From Goodreads: When Olivia Landry screams, people die. No wonder she’s been shunned by humans her whole life. When Olivia makes a huge mistake, she’s banished for a summer to a human town; forced to live as one of them. She’s out for revenge when she discovers the humans are different than she imagined, especially the rugged, sexy guitarist, Jackson Vance.
Pretending to be human isn’t as hard as she thought it would be…until the witch hunters attack. Now Olivia must somehow protect herself, her family, and her new human friends. There’s a problem with that. When you go around screaming, people are bound to learn your secret. Can love really conquer anything.
What I like the most about this novel is that it sits apart from traditional witch stories. All the witches have special powers—they don’t chant and read out of books to cast spells, but rather have different individual powers, a high priestess, and are in constant battle with the evil group of Venators, who are set on destroying all covens. I really enjoyed the different special powers the witches possess. For instance, Olivia can terminate anything living by directing a scream at it/them, which makes her a wonderful fighter against the Venators. Other characters have equally cool powers, such as excessive strength, healing, and the ability to foretell the future. I really enjoyed this individuality of the characters as it sets them apart and, while still dealing with magic, is similar to the old TV show heroes, which I loved! I do wish there was more information about the Venators, as I’m still curious about them, but as Amaretto Flame is the first in the series, I am sure that more light will be shed in the sequels.
Another aspect of the novel I enjoyed is that, while I think this novel is technically YA, as Olivia is 19 and dealing with many teen issues, it’s a little higher level than most YA novels. It’s still exceptionally clean, which is great, but Olivia, while coming of age and falling in love for the first time, is past school age and actually ends up working in a bar. I liked this aspect; I don’t think I’ve read any clean novels in which there is a bar, and reading about Olivia’s first experience with alcohol, falling in love with Jackson, the bar singer, and making friends with the waitresses was really fun. Olivia is a little bit older than the traditional YA, and so are some of her experiences, but I liked that this novel gives younger readers an idea about what life is like outside of school, in which they have to fend for themselves, find a job, show up to work on time, and make new friends. I just thought this was a very interesting presentation within the novel.
I really enjoyed Spencer’s writing style and the story was very captivating and full of suspense. The story is fast paced and moved between events quickly, which helped maintain my attention. I also identified with Olivia a lot, and found myself feeling similar to her in many of the situations, which is a testament to Spencer’s beautiful writing capabilities. To be able to make the reader feel alongside of a character is very hard to do, and I think Spencer did a fabulous job. Four stars.