Spellbinding

Maya Gold. Scholastic/Point, $8.99 ISBN 978-0-545-43380-8
Sixteen-year-old Abby Silva feels invisible at school, inadequate next to her best friend, and out of place in her family. Lately Abby’s headaches and nightmares have been intensifying, and when she finds a possible family connection to the Salem Witch Trials, she begins to suspect that she is herself a witch. Abby’s research takes her to nearby Salem, where she feels a sense of belonging, gets a weekend job, and meets the dashing boy of her dreams (literally). Abby’s newfound powers (including telekinesis and conjuring fire) make her life more exciting and terrifying, and also cause her to question the responsibilities that accompany magic. Gold’s (the Cinderella Cleaners series) novel is, at heart, a coming-of-age tale, reading like a lighter version of Stephen King’s Carrie. Abby’s narration relies heavily on long-winded internal monologues (“I ought to head home, but first I decide to unwind with an impulsive walk through a part of town I’ve never seen, out past the high school and power plant”), but readers should still enjoy the mix of relatable teenage struggles and magic. Ages 12–up. Agent: the Gersh Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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