Featured Review: How to Succeed In Witchcraft (Aislinn Brophy)

 

About This Book:

Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. As a junior at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, she’s determined to win the Brockton Scholarship—her ticket into the university of her dreams. Her competition? Ana freaking Álvarez. The key to victory? Impressing Mr. B, drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee.

When Mr. B asks Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive musical, she warily agrees, even though she’ll have to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But in rehearsals, Shay realizes Ana is . . . not the despicable witch she’d thought. Perhaps she could be a friend—or more. And Shay could use someone in her corner once she becomes the target of Mr. B’s unwanted attention. When Shay learns she’s not the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide if she’ll come forward. But how can she speak out when her future’s on the line?

 

 

*Review Contributed by Leah Miller, Staff Reviewer*

The concept of a world in which magic is available yet still subject to the same racial and socioeconomic constraints pulled me in quickly. Brophy creates an intriguing world with a well-developed magic system that’s easy to understand, and her characters are engaging. The story is fast-paced and it’s easy to get caught up in Shay’s life and struggles, especially as she goes through such a rigorous and exhausting schedule to achieve her goals. She’s single-minded and dedicated to attaining her scholarship, and it’s easy to empathize with her, even though she can be frustrating at times. The romance is sweet, and the enemies to lovers trope is used very well in this story.

While books mirror reality, for a YA book that is marketed for 12 and over, there are multiple instances of profanity throughout the story, which may be concerning for some readers, especially those on the younger side of the spectrum.

Overall, the story is intriguing. Despite centering on fantasy, it does focus on some very realistic elements of discrimination in a variety of forms, including racism, classism, and homophobia, as well as incorporating aspects of grooming. It’s a fast-paced ride through a fascinatingly creating magical world full of intriguing characters who are just starting to find their way in life and love, and kept me hooked from start to finish, hanging on every word.
Good Points
– Great character development
– Unique and well-explained magical system
– Sweet enemies to lovers romance

 

 

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