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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Review : Once a Witch by Caroyln MacCullough

Title : Once a Witch
Publisher : Clarion Books
Genre : YA Paranormal
ISBN : 978-0547223995
Series : Stand Alone
Release Date : September 14, 2009
Rating : 4.5/5 - Loved It.

Description from Amazon :

Tamsin Greene has come 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 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 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.

Trailer :

Review :

Tamsin Greene was born into a family full of witches. While all of the other children around her started gaining their powers, Tamsin remained normal. She was destined to be one of the most powerful witches to ever enter the Greene family, but still remains barren. This is difficult for Tamsin, making her feel like a failure to her family, and an outcast.

While she has no powers, each of her family members is gifted with different Talents. Some are able to see the future, while others can merely freeze someone in time. It doesn't make matters any easier for Tamsin, knowing her sister is one of the most Talented members of the family, as well as the most gorgeous.

While working in her families book shop, a tall young professor from a nearby college comes to her for help. He mistakes her for her lovely sister Rowena, and asks that she locate a lost family heirloom that has been lost for centuries. Tamsin knows the right thing to do, although she wants to prove to herself and her family that she doesn't need to be Talented in order to fulfill this request. So instead of telling him the truth, and sending him in the right direction, Tamsin takes on this quest. Locating such an object can mean the fate of not only Tamsin, but everyone she holds dear.

I sat down to read this novel because a fellow blogger, J.Kaye from J.Kaye's Book Blog wanted to do a Twitter discussion. The discussion didn't turn out the way we had hoped, due to our conflicting schedules, but the book was everything I hoped for. It was engaging from the start, and I easily grew to like Tamsin. I think she was a little too hard on herself at times, at the guilt of being the only Talentless person in her family. Despite the fact that she was without any kind of supernatural power, she holds her own.

Tamsin was quick to judge the other members of her family when it came to how they felt about her. She distanced herself from her family, even so far as to take herself completely out of their town to go to college in Manhattan. It wasn't completely her fault though, because it seemed that her entire family treated her like she had problems merely because she was different than they were.

My favorite characer in this novel was Gabriel, Tamsin's childhood friend. While everyone else treated her like she was different, he just shrugged it off and treated her like a real person. He didn't care whether she had a Talent, or a million, he just wanted to be friends with her and show her that he could be trusted. There was also quite a stirring of romance from the two that I wouldn't mind reading more about if there were future books.

I think Once a Witch would make a great first book in a series, although I'm unsure as to whether or not this will be the case. I will definitely be reading more from Carolyn MacCullough though, as her writing flows beautifully, and is extremely easy to follow. I found myself lost in this story, and a few times ended up clocking in late from my lunch break because I just couldn't put it down. I would highly recommend this book to both young adults and adults alike, especially if your into paranormal stories.

Where did I get this book? :

I received my copy from a swap on Bookmooch.

Amazon Affiliates :
Clicking on the cover and title links of this book will redirect you to If you choose to purchase Once a Witch after clicking on these links I will receive a small percentage of the profits.


Emily said...

I really enjoyed this book - glad you did as well! I heard from the author that it is the first in a series...can't remember when she said the next would be out but I think it's sometime this year.
Happy Reading!

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf said...

Great! Thanks for the info! I'm glad you liked it as well :)

fredamans said...

Great review!

I do love these types of stories, so this is going on my list!

Jess. said...

I love the cover of this book! It's beautiful.

Monster of Books said...

There is going to be a sequel, the author mentioned it in a interview that Kristi did over at the Story Siren.
I loved this book, awesome review!!

LibraryGirl said...

What a great review! This sounds like a wonderful book and I've added to the never ending list :-)

I've given you an award at