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What the Spell? (Life's a Witch, #1)
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What the Spell?

(Life's a Witch #1)

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  625 ratings  ·  141 reviews

BROOKLYN SPARKS IS INVISIBLE. Because she's not a popular kid or an übernerd, Brooklyn is stuck somewhere in the middle of the high school food chain. But all of that is about to change.

On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Brooklyn comes of age as a witch. Her strict parents finally unbind her powers and, along with giving herself an instan
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published November 30th 2011)
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3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  625 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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Nasty Lady MJ
Apr 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People Who Have No Self Respect
Recommended to Nasty Lady MJ by: Library and It's Fucking Feature Reads Shelf (Now Termed the Shelf of Doom)
To see full rant review click here.

This is going to be a rant.

It's not going to be impartial.

If you like this series you might as well get the hell out of here because this is not going to be pretty. Currently, I am studying for finals which means I have high stress levels, am writing this during my limited breaks, and have had three cups of tea . Though to be honest, I think this book accelerated my heart rate more than the tea did and that's not a good thing.

I'll be blunt about it, this book
Oct 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
Ugh, this book is atrocious. It’s just unbelievably appalling.

Brooklyn is one of the worst female characters ever. She’s self-absorbed, stupid, superficial, has a superiority complex, lies, manipulates people (literally), and is just horrible. First of all, I don’t know or get what her obsession is with becoming popular and joining the Elite is. It’s not as if joining them will solve your poor body image you have of yourself or your insecurities. It’ll just be a mask to cover your troubles befor
Feb 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who enjoy bitchy lil girls
What the spell? More like what the hell?

I could honestly write a better book myself. That's not saying much since I have the mind of a child. I feel like Geragotelis wrote this when she was a freshman and she was mad at the cool girl for dating the boy she had a huge crush on. (Am I right or am I right?) Brooklyn's obsession with being popular made me want to stop and just throw it away. I have never ever wanted to be popular. (Okay maybe a little...) Let me just say, I would never go to those e
Bailey (IB Book Blogging)
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
WHAT THE SPELL is a spellbinding witchy read that explores what it means to be a teen with a little magic on their side. Many giggles were had during my time reading the book, though that reaction may not have been the authors intent in certain places. The situations that Brooklyn went through were at many times ridiculous, and a few times inspirational. I didn't fall completely in love with the story as I expected I would, but I still think that this will be a popular read with the younger teen ...more
harlequin {Stephanie}
Mar 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
Lost me as a reader a short time after she changes her body with her magic. Not just removing bad hair or zits, but making her butt and boobs bigger.

What do the parents say in reaction to this?? Your using magic too much. Honey, your gonna get burned at the stake. WTH! How about, honey, your beautiful just the way you are. Her teacher showed more concern about her body image hatred. Clearing up bad skin is one thing, but changing everything about yourself just to get some popular twits to notic
Cassie Gutman (happybooklovers)
This book totally reminded me of As You Wish, which I read at the beginning of the summer. It was cute, light, had a twist of magic in there, and generally just pretty fun to read. Though I'm not super into the "I have to be popular" storyline (because honestly, who cares?), I do know it's a big part of younger YA audience and lit, so I'm okay with it being a thing here.

Brooklyn is just REALLY adamant about getting into this crowd, but they're not even nice. Still, after her makeover, they notic
Meg - A Bookish Affair
4.5 stars. "What the Spell" is the first book in a planned series about teenage witches and is rooted in the story of the Salem Witch Trials, which is definitely not new territory for a book but the author does a really great job of breathing brand new life into a subject that has been tackled before.

