Author: Brittany Geragotelis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publish Date: January 29, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a YA fiction fan!
- You like good writing.
- You like good stories.
- You're into the paranormal.
From Goodreads.com: "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!"
My Two Cents:
"What the Spell" is the first book in a planned series about teenage witches and is rooted in the story of the Salem Witch Trials, which is definitely not new territory for a book but the author does a really great job of breathing brand new life into a subject that has been tackled before.
One of the standout parts of the book for me was the main character of Brooklyn. She is smart but she doesn't always make the best decisions. I loved, loved, loved her voice in the book. You want so badly for her to do the right thing and when she fails or stumbles, you are still pulling for her because you've already been shown that at her core, she really wants to try to do the right thing and that she's going through all of those things that so many teens go through (want of acceptance, first love, etc.). You know exactly what she's thinking throughout the book and I really think that that it helped to pull me into the book and see things through Brooklyn's eyes.
Being a little bit older than her character, I felt like there were a lot of decisions that Brooklyn made that weren't great especially when it comes to changing her appearance or some of the decisions she makes surrounding the popular group in her high school but having once been a teenager myself, I totally got why she makes the decisions she makes. At one point in my life, I would have made the same decisions. She's not perfect but it made her seem more real.
I loved the sort of tug of war in the book between families like Brooklyn's who are low magic households because of what happened during the Salem Witch Trials and families like Brooklyn's love interest, Asher's who believe that they should fully grab on to their gifts and it may have gotten them into trouble in the end. With the cliffhanger around Asher's family in the end of the book, I can't wait to see where the next book picks up!
Bottom line: A great contemporary YA read with a paranormal twist.