***This book was provided by NetGalley and St Martin's Press in exchange for my honest review***
This novel starts out by introducing us to a 17-year-old named Lainey who wants to be like any other young teenager. She wants to become a successful young woman who aces her placement tests and travel the world to discover new places - little does she know all of her dreams are going to crash down around her when she starts seeing a 200-year-old witch appear everywhere she goes. At first she denies the idea of a ghost emerging out of nowhere because she looks at problems logically, but it’s only a matter of time till she learns of past secrets of the witch and her ancestors. It comes to light that she is a keeper, the only known witch to possess a power so strong she can open the Grimoire, a dangerous spell book, which was previously in the hands of her ancestors to protect. Now it is Lainey’s job to help protect the contents of the Grimoire once again from an evil warlock who stole the Grimoire many years ago.
When I began reading Keeper it was slow to start in the pace for the plot, but after getting a few chapters into the book events started warming up and becoming suspenseful! The book had many twists and turns for the reader, some of which I did not see coming at all! I’ve been reading YA novels for many years now so to be surprised, especially by a first-time author, left me excited and anxious of what was to come next with each passing chapter.
I appreciated the well-written characters from start to finish. Besides the main character Lainey, my favorite character was her spunky best friend Maggie who had a knack for quoting and referencing superhero comics! I related quite a bit with both Lainey and Maggie being a booknerd and Marvel fan! They both show courageous attributes and I found myself admiring Lainey in her transformation of being a normal everyday teenager to a confident heroine sacrificing herself for the greater good. As for the villain, although we didn’t see a lot of him until later in the book I felt the author wrote him with an interesting personality that I’m sure we’ll see more of in a sequel. Then there was Ty, he was quite the first love interest for Lainey. He was there to hold her hand through most of the story as she became accustomed to her growing power. I even grew to care for him and his fighting skills, but unfortunately, I can’t say much besides that without giving much away! Also, I enjoyed learning more about Lainey’s ancestor throughout the book, I feel that a lot of writers leave big chunks of history out of the story to try to add to the plot, but I find that annoying. I very much appreciated knowing more about the witch’s backstory.
I noticed a few similarities of common tropes in other young adult fantasy novels, but because the author included so many twists and turns I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars! I hope the author publishes a sequel soon because I’m dying to read the next chapter in Lainey’s story of protecting the world of magic!