One of the standout parts of the book for me was the main character of Brooklyn. She is smart but she doesn't always make the best decisions. I loved, loved, loved her voice in the book. You want s
Alice Liu
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I would like this book as I prefer more supernatural and less social situation, but I found the story really engaging. First, I think every parent who wants to "protect" their children needs to read this book. It is a warning of what will happen if you shelter your daughter and then suddenly set her loose in the world with absolutely no social or emotional survival skills. Brooklyn's parents bound her magic until her sixteenth birthday on the assumption that she would suddenly hav ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
What the Spell? is the first book in Brittany Geragotelis’ Life’s a Witch Series. For sixteen-year-old Brooklyn, she wants nothing more than to be the popular girl that gets all the attention, especially by a cute guy. When her traditionalist parents finally liberate her powers, she wastes no time in giving herself a makeover, complete with new friends and finally getting the attention of her crush, Asher. But just like her Salem ancestors, this insinuation puts her in a position that if she is ...more
Stephanie Ziegler
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
High school politics are hard to navigate, even if you are a witch.

I know that every high school has that clique of students who are the 3 "P"s - pretty, popular and powerful. People we hate but secretly wish we could be or, at least, be around. But this group is evil. I understand the reason behind The Elite, but what did they really want from it all? I wish there was more talk about their futures and why doing bad things will get them there.

I read somewhere that this is part of a 3-book deal,
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I absolutely adored this book. It's a coming of age tale of a girl who has come into her magickal powers after her parents unbound them at the age of 16. She tries to gain popularity by giving herself a magickal makeover and joining The Elite. The Elite were the highest popular group in her high school. She has to decide what is more important to her- becoming an elite or losing herself and who she truly is. She finds out the guy that she is crushing on likes her back and he also has powers. The ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Oh my god. This is quite honestly one of the worst books I have ever read. Listen, I think it's great, the emergence of websites where aspiring writers can post their novels to gain an audience and get feedback. I really do. But just because you get millions of hits does not mean that you should get a publishing contract. Yes, sometimes there are fabulous novels out there on these websites, but more often than that, they're awful novels that get an audience only because hey, look, I can read thi ...more
Jeannette Weber
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Its about a teen girl discovering who she is. She's a loner and wants to make it in the world and will stop at nothing just to be notice. She soon discovers that she is a witch and is just coming into her powers. Brooklyn uses those powers to do an extreme make over just to fit in and it starts to work. I like how the rich snobby kids always tends to put an obstacle in Brooklyn's way, yet she manages to overcome it. We also have a little bit of romance with the very sexy Asher. The story goes pe ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I only made it to Page 111. The main character was stupid and immature BUT had smart thoughts and would do the exact opposite of what she said for EX. "I'm not going to change myself just to make the popular kids like me" and what did she do three pages later change almost everything about herself so that they would like her.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

All her life Brooklyn has been waiting for the day she turns sixteen and her parents unbind her witch born powers. The first matter of business will be to change her appearance so she can finally stop being invisible to all of her classmates. The change is dramatic and people have taken notice. She's gained the attention of the Elite, the highest social clique in the school. But Brooklyn quickly learns that popularity comes at a price, and s
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, arc
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 ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was a very predictable coming of age book. It had some cute funny moments, but slightly disappointing characters.

Opening Sentence: It totally sucked being invisible.

The Review:

Brooklyn is a witch, well at least she was born a witch, but her over protective parents have had her powers bound since she was a baby. They promised that on her 16 birthday they would release her powers, but she has to be very cautious about using them. Brookl
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover is fun. The title is fun, too, and it hints at Brooklyn's constant state of confusion and feelings of being lost. I really related to Brooklyn's feelings about being an invisible person. But that changed when she all of her energy was focused on achieving popularity by joining The Elite. This made me realize I was more like Asher. I found Brooklyn's obsession to be unsettling. She had plenty of evidence that proved The Elite were bad, but she still continued on her obsessive crusade. D ...more
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
An adorable tale of teenage witchery. Brooklyn lived a sheltered life till her sixteenth birthday... She grew up knowing she was a witch, but having her powers bound. She never felt that she fit in anywhere in her short life. All she ever wanted was to be accepted, popular, to make a difference in the world. On her birthday her parents give her the one thing she thinks will make her life better, her powers. As the old saying goes, Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Brooklyn lea ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: magic, young-adult
I'm guessing this book is aimed at a much younger audience than me. This is a very obvious coming-of-age-and-realizing-who-you-are type of book, and I liked it well enough. Except from the cupid part. Why did author add the cupid part? She had all the magic in the world to work with, but noooo. She had to add the cupid part, which ruined it for me. But maybe I'm just getting too old for these kind of books (boredom, and younger sibling being an important factor here), but I didn't like it. I may ...more
Amy Fournier
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
*3.5 rounded up to 4 stars

I really like witch books, so I was excited to read this one. It sounded so fun and cute. And it was. The story was fun to read and I enjoyed seeing what would happen next. I liked how the characters interacted with each other, even if I didn't particularly care for a lot of them. This book gave me a kind of Mean Girls vibe, and I really enjoyed it.

