightly different there, but one would hope Australia would not allow any amateur to walk onto school grounds and get hired as the nurse.) There's also the later line of "These poor peasants don't have the skills to procure a curse" which is a whole problem in its own right. She keeps this attitude up until the middle to end of the book, at which point she starts getting attacked, harassed, and kidnapped at every turn and loses all her own agency in favor of Jarrod's own development. Ahh, Jarrod. He's slightly more tolerable. Definitely spineless around the beginning, but still just a bit of a dick. He can't seem to decide if Kate is crazy or if he actually believes what she's telling him about magic; he flip-flops between the two constantly in their first few meetings. I can't blame him for being iffy about Kate, considering how she is she runs hot and cold with him a lot, either berating and insulting him, or... Well.She runs over, takes my elbow, crooning softly and petting my arm. I suddenly feel like an abandoned puppy she's found on the side of the road. "It's okay. Don't worry," she says. "I shouldn't have gone off like that. Jillian is always better with words than me. C'mon Jarrod, come back with me. It's not far now."Yikes. You know, this is just a hunch, but something tells me the mood switching wouldn't be so tolerated if the genders were switched. That's just me, though. Immediately after that, we get:Eventually I let her lead me. It's easier to give in. My policy is to avoid scenes wherever possible. And I guess my curiosity has kicked in. Surely she can't be too sick, at least not dangerously. She has to be about sixteen, like me. She's in my class. And I imagine they don't let delusional teenagers into schools nowadays. They have special homes for that sort of thing.YIKES. And not just for the abysmal sentence breaks!So! With those protagonists, we go back in time to England, to a village with a castle whose name escapes me. But that's not important. They go and stay with Jarrod's ancestors, who accept their relative and his young "wife" no questions asked! It's all very convenient. What else is convenient is our villain! By which I mean he literally wears all black and lives in the creepy dark castle on the hill surrounded by swirling storm clouds. I am not exaggerating. To the north, on the twin peak stands another keep, also on a cliff edge. I can't seem to draw my eyes away from it. It looks isolated and strangely sinister. The tallest point is a circular tower that stretches so high, rumbling dark clouds threaten to obscure it.I wonder who the villain is and where he lives. We don't know. The only thing he's missing is a moustache to twirl. Since Tasha is missing, she's replaced by Jarrod's cousin Emmeline! She is introduced with a "mix of shyness and slyness" and Kate dislikes her instantly, of course. Yawn, moving on. Kate gets kidnapped by Rhauk, who tempts her with offering to teach her dark magic, and Jarrod stays at his family's keep to focus on training his own magic to save her. Kate...somehow loses her ability to use her own magic to save herself, and with the POV switching the only description of Jarrod's "training" is him standing shirtless in a garden. And for witch-hunting era, his family is surprisingly okay with all this magic their long-lost relative is displaying! It's a book with a good concept, but some bad and cliche execution. Horribly, horribly cliche. Possible ways I personally could like it more: Take away Kate's awful judging mentality, stick with one characterization for your characters, actually give others some real characterization. Give Kate and Jarrod's romance some more development, I don't know. I had ideas for improving the story but that's not my place to go on about/that's what fanfiction is for.I mean, granted, it was published ten years ago. Authors can very definitely improve a lot in that vast span of time; I definitely have since I started writing five years ago, and indeed, I did read Curley's far more recent work Hidden, and while not perfect it's certainly a step up. So while I really didn't like this book, I wouldn't have a problem looking into more of the author's recent works.

