Magic and the Modern Girl - Mindy Klasky Started out great, then people forget there was a plot

Jane Madison is a witch, but she hasn't been using her "witchy" powers in so long, she's losing them. After whining about this to her friend, Melissa, her ward, David, suggests she performs a big spell to bring back her magic. She chooses to create an anima, but this turns out badly when she realizes that the anima hasn't given her any of her powers back!

During these last days of Borders' Going Out of Business Sale, I've been continuously perusing the racks, hunting for books that A) I've been meaning to buy and B) books that might be interesting. This book I spotted, with its cute cover, on one such trip. And since I knew that it would be fluffy and light-hearted, I figured I'd snatch it up and read it on a flight. So when I found myself flying, I made sure to squeeze this book into my luggage.

The first 100 pages or so are more or less solid. Sure, the book is completely fluffy, more chick lit than paranormal, but I liked the refreshing change of pace. No major baddies to fight. No worlds to save. No Messiahs to protect. Just a simple woman living a simple life.

The next 150+ pages are when the problems start to arise. The whole story comes to a complete halt as Jane tries to figure out her feelings for this great guy, Will. Gone is her desire to retain her powers. Gone is the urgency to find the damn anima. Instead, let's be a b!tch to this great guy and totally drag him all around the place.

In the beginning, I liked Jane. She was fun, she was pretty realistic, and she wasn't omnipotent. However, as the story progressed, I disliked her more and more, until I wanted to start clubbing her. She whines continuously to her friend, Melissa about her stupid, solvable problems and almost completely ignores Melissa's problems. After seeing her anima, she breaks up a date with Will, doesn't say why (only that it deals with "David"), and then proceeds to MOPE the REST OF THE NIGHT. Oh, sure, she calls David, doesn't get an answer, but if she is going to cancel a date, why not chase after anima? If she wanted to call David, use the cellphone! Go to a corner, make a quick call, if he doesn't answer, then proceed with the date! Why make life more miserable for yourself?

I don't see how Melissa put up with Jane. She has her own problems, but she seems to always have time to listen to Jane whine about her messed-up life. I guess after Melissa gets the amazing Rob, she can put up with anything Jane gives her.

Neko is such a hideously stereotyped gay character, I cringed. Fashion savvy? Check. "Girlfriend" at the end of each line of dialogue? Check. Can steal away boyfriends? Check. Hypersexual? Check. Smarmy and smart alecky? Definitely.

Will was a great guy, and I definitely wanted to see Jane happy with him. David, on the other hand, felt like a control freak. After he dumped her the night after they bumped uglies, I was totally ready to let him fly. But, of course, I am just a reader, not the author, so this wasn't my story to dictate. Let me just say that I have NO IDEA why Jane went back with this guy (even though he did say he was wrong and sorry, both of which did give me a wee bit more respect for him).

The story started out good (even though there was a TON of infodumping and recapping from the previous books that felt like overkill), but then flew off the tracks. Jane loses her powers, tries to regain them and fails. But then, instead of pursuing her anima, she proceeds to whine and gripe and make her love life miserable (AND drag Will around by the nose, poor guy). We have Gran's wedding, which appears out of nowhere, disappears, then reappears to be hastily and suddenly tied up at the end (it makes NO SENSE why Gran suddenly decided to go from huge wedding to small wedding). The last 50 pages or so finally returns to the plot, but by that point, I was mad at the book and very close to not finishing it (I did because I hate quitting the book).

In the end, what started as a nice, relaxing, frothy read turned into a 1000 piece unfinished jigsaw puzzle. What could have been a good story got swamped by other, unimportant plotlines, stupid actions, and stupid characters. By no means the worst book I've read, do not open this book without expecting a LOT of chick lit and you will probably enjoy it. Otherwise, just skip it.