Brooklyn is from a family of witches who don't really use their powers, so hers have been locked. It's not until her 16th b
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Who wouldn't want to be one of the popular kids at their high school? Who wouldn't want everyone looking up at them and spend their weekends partying with celebrities? But how high of a price would you pay to become a part of the Elite? Would you change your friends, change your looks, and change your morals?

"What The Spell" follows a girl who did all of the above and some more, to finally become one of the Elite. There are a lot of changes going on for Brooklyn right at the beginning of the sto
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"What the Spell" by Brittany Geragotelis was a book I immediately fell in love with. I found the struggles the narrator, Brooklyn, went through were ones I could relate to as a high schooler even thought they had a supernatural twist to them.

I found Brooklyn as a character easy to relate to. She is very smart and I loved her voice throughout the story. I wanted her to do the right thing at every turn. I also found myself cheering for her and Asher and for her to be able to overcome the obstacl
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
More of my reviews at Secrets of Lost Words.

Rating: B

Brooklyn is a witch whose magic has been bound since birth. Then on her sixteenth birthday, her parent let her have her magic again. Now just think about it. If you had wanted something your whole life, and you can finally have it, let's be honest here: You'd probably abuse the privilege. (Don't deny it; if you still won't abuse it, you have no life)

Anyways, Brooklyn's dream is to fit in and be popular. With magic, that can be easily achieved.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a cute, very fast read, but also very predictable. Brooklyn's parents are super controlling and have bound her powers until she reaches sixteen, but they never gave her the ability to learn right from wrong and you can just about guess how things are going to go after that. She falls in with the mean girl cligue,(I mean come on!! "The Elite"?) but also falls in love with a cute magical boy named Asher. Well the predictable route takes us through the mean girls making Brooklyn prove her s ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Don't judge a book by its cover. I tend to grab books with covers that catch my eye, which this certainly did. Unfortunately the old saying rang true, "What the spell?" was not only boring it was very superficial.

The main character cries and moans about her looks and not being popular. Her solution? Change it by magic! Who cares what's on the inside!

It comes as no surprise when popularity comes with a price and she no longer likes the person who she is changing into. The book try's to right it
 Lissa Smith Reads'~Bookaholics Bookshelf Reviews
Only finished it for my daughter. However, I WILL NOT LET HER READ IT!!!!!

Girls have enough to deal with about body image... To imply the need bigger butts or blobs to get a guy is BS!!!##
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mean Girls meets that 80's movie Teen Witch. That damn cliffhanger. Damn you.
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Light and fluffy and forgettable. Great for numbing you brain after a book that got you all worked up.
I liked the book just fine but parts were a bit odd. Like the very close and odd friendship that she has with her guidance counselor who in an odd way was living at times vicariously through Brooklyn's life. Humm not too sure about that. Brooklyn is self centered and all about me but that happens after she becomes noticed and not invisible at school so yeah I can deal with that. The ending abru
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2018
No Asher resolution? Really?
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Brittany Geragotelis is living the dream. After 10 years of rejection from the publishing industry, she began to post her original novel, Life's a Witch, on the online writing site, Wattpad, hoping that others would enjoy reading her book. A year after the first upload, the book had received 19 million reads, which caught the attention of Publisher's Weekly, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street ...more

Other books in the series

Life's a Witch (3 books)
  • Life's a Witch (Life's a Witch, #2)
  • The Witch is Back (Life's a Witch, #3)
“She looked down at her book and traced the letters of the title with her finger. "Why do you think I like to get lost in these?" she said, holding it up. "Real life sometimes sucks.” 4 likes
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