Paradoxical's Reviews > Bewitching

Bewitching by Alex Flinn
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's review
Feb 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reading-list, books-otherwise
Read in February, 2012

The first thing you should know about Bewitching is that the summary is misleading. Yes, there is a witch named Kendra, but the majority of the book does not revolve around her, but the girl she is 'helping' by the name of Emma. This is a bit jarring if you're unprepared for the POV change, like I was, since Kendra was in the prologue and I was settling in to read a story about her, not about some other girl.

Kendra is an important figure, but she actually doesn't do all that much. The prologue is all about her and how she discovered that she was a witch, but the rest of the book is about Emma and her contentious relationship with her stepsister, Lisette, with short asides where Kendra tells another 'true' fairy tale. To be honest, I was rather leery about the entire thing, because switching POVs, especially first person POVs, isn't something I'm very fond of. But, to my happy surprise, I ended up rather liking Bewitching.

I'm not sure what makes the book so likeable. All of the characters, every single one of them (except perhaps the boy in the end, mostly because I suspect he didn't get a lot of page time), were flawed. Some with larger flaws than others, but all of them were... well, kind of terrible people. Emma wasn't a bad main character, and she slowly builds herself as a person and stands on her own two feet. Lisette now. Lisette you just wanted to kick down a cliff because she was truly a horrible person. She did have her reasons, and her life was pretty crappy, but that doesn't negate the fact that she did awful things to a lot of people.

The plot snagged and held my attention throughout the entire book. It was somehow compelling, reading how Emma struggled with her sister, how high school everything is, complete with a set of mean girls who, well, were mean. And yet they were mean in a kind of absent sort of way, none of that truly horrendous targeting you see in other books. Somehow it just worked. Stereotypical, yes, but not over the top, which was appreciated.

Really, Emma could have done everything on her own. Kendra did have her moments, but she didn't guide Emma's every step, and she didn't magic things all better for Emma. This was really nice to read, actually, because Emma was the one who had to struggle, mature, and tackle her own problems.

I was fond of Bewitching. Granted, it's retelling fairy tales, and I am a sucker for that, but there's something about the book that was likeable, even when I wasn't in love with the characters (which is strange for me). 4 stars.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Melissa couldn't agree more with your review. i too was a fan of the book but kept wishing it was more about kendra, like i was thinking before i read the book.

Paradoxical It was rather disappointing, admittedly! I'm just glad that I ended up liking the book anyway. I do hope there will be a just Kendra book coming out, though I suspect that the others in the series will be like this one.

Melissa i agree. fingers crossed that next book will truly be a kendra book, but would assume next book will be more of the same:( really like how flinn mixes in other fairy tales and some historical info as well.

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