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Miss Clark

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Firespell - Chloe Neill Lily Parker is the new girl at the Chicago school for the rich and spoilt, St.Sophia's, while her philosophy professor parents are off doing research in Germany during her last two years of high school. Surrounded by snobs and heiresses, Lily's only prospect for a friend is her rebel suitemate, Scout Green, who has a penchant for disappearing for hours at night and calling it exercise. Clearly a lie, but Lily is not yet ready to upset their budding friendship by outing her. But sooner or later, these things always do come out and Scout happens to be magically gifted, but unlike the majority of magic users who see themselves as superior to humans because of their awesome powers, Scout doesn't use other people to further her power. Along with six others, she helps protect Chicago from the other magic users intent on sacrificing anyone and everyone in their quest for power and prestige. They are the Dark Elite and Scout and her friends are the Adepts, magic users who will have to give up their magic in a few years or suffer becoming a parasite feeding off of the energy of others to retain their magic powers. But when Lily gets hit by some firespell while helping Lily and her friends escape from some Dark Elitists, she develops some supernatural powers, ones that normally only Dark Elitists have. Lily is determined to fight on the right side, but she is getting some conflicted messages and it does not bode well for Lily Parker...

Look for Hexbound in stores January 2011.

It took about nine chapters to really get moving, but once it did, I enjoyed it. A much more pleasant read than most of the other paranormal high school series I have read lately. A clean read, no need for a slew of swear words or a hot and heavy romance. That alone was a respite. But it has its own unique highlights. Scout and her friendship with Lily is well drawn, I love their banter and sarcasm - feels real. I liked that the boys are more on the sidelines at this point and we get to focus on the girls, the magic and the mystery of what Lily's parents are caught up in. What is up with all the lying and what genetic research are they doing? What was up with Jeremiah's interest in her and why did Sebastian help her? Oh, no! Please not a love triangle with him, Lily and Jason!!!! No. Please.

Watch out for the ending, rescue scene and all, which was rushed and far from the quality of the rest of the writing in this book. Not sure what happened there, but ouch!

I liked how the setting of Chicago played such a big part. Excellent descriptions of the setting. Neill knows Chicago, that much is clear. Definitely worth a read if you like paranormal high school series.