Lady Cusp’s #CBR5 Review #3: Life’s a Witch by Brittany Geragotelis

In this Young Adult novel, 16 year old Brooklyn Sparks uses magic to transform her high school situation starting with her looks.  The story begins on the day of Brooklyn’s 16th birthday and traces her through a day of ‘invisibility’ where she eats lunch in the counselor’s office and is generally ignored by classmates and teachers with the exception of tripping in the cafeteria and spilling liquid all over herself.

Luckily, that evening, Brooklyn receives her gift from her parents—untethered witch-hood.  Until this point in her life, Brooklyn’s parents (who are ultra-conservative witches) have seen fit to bind her powers in an attempt to teach her a normal non-magic lifestyle.  This result backfires and has had Brooklyn ceaselessly researching magic spells and doing whatever preparation she could til this point.  Within 48 hours Brooklyn has given herself a magical make-over which leaves other classmates asking for the name of her plastic surgeon.

By completely transforming her outside, Brooklyn is now in the running to join the popular kids known as ‘The Elite.’  Unfortunately, this popular crowd seems intrinsically evil and require and a series of tests into grey areas of morals, law and high school codes (the kind where kissing is considered cheating).  Brooklyn aces each test (using magic) with only an occasional sting of conscious.  Her external makeover begins to work inward and while other characters (her parents, her sweet crush, her lunch-pal/school counselor) tell her how much she’s changed, Brooklyn refuses to acknowledge this and consistently rationalizes and justifies her dubious post-makeover choices.

Since What the Spell is written in first person, I wonder if the justifications that Brooklyn uses to convince herself will also convince readers.  I also found it interesting that Brooklyn never undid her sweet 16 magical make-over.  And though she manages to oust the evil Elite, will she simply fill the void as the new queen B without any real introspection?  As part of a trilogy, we can only hope


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