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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“The individual letters to a town called Stars Hollow hang what appears to be in midair, high enough to sit in the first colors of sunset. It is like magic and art all in one. It makes my jaw drop just looking at them.” In Wands Upon a Time (Stars Hollow Paranormal Mysteries, Book 1) by Giselle Jeffries Schneider, 25-year-old Robyn Salem is on the journey of starting her new life, leaving her abusive parents behind. When her vehicle breaks down in the middle of the road, she has no choice but to seek shelter in a mysterious town called Stars Hollow. Little does she know that her arrival has been long predicted; a house and a large sum of inheritance money awaits her. However, she’s also inherited the duty to protect the town with her life as trouble soon ensues.
Set in the present time of a mysterious town in Idaho, Wands Upon a Time has a fast-paced plot and short chapters that give even more momentum to the pacing. The story premise is fresh and imaginative for the classic concept of witches, vampires, and other supernatural beings. Protagonist Robyn Salem is on the autism spectrum which means social interactions are difficult for her and her parents' abusive behaviors certainly dampen her spirit even more. On the other hand, she's smart and determined; leaving home is her first action in taking control of her life. Her effort to settle in Stars Hollow as best as she can and takes responsibility for the town's safety are admirable, proving that her autism is not a weakness but a surprising strength that she can embrace. Overall, Schneider's debut for the Stars Hollow Paranormal Mysteries is solid and engaging for fans of the genre.