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Once a Witch

Once a Witch is a YA urban fantasy by Carolyn MacCullough.

Seventeen-year-old Tamsin Greene was born to her family of witches to a proclamation of greatness from their matriarch, her grandmother.

Yet when her eighth birthday came around, the age that everybody in the family shows their Talents if they haven’t already, she was still as ordinary as ever. The only non-Talented person in their family ever.

As she grew up, this strained her relationships. It was hard for her to see her cousins, or anyone else, use their powers. The look they’d give Tamsin when they did – a mixture of guilt and pity – was too much for her. She never fit in. Tamsin even forwent writing back to her best childhood friend Gabriel that moved away because his Talent for finding things made him just another person that reminded her she had no Talent and was just a huge disappointment.

By seventeen Tamsin has generally gotten over it, but not so much that she likes spending time at home – a place where everybody in her extended Talented family lives. She managed to get permission to go to a boarding school in New York, but during the summer her parents’ insisted she come home. Leaving behind New York, where she can pretend to be normal and fit in with others is difficult.

While working at her grandmother’s bookstore one summer evening, a good-looking British professor from New York University comes in and mistakes Tamsin for her gorgeous, extremely Talented sister Rowena. Being the object of a look of admiration and respect has its charm, and before she knows it Tamsin has agreed to help him find a family heirloom that was lost a century ago – and foregoes correcting the mistaken identity issue.

Tamsin is desperate to prove she can do something without her family’s help, without Talent – so she, against her own gut instincts, continues to pursue his request. But before long, his motives come into question – and things start to fall apart as a power long kept secret begins to be wielded.

She may have indeed gotten in a bit too deep with this one.

Once a Witch
is awesome!!!

This is a fast-paced story with an easily likable, witty, hurt, and slightly bitter main character that is fun to follow and root for. I sympathized with her situation and felt that the family dynamic was done very well. The magic/witch side of the story was portrayed simply, letting you just sink into the tale and relish it all with a sigh of contentment.

Once a Witch has a phenomenal urban magic plot that lets you disappear in it, taking you on a ride of suspense that is at times legitimately scary and nerve-wracking! The climatic twists are superb, creating a perfect YA novel that entertains, makes you adore it, and gets you desperate to get your hands on the sequel Always a Witch!

Plus, let us not ignore the excellent romantic subplot when her childhood friend Gabriel returns – looking quite hot. Their flirtation is not weepy or cheesy but down-to-earth and very appealing. It doesn’t take over the novel, but gives it yet another great flavor to what is an amazing meal of a book!

I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed Once a Witch (as I’m sure you can tell). I love books, like this one, where you kind of become “one” with it. It sounds weird, but I know you bibliophiles know what I mean.

Now get thee a copy!

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