Amelia and the Secret of Stoney Manor by Michelle Jetton
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Publication Date: November 2015
Amelia is truly not your average girl and neither is her story.
Abandoned by her mother at a young age and raised by an overly-protective grandmother, Matilda, Amelia is confined to the grounds of her childhood home, Stoney Manor. Amelia meets Matthew Fairchild, the new boy in town, and quickly becomes infatuated with him. Soon Amelia discovers things aren’t always what they seem in the little town of Cave Spring, Ga.
On her 16th birthday, life as she knows it changes. Her grandmother confesses to her that she and her family are witches and the Darkness is after her for her family’s power. Along with her friend, Luna, she embarks on a journey to discover who she really is.
Can she protect her family from the Darkness? Is maintaining her relationship with her new boyfriend Matthew even possible? Can she uncover her family’s secrets or will they remain in the dark forever?
*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Amelia lives with her grandmother in the large, pretty much isolated Stoney Manor. She has been separated from society for so long that she has never seen devices as commonplace as the MP3 player. On her sixteenth birthday, it is revealed to her that she comes from a family of witches, and she has to fight Darkness and let light prevail.
I really thought I would love Amelia and the Secret of Stoney Manor. Sadly, a few things didn’t allow me to enjoy the story as much as I thought I would. To start with, I had a hard time connecting with most of the characters. Their actions seemed rather unnatural, and I just couldn’t help but roll my eyes a few times. The fact that Amelia and her grandmother had been away from society for so long did make me a bit understanding with how awkward their behaviours came across, so things got better eventually.
Seeing that this happens to be the first book in a series, I expected more of a back story about the moon witches and the Darkness. I got a little, but not enough (I guess I’m greedy like that). I also would have liked a little more descriptive phrases; phrases that would “show” instead of merely “tell”.
I was not entirely on board with the idea of Amelia and Matthew’s romance: it seemed like one moment they were meeting and the next, they were exchanging I love you’s. I think it would have been better if the author waited till the next book in the series before writing about the love between the characters.
But not to worry, I don’t dislike everything about the story. I like the premise of the story, and Grandma Matilda did leave me feeling a bit curious and looking forward to reading more about her. It was nice to “see” Amelia develop as a character; and of course, the supernatural powers. Who doesn’t like a good dose of supernatural power?
Overall, Amelia and the Secret of Stoney Manor is a book that has potential as far as series go. It has a good blend of mystery and adventure, with some magic thrown in for good measure.