Conversation with a reader, part 2: Seriously Shifted

I recently interviewed Evelyn about “Seriously Shifted“, the sequel to “Seriously Wicked” by my friend Tina Connolly. You can see the first installment here. (Spoilers below!)

S: Okay, so, usually I find that when there is a series I always like the first book in the series the best, probably just because they’re explaining the world and how the magic works and stuff. But you told me before we started that the second — you like the second book better than the first book. Why is that?

E: I like the second book better because I think that there’s more elements and, well, I really like it because the whole idea is that it’s a game and I think that’s a really interesting idea.

S: I agree that, you know, it seemed like there was a lot more going on in this book, like a lot more plotlines and stuff, that Cam was running around from person to person to person. Would you agree with that?

E: Mmm hmm. I think that…it may have been harder to follow along, but personally I liked it better.

S: Yeah, you were able to follow, it was okay even though there were a lot of characters —

E: Yeah, like there are some books that it’s like, ‘And then this happened and this happened and this happened’ but this one, it wasn’t that fast — I mean it was fast paced, but it wasn’t THAT fast paced.

S: So, in the first book, a lot of the book is about Cam and her mom and she doesn’t want to admit that her mom is really her mom and stuff, but in this book they kind of have a better relationship I think?

E: Yeah

S: Just because Cam is actually trying to do witch stuff, which her mom kind of likes. Do think that they have a better relationship, or…you know, do you think Cam’s mom is happier with Cam in this book?

E: Yeah, I think so. Um, I’m not sure…I’m sure that her mom is happier, I can’t tell if Cam is happier now or before, because before, even though she didn’t like living with the witch, she at least could pretend that she wasn’t her real mom. But I don’t know if she’s happier. She gets more happy as the story goes along.

S: I think she’s happier because she can help people. You know, she likes to help people.

E: Yeah.

S: So, one of the things that Cam struggles with is that she wants to be an ethical witch, she wants to be a good witch, and she makes a list of things…what do you think about her, her efforts to do that?

E: I think that, even though she has a good idea, like about not using animal parts in spells and stuff, like, I would compare it to being a vegetarian because you want to not harm animals? But sometimes there are good sides too. Like, it’s good for you because meat has protein, or like with the spells she can help more people because she won’t have to go all over trying to find substitutes for the things she can’t use. So maybe she could just use it sometimes, when it won’t harm as much?

S: So, you think that there are some worthwhile parts of her struggle, but also you’re kind of saying that maybe she takes it too far?

E: Uh huh, because it might be….if she doesn’t want to…oh, that might be the next book.

S: No spoilers! I haven’t read the next book yet.

E: <Laughing>

S: So, one thing that we talked about in the last book, you had mentioned that maybe it would be for older kids because there were….there was–

E: Stuff…

S: Smooching. So in this book, I think there is no getting around that there’s more boy…stuff. There’s love potions and there’s multiple boys and stuff. So what did you think this time? I mean, you’re older, also.

E: True. I think this one…I find this one more appropriate. Um, I don’t think that the love potion added too much of another element…I should stop saying that because elementals are like something in the book? Well, anyway.

S: But, so, do you think it’s that you got older, and so–

E: I’m not sure.

S: Because there’s more smooching, for sure.

E: Okay. I don’t remember the book as well, I should reread it.

S: <laughing>

S: Witches are always shown to be very tricky, and even when they’re helping, they’re still kind of doing their own thing. For example, Malkin…seems like she’s doing this contest but really she doesn’t care about the contest, she really just wants to find a shifter. And Cam’s mom, Sarmine, she…even though she’s helping Cam through the whole book, she’s kind of not helping her because she has her own plans. It just makes me think it would…it’s hard for me to imagine a witch as a mom. You know, even though Cam and Sarmine get along better in this book, they still don’t seem like they’re…really getting along well, you know?.

E: Uh huh, well, I think it’s better than getting tied up by a pumpkin plant. <Laughing>

S: <Laughing> That’s true, that’s true.

E: Uh huh, so…

S: But do you think that she and her mom will ever come to have a good relationship? And do you think that it would be required for her to turn into a full witch in order for that to happen?

E: I think that, I think that she can just stay the same. Because, I feel like, more than changes in Cam, we’ve also seen some changes in Sarmine’s character. Like, respecting her more and stopping trying to make her do stuff–

S: She still tries, she still wants her to use ingredients–

E: But she doesn’t push her as hard or like, punish her as much–

S: That’s true. She’s definitely more on Cam’s side, for sure.

E: Yeah. I think that they need to do something together, like a girl’s night out or something.

S: <Laughing> Okay. But it would probably turn into like a witchy disaster.

E: Probably.

S: Are there any final thoughts you want to say on this book? I know that you already read the third book…

E: Yes, there is something I want to say. I think that it is AMAZING how, um, Jenna and Henny and…who was the…? Oh yeah. How they were bouncing back, and it was pretty amazing how, even after all these bad things happened to them they were like, were still going to try to be happy. It reminds me, I think there was one time in the book where one of the witches was like, “I’ve played this game before and I was, like, throwing worms and turnips on this guy and he was just shouting, ‘It’s great to be alive! It’s great to be alive!'” <Laughing>

S: Yeah. That’s one thing I definitely liked, was just all the…all of Cam’s friends, how they all got involved. Even Sparkle–

E: “Yeah, Sparkle, her change in behavior. She absolutely¬†detested her in the last book, and I think that they’re going to become friends.

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