Once a Witch

by Carolyn MacCullough

Brief Summary: Tamsin was supposed to be the strongest witch in her family. At least, that’s what her grandmother declared upon her birth. Turns out, that prediction might have been off a bit. In fact, Tamsin has no Talent. Zero, Zip, Nada. This, obviously, has led to Tamsin being a bit of an outcast in her family (esp. since her older sister seems to have fulfilled the powerful role instead. Figures.), to the point she has opted to go to a private school in Manhattan – away from her family and something normal. But when a stranger comes looking for the help only her family can provide and mistakes Tamsin for her sister, Tamsin decides to try to help him to prove to her family she can do it. Boy, was that a terrible idea.

Kell’s Chatty Review: So, I needed some books as incentive to get my homework done. You know: “If you finish this assignment, you can read a book.” And, while the Printz/Morris books are great, I wanted something purely fun. So when I saw the review for Once Upon a Witch on Bookshelves of Doom, and then noticed our library had it, I thought PERFECT. And it was. Funny and tense and, really, just plain fun. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

Tamsin: I enjoyed Tamsin as the main character. She was witty and smart, but she still had some vulnerable areas. And she wasn’t so smart that the answers just magically appeared – which is nice. (In fact, I got the distinct impression of her being incredibly confused – which was spot on with what I, as the reader, was feeling. So that was great.)

The Love Story: There was a love story in this, fyi. It wasn’t my favorite part of the book, but it’s cute and leads to some lovely quips (I do enjoy a good quip.).

The Family: One of the reasons I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading a wide variety of fantasy and sci fi, is I love the creative ways writers develop the “world.” (This means different things from fantasy to sci fi, but you get what I mean.) In Once a Witch, this re-imagining came in the form of Tamsin’s family. And seriously, every time they got together – it was awesome.

The Big Reveal: There’s always some fun reveals in fantasy/sci fi books, and this one is no different. How it came about was well done – more confusion than anything else, which lead to understanding. Very well done (esp. since I predicted what the Big Reveal would be – but not how it would come about.).

Overall Thoughts: Once a Witch really was just a fun read. I’m also assuming there’s a sequel (there’s at least a set up for a sequel.), so I’ll be looking for that!

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: find a Talent. sigh.

Where this book came from: Library!

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