What the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Keywords: magic, high school, witches
Format Read: Hardcover from publisher in exchange for honest review (thank you!)
Summary: Brooklyn Sparks is invisible. Because she’s not a popular kid or an ubernerd, Brooklyn is stuck somewhere in the middle of the high school food chain. But all of that is about to change. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Brooklyn comes of age as a witch. Her strict parents finally unbind her powers and, along with giving herself an instant makeover, Brooklyn discovers her true gift: She was born into a line of magical matchmakers.
After spending so long being overlooked, Brooklyn’s getting exactly what she wants, including entree into the elite crowd and her crush’s undivided attention. But there’s a price to pay. The use of her powers puts Brooklyn in the same dangerous position as her Salem ancestors — if anyone finds out who she really is and what she can do, her life is over. Now that she has everything she’s ever wanted, Brooklyn has everything to lose.
This book totally reminded me of As You Wish, which I read at the beginning of the summer. It was cute, light, had a twist of magic in there, and generally just pretty fun to read. Though I’m not super into the “I have to be popular” storyline (because honestly, who cares?), I do know it’s a big part of younger YA audience and lit, so I’m okay with it being a thing here.
Brooklyn is just REALLY adamant about getting into this crowd, but they’re not even nice. Still, after her makeover, they notice her and start giving her “jobs” to do (essentially hazing) to prove herself worthy enough to join this group. But the twist is the magic. There are kind of two storylines that happen in this book, and I was okay with both of them. One was completing these tasks and hiding her magic, the other was learning about her family history and magic and dealing with what would happen if someone found out they existed.
I obviously liked the latter of the two better, and the book left off with an intriguing enough ending that I’m trying to find the second book in all my boxes so I can read it because it’s got to do with the more interesting plot.
As far as the characters, I didn’t care for Brooklyn so much, but she finally started to get the hang of things at the end, so it wasn’t ungodly irritating. I liked Asher (a friend she makes at school) just fine, but who I really liked was his sister Abby. She was much more dynamic and her personality was so much more interesting than the other people in the book. I really wanted to know more about her.
I was kind of angry with something that happened toward the end. A certain someone accused someone of a something, and I just have a hard time believing it. Like, after one viewing, being like, obviously THIS is the reason! I am 100% positive! No. That would not be it. Seriously? I was a little mad at that. But maybe there’s a reason for that that will crop up in book #2.
This was a fun and friendly book, with a few things that were weird, but other than that I really enjoyed it. Read When: You want a little bit of magic and mystery and a lot of ridiculous high school drama.