I received a free copy through Xpresso Reads by agreeing to review after reading.
Basically: Being sucked in by the blurb + cover leads to disappointment based on inaccuracies and an amateur white woman writing out of her lane.
--Title = Misleading Fail. She’s not a witch, she’s a chosen one. Her nerd shop is great, but not some corner store people go to for witchy assistance.
==Blurb = Hooked me, but it so affirmative while the whole book it’s just denial and trying to be normal again.
++Cover = Absolutely gorgeous. Look at her with her hair out, her stance powerful, her body covered, and just radiating black girl magic while her shop is in ruins around her.
++I LOVED their response to the interdimensional interloper dropping from the ceiling. I could totally see nerds, myself included, doing this. Since the questions got nowhere, why not see what he knows about magic with contemporary references?
+Author clearly knows her geeky stuff.
--SLOW AND NOTHING HAPPENS.
--The plot was convenient, obvious, and generic. The unique elements of this chosen tale dragged it down instead of pulling weight leaving the plot’s ass exposed.
--Cliffhanger. It’s so short I was torn between being grateful and frustrated.
--Leone’s group is a dynamically impaired mess. There’s hardly time to get to know them before they rush off and begin bickering through Anime-Land. Shandi, the geek encyclopedia and organizing extraordinaire on the Autism spectrum, is the only one besides Leone and her sister that comes through for me. I really liked her, but while I’m aware enough to recognize the stereotype and feel uncomfortable with it, I cannot ascertain whether the portrayal is good or problematic rep. I was glad she was there, especially given everything else, but I don’t think I’m supposed to be. Here She Comes Around the Mountain of Salt
The Corner Store Witch is written by a white woman and I’m a white woman. I didn’t know the former fact before I signed up to review. I didn’t do my due diligence. The blurb and cover was enough to win me over, I leaped without looking.
I should not have done that.
I should not have done that.
I thought things were fine, if a little repetitive and shallow, until they traveled to Anime Wannabe World. No, I’m not calling it Japanese inspired. That’s insulting like saying Chuck e Cheese is Italian inspired because it has pizza on the menu.
There is racism in Japan like everywhere else though it has it’s own special history and dynamics. Leone and her crew being discriminated against was to be expected. Except it was only the demons and not the Japanese people that acted this way.
The DEMONS said their skin was an abomination but the townsfolk, the guards, the priests are all cool as shit with them off the bat? When they’ve never seen people like Leone and her friends? When they don’t have black people running around there except from vague south area that haven’t traveled out in decades?
Nope, not buying it. It’s artificial and fishy to absolve humans of their ways and foist it upon corrupted demons from another dimension.
In the end it reminds me of A Mortal Song in the same sense, it’s obvious this was written by an outsider without the experience and loving touch of #ownvoices.
Even if you’re desperate for non-white and non-western fantasy, I can’t recommend The Corner Store Witch.It’s not badly written, I don’t think, and it’s easy to fall into but that’s part of the problem. Diversity, overthrowing and overcoming the white supremacy in publishing is not easy. Reading white authors use marginalized characters is a cop out. It will continue to support the current structure with the shallow understanding of marginalized people and different cultures.
Say no to this.
Previous Updates:: I actually finished this a bit ago, I'm so bad at staying up to date. Review will come shortly, on the 20th at the latest.