Review – Hidden in Roll: Book 1 by Stephanie B. Whitfield

This isn’t my usual genre, as it’s a YA book about being a teenager and all the awkwardness one feels surrounding boys and Prom and dealing with parents and siblings. I can’t identify with that at all so why did I read it? I was curious. The title is odd, and it has some mystical witchy goings-ons I was intrigued by. I’m part of an engagement group on Instagram and I’m gradually working my way through at least one of each author’s books, hence the wide variety of choices.

So here we have Jo, shy, awkward unless she’s on a horse, breathlessly in love with a boy who feels the same way. Prom is coming up, and Jo is gradually realising she has some strange healing powers. This leads to some conflict with her boyfriend’s brother, who is a witch hunter, and a lot of angsty scenes with her widowed father.

It was a lovely story, written in the style of a gawky teenager finding her feet. I really did feel for Jo and all the challenges she faces. It was a sweet, lovely mystical romance with a hint of danger looming in the distance.

I thought the editing and dialogue could have been tighter. There seemed to be a few too many pointless exchanges which slowed the story down and made it seem a lot longer than the 240 pages it actually was. That was a shame, as this is a good-hearted, YA story of a girl growing into womanhood in a small town, who has to accept she is different from others and how she deals with that.

Finally, her boyfriend is dreamy and I adored him. He was a great example of non-toxic masculinity, and their tender scenes were beautifully realised. Although I wasn’t compelled to continue the series, I can imagine why other readers would. Roll is anything but a nowhere town, filled with really great characters. And the book covers are divine!

BLURB

Book cover for Hidden in Roll, showing a teenaged girl casting a spell.

Josephine Baker’s life takes an unimaginable turn after finding out the family secret; that she has magical powers. This new found knowledge leads to a series of exciting and daring events that will alter her life as she knows it. School, boys and drama quickly become entangled in the world of magic. As she starts to get a handle on her new life, a witch hunter shows up in her small town of Roll. Now that he has found Josephine, he is determined to be the one who eliminates her from the face of the earth… just like he already did to her mother!

Published by Lady J's Pawsome Readers

As well as reviewing books, I'm a writer of romantic suspense, MM fiction and LGBTQIA sci-fi. One of the original founders of WROTE Podcast, a medium for showcasing queer storytelling in all forms.

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