The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Published by: Skyscape
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
I requested The Casquette Girls because of the New Orleans setting which seemed pretty perfect for a witchy story. I did not know however, that I was signing up for a vampire book as well. If vampires and witches are alive in this universe does that mean other supernatural creatures will be added as the series continues? I’m not sure if I’m willing to stick around long enough to find out.
C H A R A C T E R S
Adele, has just moved back from her mother’s house in France to her home town New Orleans which is in the recovering stages after the worst storm on record. The city is falling apart and the damage is described in a lot of detail which really builds a picture of the local area and translates well into how much Adele loves the city. What I didn’t understand however, is that she could love a city so much that she would choose to stay there instead of move with into her best friend’s house in LA and go to a fashion academy with a program that’s absolutely perfect for her needs. But she needs to stay in NO because otherwise how else would be learn about the secret curse that’s threatening everyone in the city?
Adele felt a little bit flat. She’s got a lot of love for her city and her Dad, but when it comes to standing up for what she really wants she’s not very strong. Like Bella from Twilight I found her to be a frustrating protagonist.
Asides from that I really enjoyed the other characters there was a great mix of nationalities and ages. The author really worked hard to represent the different subcultures of New Orleans. If I read the second book I hope the secondary characters get more of a spot light, as Adele was definitely made out to be the most important character in the story.
R O M A N C E (mild spoilers)
Eugh. Love triangle. With vampires and witches no less, oh my.
Isaac, who works with her Dad vs. Nicco, the Italian boy who’s searching for the rest of his family after the storm. Isaac didn’t really have a hope in hell let’s be honest, and seriously if Adele doesn’t let him down easy in the next book then I will be ridiculously annoyed, because there is no way she should be stringing this guys along! As for Nicco, he’s the Edward of this romance. He’s dangerous but Adele still trusts him, except at the end when she thinks he’s abandoned her, when really he was just saving her life (?!!1!?) seriously, if this girls doesn’t pick up on these things then I am so DONE.
Either way the romances didn’t work. The personalities of the main characters were pretty cliche. The romances lacked chemistry, I think.
P L O T A N D P A C I N G
This book is over five hundred pages. 5oo. It definitely could have been shorter. The first part reads almost like a diary where we hear about literally everything Adele does from one day to the next, which was just not interesting. In the second part the diary entries from Adeline, one of the original witches of the coven, are introduced to spice up the narrative, but even so I wanted to know more about what was happening in the present day.
I think there could have been a lot more scenes in the high-school to give the book a taste of real life. It was quite slow paced and repetitive, especially in the beginning where we’re supposed to be picking up all the clue for the rest of the plot like the raven that attacks Adele on her arrival, and the fact that she gives a guy called Ren a Team Edward t-shirt. Foreshadowing!
V E R D I C T
Undoubtedly the strength of this book was the setting. Regardless of my more negative comments it’s still one of the better southern witch books I’ve read, certainly better than The Dolls even though it shared a similar theme. If you like witches or supernatural things in general, or maybe you just want to get whisked away by the magic of the French Quarter, then I would definitely recommend The Casquette Girls, but maybe persevere with it, because it sets up a pretty great cliffhanger for the rest of the series.