Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bewitching PIck: What the Spell

What the Spell (Life's a Witch)
by Brittany Geragotelis
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
328 pages

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Brooklyn feels invisible--she goes through the motions every day at school but no one ever notices her. She's not super model beautiful, she's not super-smart, she's not popular, she's not athletic. She's just plain. No one turns around when she walks into the room.

On her sixteenth birthday, Brooklyn's parents unbind her powers allowing her to use her magic, but they warn against using it at all; they caution her to keep it a secret. Witches have been burned in history; witches are misunderstood and murdered. If anyone finds out about their family, they will have to flee.

The first thing Brooklyn does is to make herself over. She becomes a more beautiful version of herself. When she goes to school, everyone notices. Suddenly, she's the girl people are watching and wondering about. The Elite even approach her and ask her to sit with them at lunch. They are everything Brooklyn strives to be and more. They rule her school and are above reproach, but they're not so nice. They use people and bend the rules. They are vicious and cruel. They have no morals and throw caution to the wind. When they start to ask Brooklyn to do their dirty work, how far will she go to be popular?

Witchcraft is one thing, but Brooklyn discovers that her family is famous for being magical matchmakers. She can make anyone fall for someone else. When she uses her powers to entrap Asher, she realizes that he may not really be crushing on her. It may be her spell. Is she willing to accept the fact that she used magic to influence his feelings? And when her spell backfires, is she willing to accept the consequences of her selfish actions?

Part "The Secret Circle" and part "Gossip Girls," teen readers who like the girl witch genre will find What the Spell a welcome addition. Brooklyn has no sense of self; she tries so hard to fit in that she is willing to do anything, even lose the one she loves.

Recommended grade 9 and up. No language; teen angst, some romance, some talk of "going all the way."

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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