4 stars

Blog Tour: Review + GIVEAWAY! - Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily

June 29, 2016

Welcome to Sortilege Falls

by Libby Heily
Genre: YA Magical Mystery
Release Date: June 12th 2016
Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
Rating: ★★★★
Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn't right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape's life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape's life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy's friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models' parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

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Welcome to sortilege falls is a very weird book. Considering it's a mystery, that is to be expected I guess. Strangely, I found myself enjoying it very much!
 A girl named Grape moves to a new small town, Sortilege Falls, with her brother and mother. She expects everything to be alright - she thinks she'll make new friends and find her way around instantaneously. However, an encounter with the Models, a group of suspiciously gorgeous individuals,  causes her to change her mind. The way they treat her (like a trash can,) and the way they are treated by others (like divine gods/goddesses in possession of immense power,) makes Grape suspicious, and she is determined to find out the reason behind the weird happenings at Sortilege Falls.

  • The Mystery - The town this book takes place in, Sortilege Falls, has a group of models: Moya, Adam, Lonnie, Xavier and Mandy. They seem to be beautiful in an out-worldly way, and everybody in the town seems to be more than willing to comply to their every need. They're more like brainwashed, mindless alien-servants with no control over themselves or against the models. The mystery is finding out why they have so much control over the people of the town, and why they seem unusually dazzling. The way it unravels is very interesting, although there was almost no foreshadowing or build-up involved.
  • Graeson - Graeson is Grape's creepy admirer/neighbour who is very like the stereotypical goth/emo character and pretends to be a vampire and dresses up as one. Yes, he is quite annoying and self-absorbed at times but the things he did to "attract" Grape were hilarious! I never thought I would enjoy reading about a creepy stalker, but he made me laugh my head off lot.
  • Mandy - Mandy is the one model who isn't as bitchy or bratty as the others. She actually attempts to make friends with Grape and make her feel welcome in the new town, and she actually makes an effort not to treat everyone else in the town as disposable utensils. She feels bad about the power she has over the people, although she can't help it. Also, her childhood story and family experiences were heart-breaking, and I was moved by her brave decisions
  • Grape's family - Grape's mother is actually motherly and has true parental instincts, unlike the models' parents. She is incredibly understanding of Grapes situation, being the new girl in a close-kit town, and she is very protective of both her daughter and son. Grape has a typical relationship with her brother, Brad - the usual bickering, the occasional sibling love, the on-and-off protective feeling, that kind of thing. Brad is also a very cute younger brother, with a weird addiction with plants and a few annoying tendencies. The whole family dynamic is great, and very enjoyable.
  • The Models' relationship with each other - Yes, most of the time, they are horrible, terribly spoilt brats. However, their friendship with each other is very strong and pretty unbreakable. They always have each others' backs, no matter what, and that's a bond that's extremely hard to form or break. They are the only ones who understand what it's like for them, and that forms a very close-knit clique which I admire.

  • Grape's attitude - Grape was quite annoying most of the time. She was constantly acting as if she was superior to the town and its people, and she kept judging everybody based on their appearances. Some of her thoughts and dialogues were very bitchy and cliché. Although I sympathise with her situation, and I understand she was taking her anger at being thrown into a new life on everything and everybody else, she was way too cocky and judgmental. Her quick-as-lightning temper and constant frustration didn't help. 
  • The Models' Attitude - I mean, it's pretty self-explanatory. I completely understand why they were like this: they were treated as if they could do no wrong, leading them to believe this concept; they were treated as money-making machines at home instead of actual humans; the only healthy relationship or association they had with humans was with each other. These are appropriate excuses for their behaviour, but it doesn't make them very likeable by the non-brainwashed outsiders (like us book-nerds.) They treated everyone like dirt and came off as incredibly heartless to me.
  • The Ending - I felt it was a bit too abrupt. The solution was very out-of-the-blue, and I didn't feel as if the explanation was very explanatory. Certain elements woven into the ending came out of nowhere and made all the supposed build up seem invalid. Although there was a very clear solution, it could have been built up and dragged out a bit more instead of being thrown at the reader like a bomb.

Overall, Welcome to Sortilege Falls is an interesting mystery read with unique elements you probably haven't seen before. The characters are very intriguing and make you want to pry into their lives as much as you can. The actual mystery is very unique and although the solution may seem abrupt, it is definitely there and will leave you wanting more. 

About the Author

I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool, but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.

Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true. 

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