Friday, September 18, 2009

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

On the jacket flap:
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Character Development: 4/10
Originality: 8/10
Overall Enjoyment: 6/10
Ending: 4/10
Voice: 6/10
Setting: 9/10
Recommendation: 5/10
Total Score: 42/ 70
Grade: B

Age Appropriate?
Cussing: Some
Drugs, Alcohol, etc.: Wine consumption, main character smokes a couple times
Sexual Content: Suggestive in conversation
Disturbing Images/ Violence: Creeper that controls one of the characters, kidnaps, and drinks blood

Once a Witch is one of those cute, easy reads. Neither the writing style nor the plot is phenomenal, but it's still fun to sit down and read this book. The characters are flat, but still hilarious. It's a book to read when you need something light-hearted and quick.

I do think that it would have benefited the book to have at least a couple more developed characters. I would have loved to see this in Tamsin, Rowena, Gabriel, and Alistair particularly. Why did they do what they did? Why did they act the way the acted? What was the reason behind it all? How were their relationships with each other developed? These were questions that were left flat, and it deterred from the overall story.

One of the shining aspects in this novel was concept of time. Traveling through time is always an interesting, and confusing topic. Every miniscule part of the past has an effect on the future. The future is so dependent on the past. Fun stuff...

Anyway, plot was kind of scattered, characters lacking development, and sometimes cheesy writing were my main complaints. This book was like a fairy tale, an enchanting story that seems to unrealistic, but is entertaining nonetheless.


  1. Great, objective review. I love it when reviewers are realistic when they give reviews of books. You can't like everything about every book you read!! :)

    I also like that you list the age appropriateness of the book. I don't censor what my daughter reads, but it is nice to know as a parent what a book hold between it's pages.


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