Curse of the Spellmans: A Review

Have I mentioned I like books? A wee bit. Un peu. Un poco. Немного. Seriously – and yet I rarely take the opportunity to really review the books I’m reading on here – sure if you are a really devoted mommablogsalot fan you may have noticed my mini reviews on the right sidebar of my website (which are in fact a replica of the reviews I post on my GoodReads account and then email to myself for my ongoing “How many books did I read this year and which ones did I like?” list.

But enough about me boring you. I just finished reading Curse of the Spellmans which was the sequel to Lisa Lutz’s brilliant novel The Spellman Files (now in paperback!). I picked up this novel after confirming my obsession with Stephanie Plum, Veronica Mars, Alias and anything everything spy / Private Eye related – in short, I apparently love a good mystery, but prefer to avoid anything too dark and dreary – a little humor with my homicide is key, you see (no wonder I also love the TV show Bones… hmmm…). The Spellman Files and already mentioned follow-up novel? Perfect for me.

The main character, one Isabel Spellman, is a perfect example of a heroine who doesn’t always necessarily know what she’s doing, what’s best or what’s good for her – she is not a heroine in shining armor (or Armani) – she swears inappropriately and probably spills things on herself. She’s barely getting by and she knows it – which for me is oh so relateable – call me crazy but I get annoyed reading about girls who have it all perfectly together – I see them at the playground every day (okay, every day that I drag my arse to the playground to humor my poor deprived Monkey Son).

Isabel Spellman is a girl I can get behind you could say – she saves the day by the skin of her teeth, much like my other favorite book character Stephanie Plum – seriously, these two should meet, have a slice of pineapple upside down cake and chat. Maybe Plum can get Spellman to start smooching the man every person who reads Curse of the Spellmans will demand she start smooching. Maybe Spellman can give Plum some not necessarily needed tips on how to give her mother a coronary. It’d be good time, in my humble opinion.

So yeah, I finished the book – took me nine days which felt like ninety – like I kept nagging myself, “Geez, your two year old could read this book faster, Jen,” but then I finished it and thought, “You had 13 days till it was due at the library – what exactly was your rush? Other than Fearless Fourteen sitting pretty on your night stand nagging you in its shiny pink brilliance…”

I finished the book and adored it. I love to hate on Lutz’ formatting style which closely resembles a notebook of random thoughts but cleverly transforms itself into a bestselling novel. I love the footnotes that make me feel like I could convince someone I was doing my homework if that was necessary – I love her not remotely subtle plugs for her first book, The Spellman Files (now in paperback!) – it was all genius. I love feeling like I am so much smarter than the main character but still kind of wish I was more like her despite knowing I wouldn’t trade lives with her for anything in the world…

And I sincerely hope there will be more installments to come, because in my book – the case isn’t closed Ms. Izzy – not even close. I want to know more, and I’d prefer to know more as soon as humanly possible (unless Lutz can type at inhuman speed, then that’s okay by me, too).

(This review is cross-posted at my personal blog.)

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