Book Review: Keeper
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
Magic always leaves a mark.
When the ghost of a 200-year-old witch attacks her on the road, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. But even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to buy into all that “hocus pocus nonsense”—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.
After the library archives and even Google come up empty, Lainey gives in and consults a psychic. There she discovers that, like her mother, she’s a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous spellbook. But the Grimoire is missing, stolen years ago by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world's magic.
With the help of her comic-book-loving, adventure-hungry best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave behind her life of books and studying to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.
* I was given Keeper by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Now I’m going to tell you the Good, the Bad, and my Final thoughts on the book.
I love the world of Keeper, it takes in modern-day, in a small town and Lainey needs to study for her SATs, but it’s free comic book day, and her best friend Maggie needs her Avengers fix, but there’s also witches, wizards, faes, and dyrads.
The characters are wonderful. Maggie is my favorite. She’s Lainey’s best friend and when the world around Lainey begins to fall apart, Maggie holds her down, she has her back, even if she’s a bit jealous. Maggie is a huge fantasy nerd, but Lainey is the one who gets the awesome powers. There’s a scene in which Maggie talks about how she’s always wanted to be a superhero and how jealous she was that it happened to Lainey instead, but that didn’t stop Maggie from being there for her friend.
What I loved about Lainey was, she didn’t readily accept what was going on, she didn’t jump right into wanting to save the world. It was a lot to process and it took time to get used to it. Of course, it would have helped had she’d been properly prepared for it. Her Uncle Gareth kept the truth about her family from her and she doesn’t let him get off the hook for it. Being an adult doesn’t mean all your decisions are correct, especially as far as your wards are concerned.
Lainey also understands the greatness of a PB&J. I work at a preschool and I'm a foodie, but whenever a kid brings in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, that's what I want to eat for the rest of the day.
The romance. Lainey and Ty together are adorable. He’s respectful, sweet, and stands by her, rather than in front of her. I know that seems like a low bar to set, but I’ve run into too many novels, where the girl is with a disrespectful asshole just because he’s hot and makes her feel all ooey-gooey inside.
The romance. I know I put this in the good section, but I have to sin it for its troupe nature. While Ty may not have the love interest troupe personality; he has the looks. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and mysterious. He’s also a badass, look at those intense blue eyes as he street fights in an alleyway, and this bad boy falls for the super smart, super awkward, plain Jane protagonist.
It takes place in modern-day. Yes, I know, another one that has a negative outlook as well as a positive one. I love that it’s our world with magic and monsters, but there were so many pop culture references I felt like I should be consuming those products instead of enjoying the story of Keeper.
This is probably a really subjective point, and I’m sure people like this may exist in real life, but the way YA would have you believe, it’s the most common thing in the world. Lainey and Ty both LOVE the Great Gatsby. Look, I’ve been to a lot of High schools, been in many reading groups and while not everyone hated the classic books schools made us read, no one carried around weathered copies of Wuthering Heights. Their playlists weren’t full of Bach and Beethoven. I have songs like Fur Elise on my iPod, but it does not outplay “Eve” and “Pink’s” Let Me Blow Your Mind.
I feel like this started as a way to make their characters seem endearing or different, but it’s being used so much now it’s just a terrible gimmick that makes me kind of hate the character.
I knew about Keeper before it became a book. I follow Kim Chance on YouTube, she gives out great advice, her bubbly personality is infectious, and she wrote a great book. It’s not flawless, but it has heart and I’m certainly looking forward to the sequel. Especially after that ending. I mean, what the hell Ms. Chance, that was not very nice. What’s worse is, I have an ARC copy of this book, Keeper doesn’t release until the end of January and that means I have to wait that much longer for the next installment.
Rating Style: Amazing Great Good Meh Bad Horrible Garbage
Overall Rating: Great