ONCE A WITCH by Carolyn MacCullough [Review]

In Once a Witch, 17-year-old Tasmin Greene has to deal with being the only untalented one is a very talented family. While she comes from a long line of powerful witches, Tasmin’s powers didn’t manifest by the time she was eight like they should have. As a result, she’s an outcast in her family, and attends boarding school in NYC to get away from her home (or “hellcrater” as she calls it). It’s because of her outcast status that when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her powerful sister, Rowena, she doesn’t correct him. Tasmin agrees to help him find a lost family heirloom, and embarks on a treasure hunt that will take her to some interesting places.

Overall, I thought Once a Witch was a cute story that should appeal to young adults readers. Tasmin has the angsty teen girl thing going since she feels like such a misfit, and she’s very relatable. I liked that she was snarky and flawed (she smokes, drinks, and generally misbehaves). While I thought the plot was pretty predictable and the bad guy was lame, it was still an entertaining read. The mystery was intriguing and there was just the right amount of romance. I think Once a Witch will appeal to younger readers more than adults, and I highly recommend it to teen girls and fans of Beautiful Creatures.

Look for the sequel, Always a Witch, to hit bookstores in August 2011.

Quotes from Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough:

I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper thin and when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.

Although I’ve never really tried explaining my family to anyone ever since third grade, when Denise Winters told the whole class that my house was actually a mental asylum and that they let me out only to go to school. Not that I blamed her. I’ve had a similar impression over the years.

“Hel-lo,” she says. “I love a man who feels free to put his filthy feet all over my furniture.”

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Clarion Books | Pages: 304 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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