2.5 stars is what I really want to give it.When I first read an excerpt of the first chapter at Amazon.com, I thought- fantastic! A high school story, yes, but one where this bumbling boy, unaware of how much power he has, comes into contact with a girl who realises just how dangerous he could be- and he refuses to believe her!It seemed like a plot that could only get funnier and more complicated as the chapters turned. Right?NO.When I finally chased the book down- it was because of this book that I first took to online book stores- I found that after that first very promising chapter, everything goes downhill.Bummer, right?I'll give you a synopsis here- SPOILER! SPOILER! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!It begins in a classroom where Kate is sitting amidst a class full of people who think she is crazy and a witch- the real thing. A new boy walks in and its clear that he could win awards in clumsiness as he makes his way to his seat. He is, however, good-looking and something about him attracts Kate's attention. As the blurb says, he then gets teased by the (forever indispensable) class bully and starts a storm inside the room.Completely unaware that he caused it, the guy- Jarrod- is taken aback when Kate confronts him.He thinks she's crazy, but beautiful and when she leaves the school building and decides to go home, he goes with her.She tries to convince him that he has a lot of powers and that she had never seen anything like it. Jarrod decides that even the company of a pretty girl isn't enough to make him tolerate all this nonsense and tells her he's going back.Kate convinces him to come home and meet her grandmother- the local witch- and when this lady comes screaming out of the house, crying, 'snakes, snakes!' Jarrod figures he's really had enough!OK, now I'll fast forward.After that first day, Jarrod avoids Kate like the plague and Kate feels hurt because she liked him. He gets drawn into the local cool cliché and starts going out with a girl (the prettiest, most popular, cheer-leader stereotype) who hates Kate with a vengeance and loves making her miserable.One evening, in a restaurant, Jarrod's out with his new friends and Kate's there with her best friend. His friends make fun of Kate and as Jarred's anger rises, he spins out of control again and an unprecedented earthquake hits the place. After this particular incident, Jarrod starts taking Kate a little more seriously.Together they discover that a long time ago a powerful curse had been placed on his family resulting in extreme bad luck for all the descendants of that line and that sooner or later Jarrod was likely to either be permanently mutilated in some way or die.With the help of Kate's grandmother they try finding some way out of this and they do- they decide they must go back to the Middle Ages to prevent the curse from being placed in the first place.Now you must be thinking- wow, exciting concept. Bleh. For one thing- the ease with which these two stumble around old (very old) England is laughable! They walk up to Jarrod's ancestral castle\fort and claim they are distant relations and oh! married to each other.And the family embraces them in their loving way.Why, oh why, did the author think she could pull this off? The story was still okay while they were in present day, but after the time travel it became almost unbearable! They save lives of people who would have been killed by poison (because they had read in Kate's grandmother's 'book' that that was what happens) and thus prevented war and then Kate gets kidnapped by the evil, evil bad guy and Jarrod now must prepare (with the help of the grateful family) to go into a magic duel to the death.Damn, I'm still making this sound good.The problem is that I don't buy it. Yes, it's fantasy and make belief- but a good, really good story is the sort that says and does outrageous things all the while making you wish that it was all true because- damn- its all so amazing!Kate and Jarrod are obviously supposed to (and do) fall in love, but it's handled with such a clumsy hand, I really don't want to go into that.The witch grandmother was waaay too stereotypically wiccan to say anything more- she is also stereotypically nice. Basically she has the character of a cardboard. Same with the cheerleader girlfriend and the class bully, and in a parallel, the pretty girl in the middle ages who wants Jarred. Okay, now. I'm done.
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Reviews
P.Q. Glisson
My daughter has had this book in our family library since a book fair came to her school when she was in middle school. It's been waiting patiently for about ten years now. She pulled it off the shelf and read it first. Then she hounded me to read it so I finally gave in. Did I ever tell you that she has never steered me wrong? Well, this was no exception. It started out like every other teenage angst novel. The unusual girl and the boy she is drawn to. But, what got me was it turned out to be a time-travel story. Kate and Jarrod had to go back to medieval time to stop a curse a sorcerer had put on his ancestors.The chemistry between Kate and Jarrod is smokin hot.If I had anything negative to say, it would be that Marianne Curley needed to write a sequel. It left it wide open for one. Hey, maybe we can get a petition together and present it to her. What do you say?Solid 5 stars for Old Magic!
