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What Magic Is This?

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Sophia, Mia and Alexis are clinging on to a spark of hope that maybe - just maybe - they're special. But could they really be witches with the power to cast life-changing spells? When the three friends gather to cheer up heartbroken Sophia, they're ready to put their theory to the test. But when long-held secrets are revealed and hard truths start to hit home, their night ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Barrington Stoke
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  161 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Published by Barrington Stoke (for readers who have Dyslexia and/or are reluctant readers!)

Well, this was both fun and heartbreaking at the same time! A group of three friends gather themselves together for a sleepover unlike any other, where they cast spells to see if magic does exist and their dreams come true. A T/W for self-harm but for a 150 page read with an array of characters, I thought the story was quite well-written. If you like Holly's books or are new to her writing, thi
Stacey (prettybooks)
What Magic is This? is Holly's first novella with Barrington Stoke, who publish readable and accessible books for children with dyslexia and reluctant readers. For example, they use a dyslexia-friendly font specially created to make reading easier, and heavier paper with a gentle tint helps reduce visual stresses.

Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You’ve put a spell on me Holly! @holly_bourneYA - What Magic is This? Is just perfect, honest, funny and pure voice of friendship! I’ve missed Holly’s writing style, it really is everlasting! I loved it! (Which is no surprise there) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ @kirstinlamb @BarringtonStoke ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: august-2019
Such a super sweet and quick novella to read, I felt Spinster Club vibes in this witchy story all about friendship and absolutely loved it. Taking place in one night with a Super Blood Wolf Moon high in the sky, three high school girls cast spells, each on something close to their heart.

The characters introduced were brilliant and I especially loved the ending where we see the trio a few years later. Friendship is magic indeed, and the last couple of lines are words of wisdom to remembe!
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holly Bourne has managed to prove to me once again why she's my favourite author. Her books always feel so amazing and important to have read and this novella was no exception. I absolutely loved it. I had tears in my eyes during the last chapter and the epilogue and I'm quite certain I would have actually cried if I hadn't been in public in a plane
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
What Magic Is This? at it's heart, is a tale of friendship. It is the binding agent to this spell, one of the most important 'ingredients'.

Sophia, Mia and Alexis are all well-rounded, distinct characters, each going on their own personal journey in the course of this novella. This was very well done, as this is such a short book, but it manages to create and follow through on a story arc for all three of the characters. The characters deal with a discourse on self-love and self-worth, mental health,
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
In her first novella for Barrington Stoke, Holly Bourne tells the story of three girls named Sophia, Alexis and Mia who come together to give witchcraft a go in order to cheer up one of their number, which turns into a night of sharing long held secrets that changes all of their lives forever. I loved all three girls and felt like I really knew them all deeply by the end, even though it`s not that long, and I loved the dynamic between them as friends as well. The book has some great messages abo ...more
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This middlegrade novel warmed my heart! Even though it's an extremely short book with thick pages and a huge font (perfect for dyslexia or reluctant readers!), it is an important story that every young girl should read. It brought back memories of being an awkward teen and learning to accept yourself. (Oh and don't forget my short obsession with wicca myself.) The female friendship is so so amazing and it shows that friends should pull you up instead of bring you down. This was so cute and lovel ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
- ... was it magic or wasn't it? we'll never know
- friendship!!! good, good friendship!
- realization that this friendship is the best and nothing and nobody can compare
- subtly deals with self harm and depression and how to talk about it and get help
- I was a dumb teenager and can identify, oh, the cringey memories this conjured
- short but full of good themes (friendship, mental health, family, learning to love yourself)
Manon the Malicious
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signed, contemporary
*4.25 Stars*

This was a very cute story about friendship and family and it was adorable and made me tear up;
Will I ever not like something Holly Bourne writes?
Ross Duffy
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet showing that true friendship is magic ❤ ...more
Alyce Hunt
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Holly Bourne's first collaboration with Barrington Stoke is a huge success.
One of the longest Barrington Stoke books I've ever read, What Magic is This? follows three best friends - Sophia, Mia and Alexis - as they have a witchy sleepover, casting spells to make their deepest desires come true.
This is perfect for reading in the autumn, as Holly Bourne crafts an electrifying magical atmosphere, while following up the bulk of the story with an epilogue set two and a half years later means that this s
Katie (Kitkatscanread)
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely a book that most could read in a day.
I like how this book is formatted especially for people who have dyslexia.
The font is easy to follow, and as my sick and unwell self was reading this, I found it a breeze. (Normally I struggle to read when unwell)
I really actually enjoyed the story line to this book, and the message that came across really got me in the feels.
This was the first book that I have read by Holly Bourne, and I definitely plan on reading m
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
For August, I was determined to stick to my TBR, so of course, I went to the library yesterday and took out an armful of books!! Luckily, this one was a super quick read, not to mention the gorgeous cover and the sprayed edges that lured me in to begin with.

