Saturday, April 17, 2010

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Tasmin Greene was supposed to be the most powerful witch in the history of her family.  Supposed to be.  But when her powers fail to manifest at the right age, she withdraws from her family and tries to live as normal a life as possible, going to boarding school in New York City and dodging questions about her home life.

Until the day that Alistair arrives at her family's New Age shop and confuses her for her sister, whose power is to find anything.  He asks Tasmin to find an old family heirloom--a clock--that has been missing for over 100 years.  She takes the job, determined to prove to her family that she doesn't need her own powers to do what they do.  Ultimate relying on her childhood friend Gabriel's Finding powers, they travel back in time to the clock's last known location--and then things get weird.  Alistair may not be as he appears, and Tasmin may not be as powerless as she thought...

Once a Witch is a phenomenal book.  Tasmin's alienation from her family is eminently relatable, even for those of us from non-magical families.  It manifests itself in all-too-human minor rebellions--from flagrant smoking, to sneaking into clubs with her fake ID to her crush on an older man.  Her relationship with Gabriel is sweet but cautious, both because of their years of seperation and because of her self-consciousness at her lack of Talent.  And as her destiny unfolds, the magic crackles, leaving you begging for the sequel (Always a Witch, due next spring!)

You can read a PDF of the first chapter on Amazon.


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