Review: What the Spell

What the Spell Cover

WHAT THE SPELL by Brittany Geragotelis released in the U.S. today, January 29, 2013, in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 336 pages.

WHAT THE SPELL is the first book in the author’s Life’s a Witch series. The second book in the series, LIFE’S A WITCH, is slated for release on July 9, 2013 and the third book in the series, THE WITCH IS BACK, is slated for release in January 2014.


Goodreads description:

A teenage witch juggles popularity and romance while keeping her powers a secret in this spellbinding debut.

Almost-sixteen-year-old Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch about to come of age—so she’s only a few spells away from making it all happen.

On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s found out, she could be vilified—and lose Asher in the process. Can she make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless? Be careful what you witch for!


WHAT THE SPELL is a fun, charming, bittersweet and utterly delightful story of magic, mean girls and boys, actions and consequences, and the price one girl is willing to pay to fit in. A quick and engaging read, with just a touch of the paranormal to differentiate itself from its contemporary peers, this story will hold readers captive as they follow Brooklyn Sparks as she treads the line between right and wrong in her attempt to shed her cloak of invisibility and find out just who she really is.

All Brooklyn wanted was to be noticed. Having been virtually non-existent for years, she couldn’t wait for her parents to unbind her powers so that she could change her life. So that she could go from being friendless and invisible to pretty and popular. So that she could make a difference. So that she would matter.

But when her makeover got her noticed by “The Elite” – the most popular group of kids in school – she wanted more than anything to become one of them. To go to the best parties. To meet the most influential people. To be revered by her classmates. To be powerful.

And it was all within her reach. She just had to prove her loyalty. She just had to pass their tests. She just had to be willing to cross the line.

Author Brittany Geragotelis has created a main character who is both incredibly sympathetic and wildly frustrating, someone who must decide whether their need for acceptance is worth the price for popularity, and whether honesty, selflessness and doing what’s right are more important than fitting in.

WHAT THE SPELL is a story that will have readers rooting for the main character to make the right choices, cringing when she doesn’t and cheering when does. And with a cast of characters that keeps this story exciting – from the powerful Elite to the adorable and swoon-worthy Asher Astley – and an ending that will make them wonder exactly what happened and anxious to find out just what comes next, this prequel story in the Life’s a Witch series hits just the right balance between being one that is light, fun and flirty and one that has a bit more depth.

For readers looking for a story with a fresh twist on a mean girl theme, a touch of the paranormal with spellcasting and witchcraft, a character who must learn one or two of life’s lessons, and an ending that leaves off with a bit of a mystery, WHAT THE SPELL won’t disappoint.

Reviewer gives this book…


On a personal note…

I absolutely loved reading WHAT THE SPELL and getting to meet Brooklyn. I knew this story would be about a girl trying to get “in” with the popular crowd by using magic. And I knew that something was bound to go wrong.

I assumed there would be some kind of mishap with a spell or a secret would be revealed in a horribly embarrassing way. But this story delivered way more than I expected.

I did not expect the story to go into as much depth about actions and consequences as it did. I did not expect the main character to be given so many opportunities to do the right thing. I didn’t expect the main character’s super cute crush to be so good and honest and empathetic and understanding.

I didn’t expect there to be lessons to be learned from the lifestyle choices of Brooklyn and Asher’s families. And I did not expect that one thing that was left open-ended at the very end.

WHAT THE SPELL was a super quick one-sit-read. It was a story that kept me connected throughout. Even though Brooklyn drove me crazy half the time. And I’m talking the kind of crazy where I shout at the book, roll my eyes and sigh. Which proves that, yes, I was thoroughly engaged. So much so that “Brookie” made me want to throttle her. Repeatedly.

While I completely understood why she did many of the things she did, I could not fully grasp all of her choices. Especially those where Asher was involved. Because… let’s just say that I would not have chosen as she did in those particular instances.

But what drove me even more insane was that I was not – I’m still not – entirely sure she learned from all of her mistakes at the end.

Speaking of endings… after the way things ended with two ginormous questions left unanswered, I am just dying to find out exactly what happened and what will happen next. Absolutely dying.

I would love to talk more about that… but as it would totally spoil this book for those who haven’t read it, I’ll just talk about favorite characters.

While I loved getting to know Brooklyn, my most favorite character in this story was Asher. While Brooklyn was at times adorable, Asher was at all times kind of amazing. And while I’d like to go into each and every one of the ways he was amazing, that would definitely spoil more than a few things about this story.

I even loved getting to “meet” Gigi and Eliza. Though I wouldn’t list Gigi as one of my favorite characters, she definitely made this story that much more interesting. Her presence alone added drama. And she seemed to have a bit more depth to her than Brooklyn.

I enjoyed going on this journey with Brooklyn even though I wanted to shake some sense into her at almost every step of the way. I can’t wait for the sequel and I am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more of Asher and his family in that book. And I hope that the next book in the series will answer those questions at the end and dive a little bit deeper into the witchy side of things… especially about just what the deal is with Samuel Parris.


The Book Trailer

This review is based on an eARC I received courtesy of the publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers via Edelweiss and contains my honest opinions of the book.

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