A book primarily about friendship, this gave me all of the Year 9 vibes. First love being a car crash, a few good friends having your back, the wonder of magic potentially being real and being the kid who describes themselves as a vanilla yo
Emma Piper
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this small novella. I was given a copy to review from the publisher for my honest review. I myself suffer with dyslexia and found that the larger print and larger spacing did help me. I enjoyed the story much more because I didn't have to keep going through and re-reading parts. The novella itself was a lovely heart warming tale between friends and understanding oneself. I found this a lovely enjoyable day read.

Can I just say too that the cover itself is also gorgeous and very
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love how short and sweet this book is. Do I wish I had ten more instalments so I could revisit the world and characters Holly Bourne has created here? Yes. But I guess part of the charm resides as well in how bite-sized this book is and how it makes it perfect to re-read, which I'm sure I will every single time Halloween comes around.
Magic, spells, friendships, modern witches and a perfect atmosphere makes this book great, but what brings perfection is how the end wraps up Sophia's journey an
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm try to adopt the perspective of a young teenager when rating this, so my 4 stars reflects the positive impact I think this book could have on that age group. It's funny, insightful, and feels very authentic (who didn't go through a phase of trying to cast spells?). Ultimately, I also feel it does something very clever--it transmits (in a very readable, simple way) the message that sometimes we underestimate what we deserve because of rejection in early life (like a father leaving). For a kid ...more
Lydia Hephzibah
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5. Unlike Holly's other books, this is a middle grade novella, which I wish was made more clear. The characters are age 13/14 and the writing feels even younger - it's a very juvenile story with a sweet message of friendship and the importance of loving yourself, but I found the more important/interesting topics were swept under the rug in favour of fatuous issues and I doubt I'll remember any of this story soon.
Celina L
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really cute fluffy short read for me, though it was predictable at times. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Holly Bourne book, so I was looking forward to reading this (and The Places I’ve Cried in Public when I can find it in stores). I appreciated the main message of the story and liked the character development. I also really liked the little plot twist at the end, I thought it was very fitting.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
As always, I will pick up any book written by Holly Bourne as soon as I catch word of it. This book is a simpler read, and I feel like is aimed to a far younger audience than her usual YA. It was pleasant enough of a read but some of the characters problems and issues were quite juvenile so I had some trouble connecting with them on any sort of level.
actual rating: 3.5
this was a very short but sweet tale of friendship and magic! I have to say this is definitely aimed at younger people and it reads like it (if that makes sense) but it nice nevertheless and all the characters are fleshed out and real!
Amy Fogg
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quick, fun and entertaining read about the meaning of friendship. Although the characters were younger than I usually read about, I thought the message of this book was really good and I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet and kinda supernatural novella about learning to love yourself. Holly Bourne’s books always make me feel better after reading them, she writes female friendships really well. I could really relate to Sophia’s character and her development.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's such a lovely story that reminds me of my own witch phase. Unfortunatly, none of our spells worked, but we had a lot of fun.

Thank you for this amazing story, even if it is a little Bit short. <3
Kate Henderson
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ahh Holly Bourne has done it again!! She can literally do no wrong in my eyes.
Such a cute yet powerful story. Loved it!
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful story about friendship, teenage hardships and magic, in a short, easy to read format that's perfect for reluctant readers.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute little story ‘bout 3 friends playing witches & supporting each other

Love Holly Bourne & on a bit of a binge of hers right now.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Touching heartwarming story about the importance of having self worth and how friends are much more important than boys.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brilliant. Just wonderful. A quick and lush story about the importance of good friends, self love and maybe, just maybe, the magic in the world!
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Eh. This is fine.
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Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health.

Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winni