Book Review #11: Bells and Spells by Lana Melyan

Quick Synopsis:
Ali and her friends are students at the Academy for Magic where each of them are popular in their own way. Students clear the hallway when they start coming!

But each of them harbors a secret…

When their common enemy summons Knock-Knock Santa (a twisted and evil creature), their lives and holiday are thrown into turmoil. It’s up to Ali to discover the truth about this creep and help save her friend’s Christmas.

Style/Length:
This was actually a novella! I was able to finish it in under a week– during the work day! GASP Well, obviously, I read after work, but I didn’t stay up until two a.m. with this one. It was a quick, little read and I appreciated that.

Melyan’s style was a lot different than what I’ve been reading lately. As a novella, the entire thing had to be to the point. So, the background and descriptions and such are left to conversation. I really liked that! There’s no long, drawn up backstories, no overwhelming descriptions… It’s just a simple, easy to read story about some teenage girls and their teenage problems.

Characters:
This novella has a slew of characters. Good on Melyan for making them all different, too! Ali is the main character, but her friends Millie, Debbie, and Valerie (I just noticed that all their names end in the same ee sound, lol) each have an important role in the plot. They balance each other out VERY well.

I thought it was hilarious when time after time Debbie turns into the comedic relief. Locked in a creepy Christmas cottage? “Where’s the wine?” Debbie asks. She’s also always worried about food, and I can 100% relate to that. She’s absolutely hilarious.

In terms of the character of Caleb (which I won’t ruin by telling you who HE is), I was intrigued. There’s an air of mystery around him throughout the story, and it continues on past the end. I don’t know if there’s going to be a continuation of this story involving him, but if there is, sign me up. Also, note to Melyan: You missed the obvious opportunity to name him Nick instead. You had one shot and you blew it. *eye roll* Seriously, though, I liked all the characters.

Plot:
I didn’t know what to expect from this storyline. I’m not a huge Christmas person, so I was kind of hesitant reading a story so closely knit with the holiday. Luckily for me, though, there’s not really much here in terms of traditional Christmas tales. It is definitely not a Hallmark movie (thank the LORD).

I found the plot to be both compelling and easy to follow. It was believable, and an entertaining read over all. Some of the girls’ dramatics were a bit much, but they’re teenagers. Of course they’re extra.

Overall, I’ll give this one a nine! Well written, easy to read, great characters… It was a nicely rounded book! Good job, Melyan.

You can find more information about Lana Melyan and her book Spells and Bells by clicking the following links.
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bells-Spells-Academy-Magic-Novella-ebook/dp/B08M6FC3QC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/svetlana.melyan.1
Website: https://www.lanamelyan.com

**Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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