nurmawati
Tokoh dari "present time" :-------------------------------------------Jarrod = clumsy but totaly hot... keluarganya dikutuk sejak ratusan tahun yang lalu...bakal banyak kematian dan kemalangan di keluarganya kalo dia gak memusnahkan kutukan itu..Kate = an outsider di sekolahnya karena dianggap keturunan penyihir...Gak tau siapa ayah kandungnya dan dari kecil ditinggal ibunya utk dirawat jillian...Kate punya kekuatan bisa masuk ke pikiran org lain dan merasakan tanpa org lain tau dia menginvasi pikiran merekaJillian = nenek kate yang dianggap witch dan punya kekuatan magicTasha & jessica = mean cheerleaders yang ngejar2 jarrodTokoh from "the past" (medieval time) :-----------------------------------Rhauk = keturunan leluhur keluarga jarrodyang mengutuk keluarga jarrod dan punya black magic yang kuat...Dia illegitimate child...dendam karena gak diaku...Berusaha menjadikan kate ratu nya dan tinggal di istana nya...Richard = paman jarrod...lord of apa gitu...yang mewarisi kastil dan jadi penguasa disana tapi tetap takut dengan kekuatan sodara tiri nya, raukh...Eloise = istri richardMalcolm = anak tertua richard, calon pewaris kastil yang awalnya gak suka jarrod tapi akhirnya mau membantu jarrodEmmeline = adik malcolm....ce bitchy yang ngejar2 jarrod (gak dimana2 jarrod tetep aja menarik perhatian ce2 ‎°©k©k©k©k° ... :p )intinya ttg jarrod, murid baru yang pindah ke kota kecil dan sekolah tempat kate tinggal....Walau jarrod clumsy tapi dia disukai gadis2....dan ternyata jarrod membawa kutukan, keluarga nya selalu di timpa kemalangan bahkan ada kematian...Awalnya jarrod gak percaya dengan semua magic2 an dan mengganggap kate insane walo dari awal dia memiliki rasa ketertarikan yang kuat ke kate, dan berusaha gak mengakui nya dengan cara lebih memilih hang out dengan murid2 populer di sekolahnya dan cuekin kate...Setelah adik satu2 nya hampir mati kecelakaan dan ayahnya gak sadar mencoba bunuh diri akhirnya jarrod percaya gak percaya minta bantuan kate dan jillian buat memusnahkan kutukan dengan cara pergi ke masalalu dan mencari akar kutukannya berasal..So dengan kekuatan gillian, pergilah jarrod dan kate ke masa lalu ke leluhur keluarga jarrod ratusan tahun yang lalu...Yang mengutuk keturunan keluarga jarrod ternyata adalah raukh, anak haram keluarga itu yang marah karena gak di aku dan gak mewarisi kastil dsb nya peninggalan ayah nya...Sejak melihat kate raukh tau ƙäĽ☺ kate juga punya kekuatan seperti dirinya, raukh menculik kate dan memaksa kate tinggal di kastilnya supaya dia gak bunuh jarrod dan ilangin kutukan turun temurunnya...Demi jarrod kate akhirnya setuju berbohong pada jarrod kalo dia lebih memilih tinggal sama raukh...Jarrod yang gak mau ninggalin kate akhirnya berlatih menggunakan kekuatannya di bantu sama ancestor nya, paman richard dan sepupunya yang ternyata jahat, malcolm.Tujuan jarrod hanya 1...membawa kate pulang....soalnya jarrod akhirnya mengakui kalo dia "menginginkan" kate lebih dari yang lain....So bisakah jarrod melawan raukh yang memiliki kekuatan sihir yang besar dan bisa menghapus kutukan turun temurun keluarga nya serta membawa kate kembali ke masa depan ???
Bianca
I read this book ages ago (okay, no, it was just seven or eight years ago). It was one of the first fantasy novels I read, and something in me just... clicked on. While I loved books before, this for me was a discovery. It was cathartic to let go of all my problems for a few hours and disappear in a fictitious world. In somebody else's life. Everyone has been an awkward teen, this novel taught me that I could become someone else in a novel.I wrote for the first time, after I read this novel. And that, too, felt liberating.I... I'm very grateful for this novel.It's not the best novel I've ever read, but it changed me a bit. For me it's very important and I hope that those of you that read it will enjoy it a tenth of what I did,
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