Lucy’s sophomore year does not begin as expected: she is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, Alex, before homeroom. As she weeps over where things went wrong, three glamorous older girls reach out to her with a beguiling promise. If she does what they say, they will teach her the magical skills to never have her heart broken again and let her join the ancient sisterhood of the title. Of course, promises and magic often have strings attached and Lucy must decide if the sisterhood is worth the high price of joining.
The absolute best thing about this novel is how deftly Lynn Weingarten describes heartbreak. Through a series of flashbacks, the reader learns that Alex was never really the right boy for Lucy, but she is so caught up in her infatuation that she can’t see it. In a particularly poignant scene, Lucy realizes she is jealous of everything that takes Alex’s attention away from her. Who hasn’t felt that way about someone that you like just a little bit more? Weingarten’s descriptions of Lucy’s sadness offer reassurances that other people feel similarly and that maybe some magic awaits on the other side of the misery.
There is an underlying theme of confidence to the novel, and Weingarten provides subtle tips on how readers can approach their love lives with the upper hand. I wish that when I was a teenager there had been a novel that said things like, “Giving a guy an easy opening line is often the difference between him standing, staring, wishing he could talk to you and actually being able to do it.” While it’s never quite clear if the sisterhood is actually trustworthy, the advice they give is spot-on.
I was frequently surprised by the twists in the novel, perhaps most of all by the ending. At times, I was reminded of “The Craft” and “Clueless”, which is definitely a good thing in my book. I was excited to learn that Weingarten is working on a sequel because I am eager to read more about what magic the future holds for Lucy.
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A fun and unexpected plot