Disclaimer, didn’t read first book of series.
The hero Paladin is a girl, the Oracle is a boy. That’s a switch. The witch/researcher is also a boy. Is that role usually split? Researcher is male, witch if female, but this boy inherited the job from a woman.
No adults. They just get in the way. Lie to them, heroes! However, the Aunties who are not in direct control of Our Hero, so it’s safe to tell them stuff. And surprise, the people who have lived more than 16 or 17 years have a longer perspective, and some general advice.
The haunted house, is it there or is it not? fun running gag through the book.
The Talent Show. You just know things are going to go disastrously wrong, but not how. Wow, they really pulled it off well!
Ignorance. The heroes have no one to teach them, and have to fumble to re-invent the wheel. Where are all the adults from whatever secret society should have been around?
True Love is, um, non existent. People break up and make up or break up and take up with other people. Sometimes great awkwardness ensues.
Why Did They Do This?
Paladin and Witch are gaslighting Oracle. They deliberately suppressed his power ‘for his own good’. OK, maybe he needed to grow into power slowly? But they didn’t tell him. This is a glaring sign that it is NOT for his own good, and it’s a horrible trope. They should not be surprised when it backfires.
Villain is an adult. Why? If the heroes are all teens, why can’t the villain have a teen fronting for him? If the heroes have no secret society, and the villains do, something is out of wack in this story.
Ending: Some of it was expected, some not.