Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily tells the tale of Grape (named after grape soda because her father was sucking them down during her birth), her mother (a doctor), and her younger brother, Brad (a plant fanatic) who move to a small town in Missouri from Virginia. To clue you in to what type of novel this is, sortilege means foretelling, magic, sorcery.
Grape starts her first day of school in this new town, somewhat cocky, certain that she’ll find her classes (no need of a map, says she) and equally certain that she’ll make friends, because she never had a problem before. Neither of those things works out for her.
And then she meets The Models. The teachers and the entire student body (and it turns out the entire town) worship the hallowed ground that The Models walk on. Even Grape sees how beautiful they are, but they’re all really unpleasant, except for Mandy who befriends Grape.
Suddenly two of The Models who were born in Sortilege Falls but who have pursued acting and modeling careers outside of Missouri fall ill and then die. Then the models in Sortilege begin to fall ill. Grape suspects that something is afoot and decides to investigate.
The premise behind Welcome to Sortilege Falls is intriguing, however, the mystery seems solved just as you are really getting into it and the abrupt ending makes you think that there are more things to come. Also, some concepts/characters that were introduced were not thoroughly treated, which means that there is a sequel or there are loose ends.
There is not much in the way of characterization. Grape comes across as rather shallow as do most of the characters with the exception of Mandy, who shows a bit more depth.
This is touted as a Young Adult novel, but I think it falls more aptly into the Teen category, which is 14 and under. Regarded from that viewpoint, I think a younger audience would appreciate this novel more than I did.
I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Welcome to Sortilege Falls will be published on May 31, 2016 by Fire and Ice YA Publishing.
From Amazon: Welcome to Sortilege Falls
rating: (2 butterflies and a ladybug; you know, because I don’t halve butterflies!)