Wednesday, January 9, 2013

ARC Book Review: What The Spell?

What the Spell? (Life's a Witch, #1)Author: Brittany Geragotelis
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: Life’s a Witch # 1

A teenage witch juggles popularity and romance while keeping her powers a secret in this spellbinding debut. Almost-sixteen-year-old Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch about to come of age—so she’s only a few spells away from making it all happen.

On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s found out, she could be vilified—and lose Asher in the process. Can she make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless? Be careful what you witch for!

“You can’t will yourself into popularity. It was bestowed upon you if you were found worthy enough to have it. You either were or you weren’t. And it had been decided by the powers that be that I wasn’t.” – ARC Copy pg. 6

“The truth was, I came from a family of witches and up until now, I hadn’t been allowed to use my powers. But my parents had promised to unbind my gifts the day I turned sixteen. I knew through witching chat rooms that most magically-inclined kids learned how to cast around the same time they learned how to walk. My parents, however, were beyond strict about magic. Their reasoning behind binding my powers was that they thought I should be mature enough to handle the responsibility it took to do magic safely. I think that magic equals freedom and my parents just weren’t ready to let go. They probably still weren’t ready, but they’d promised me that tonight was the night I would come into my heritage. After so many years of wishing I could use magic, I was itching to take my powers out for a test run.” – ARC Copy pg. 14

“‘Congratulations, Brooklyn,’ my mom said. ‘You’re officially a practicing witch.’” – ARC Copy pg. 20

“‘Harry Potter’s not real,’ my mom reminded me, sounding annoyed. ‘And even Harry had his enemies. Prejudice and fear are still very much alive today, Brooklyn. Our family isn’t prepared to take on that kind of battle.’” – ARC Copy pg. 52

This book was a great coming of age story and depicts the brutal events of high school that we often carry for the rest of our lives. Let’s face it; high school can be awful and embarrassing and every other terrible adjective you can think of. Brooklyn has a solution for all of her problems having to do with high school, however. She is a witch and on her sixteenth birthday her parents have promised to unbind her powers. Brooklyn, who just wants to be noticed and better yet be considered popular, thinks that having her powers will in turn fix her seemingly sucky life, but popularity is not all that she imagined it would be. Readers will soon find out that this story has a connection to the Salem Witch Trials and should be prepared to pick this book up once because it is just too darn cute to put back down.
Brooklyn’s story has a lot of life lessons embedded within it. She is a young teenage girl who feels like she is invisible to the rest of the world. Don’t all teenagers at one point or another? She wants to be popular so bad that she begins to lose herself. She forgets everything that was once dear to her and even neglects to heed the advice of her parents. Obviously I am not the same age or maturity level as Brooklyn, but I really enjoyed her story. High school wasn’t my favorite time, but it wasn’t absolutely awful for me either. A lot can be said for Brooklyn’s story and I think young readers could really benefit from a book like this. Brooklyn grows and struggles with internal conflicts and watching her change and realize what life really means to her was the best part of the book.
I loved that witchcraft was incorporated in the telling of this story because I just felt that Brooklyn was quirky and really unique and I think her ability to cast spells only added to that. She wanted so badly to fit in when in all reality she had this awesome power that could totally make her stand out. I love stories about witchcraft and especially cute ones like this. As I mentioned before, the Salem Witch Trials was embedded in this story as well and was a great segue into the history of Brooklyn’s family and her understanding of the magic that surrounded her. I have also always loved to read about the Salem Witch Trials and I just thought it was awesome to bring a great historical event like that one and add it to a light, breezy young adult novel like this one.  It was a nice touch on the author’s part.
Although I know that this book is directed for a much younger audience that still does not change the fact that I absolutely adored it.  It is all about how the author appeals to the audience that the novel is intended for, and this author exceeded my expectations. I would re-read it again tomorrow if I had the time. I do believe that this is a planned series and I am very anxious for the next book in the series!!
***A big thank you to the publishers at Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. Love the cover for this book ! I have the indie version of this novel and can't wait to read it.