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Old Magic: 03/21/16
Old Magic by Marianne Curley is a YA paranormal time travel story set in Australia (present day) and Scotland (distant past). Though the location in Australia is fictional, it's described as a rain forest that gets snow and is out of the way. The southern parts of Australia get snow but the most out of the way place would on the western facing side of Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, the island state just south of Melbourne. This is also a good spot as the state has a vibrant Scottish community.
Kate is a witch and a high school student (well, probably a college student as the upper grades are sent to colleges which serve as both high schools and jr. colleges in the American sense; I attended the Don College in Devonport, Tasmania whilst an exchange student). Anyway, Kate is a teenager in school and she's a witch. When the new boy, Jarrod shows up, she quickly realizes he also has magic but from the way dangerous weather seems to follow him, he's probably cursed.
Kate's grandmother, with the heart of Aunt Agatha and the under standing of potions of Dr. Bombay, quickly susses out the curse and realizes it can only be broken at the source in both location and time. Jarrod and Kate are sent back in time to fix the wrong that lead to his family being perpetually cursed.
The time travel bit is the book's weakest part. First and foremost the ancient ancestors are just so damn gullible. OK, sure, they don't understand genetics but I'm also having trouble believing that after all these generations that Jarrod would still somehow be visibly recognizable as part of the family. Yet they accept him as a long lost son of a man who has fled Scotland.
Then there's the growing romance between Jarrod and Kate. He's afraid of her from the get go because of her magic. Sure, they're forced by circumstances to pretend to be a couple but that doesn't automatically make them so! Yet by the end they're lovey dovey. Sure. Whatever. I guess it's this book's version of a HEA ending.
Long story short: present day story is compelling and quick paced; time travel bits are hackneyed and poorly paced.