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The Reluctant Witch

(Santa Cruz Witch Academy #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  31 reviews
A girl who just wants to be invisible. A threat only she can stop. Will she leave the shadows to save her school?

Brie doesn't want to be a witch. Her grandma is infamous for almost destroying her small town in Calaveras County, and her mom is famous for saving it. Growing up in the shadows of two powerful witches, she knows that everyone is going to judge her for her famil
Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published January 13th 2020 by Kristen S. Walker
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Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Reluctant Witch is the first book in Kristen Walker’s Santa Cruz Witch Academy series and while it has a bit of a slow start this is one YA book that I found hard to put down once it really gets in gear. Get ready to meet Brie, a teenage girl who is on her way to Santa Cruz Witch Academy. She’s not too keen on going to be honest, but her moms want her to go and to get on the path to becoming a witch. Brie is hesitant because of her family history, but she just has no idea what all is in stor ...more
Debbie Eyre
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fab urban fantasy read and a great start to this series.
If you like teen witches, magical schools, and introverts who have to overcome their wish to be left alone, Then this is the book for you. Witches, mermaids, bully’s, secrets, heartbreak and suspense has left me waiting for the next book!
David Stewart
DNF at 20%.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hidden-gems
Brie doesn't want to be a witch. After her grandma almost destroyed her small town and her mom had to save it, Brie just wants to be invisible. She agrees to go to Santa Cruz Witch Academy where no one will know her family's crazy past. When Brie finds out that mermaids are planning to attack the school she needs to decide if being invisible is worth losing everything.

I really wanted to like this book. The plot sounded great, the characters sounded interesting and the world building was amazing.
Kristian Walls
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just a little beneficial disclaimer. This story takes place years after the events of the Fae of Calaveras trilogy by Kristen S. Walker and has many spoilers for that series and it’s overlapping characters. So while it is not necessary to read the other series first I do recommend it. I didn’t and I wish I had though I was able to follow along with this story just fine.
This story is so hard to review without spoilers so sorry if I am too vague, its for your own good.
I love Walker's world buildi
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academy
A very nice surprise. This is a new author for me.

Brie is going to an academy for witch training as well as her normal high school classes. Each witch has an affinity for one of the 4 elements; Earth,Air, Fire, or Water. Brie is hoping to get water but gets earth instead, to her great disappointment. She also gets stuck with a roommate that is entitled and was annoyed when her request was not fulfilled, even though her family is a large contributor to the Academy.

The night Brie gets her magic,
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Notorious family, forbidden love and flamboyant friends, what more could you ask for?

This is an interesting take on how witches come into there magic. Brei has never wanted to be a witch because her family caused so much havoc. Her mom's are happy that they talking her into giving it a try for one year.

So, what happens when she is assigned a different power then she wants? Well it starts with a pledge to the wrong fae and being given a secret mission before she can even learn any of her magic.

Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brie (Bridget) decided she needs a break from the town she grew up in, and applied for a magic school in Santa Cruz instead. Her family name is known with a lot of it's reputation being bad and some of it being good, but she would rather hide in the background, than stand out. Although she might be going to have an interesting first year of magic, because she feels an attraction to a female mermaid, and she has been made the roommate of a nasty entitled girl. I enjoyed Brie's story, and her stru ...more
Douglas Williamson
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Our shy heroine goes to the magical school because it is what her mother wants. But somewhere along the line, she starts to discover what it is that she wants, and that may not align with the desires of others.

This is the first book in a new magical academy story. The story is well written and includes a lot of the tropes you would expect from a YA academy story, but I am very pleased to say that there are also a lot of differences. It is these differences (which I won't describe to avoid spoile
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brie doesn't really want to be a witch, but she agrees to go to the Witch Academy of Santa Cruz. What happens there is First love, a great friendship, a hard choice, betrayal and this happens in only her first year. I liked this story and I believe many will follow Kristen Walker to see what happens in the next installment of this series. I was given a free copy of this book at my request and this is my honest review. ...more
Margarita Rose
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brie is in the midst of teenage angst. She's wants things a certain way and has a tendency to blame others because they are not that way. She's starts out very immature and selfish but starts maturing and growing into her own. Mermaids are up to no good and Brie finds out but whom would she tell and would anyone believe her. This is a good starting book with more to come.. Received ARC copy of this book and this is my honest opinion. ...more
Kelsey Carter
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
My rating is five out of 10. Bridget was a very annoying character. For 90% of the book she acted like a spoiled brat which is funny because that’s what she accuses everyone else being. The writing style was good, and Damien was a very interesting character. He was a loyal friend, even when Bridget didn’t deserve it. Bridget or Bree is about to go to the Santa Cruz which academy to learn how to be a witch. While she’s there she meets a mermaid. But is the mermaid what she seems?
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great Book!

On I am lots older than the intended age for this series. But I adore it, Brie being so worried about life, so like so many. Thank you for your hard work on this book, looking forward to reading the series.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Brie's personality and attitude is what is going to keep me from continuing this series. She was written like a spoiled brat or a millennial who thinks they are owed everything and shouldn't have to bust their butts to get it themselves. Reminded me too much of how kids act nowadays. ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Was a good book. Started off a little slow but got progressively better the further into the book. Loved Damien. He was my favorite character from the book.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A young witch who just wants to be invisible. A beautiful mermaid who doesn’t belong. A secret relationship that threatens the entire academy.
Brie only agreed to try the witch academy to make her mother happy. She assumed she would learn Water magic. But when the students were assigned to their Elemental classes, she ended up in Earth. The list of reasons for her to leave the school keeps growing—her roommate is a bully, she doesn’t understand her classes, and everyone judges her for her infamou
Heather Quarnstrom
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked that Brie was such a down to earth girl that just wanted to be left alone. I also loved the fact that she was a lesbian was never blown to huge proportions like many books. I can't think of many books that have done this, and done this well. I loved the inclusiveness of her genderbending pansexual best friend as well. There have been more and more books that have been trying to do this, but not as well as this one.

The story itself is fantastic. It grips you and holds you tight. I
Kathleen Bradbury (Bulfon)
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extremely entertaining, captivating and interesting sexy read. I could not put it down. Wonderfully written with strong, intriguing characters. I want to read more from this author.

"I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book."
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn’t want to be a witch? A YA fantasy

Bridget (call me Brie) is starting her first year at the Santa Cruz Witch Academy this year. Both her moms are witches, but Brie is not so enthused, although at least she will be close to the ocean and Monterey Bay. She gets moved into her room, and then things start getting messed up. Her roommate is a snot, plus she gets assigned to classes in Earth Magic, rather than Water Magic about which she is passionate, her service assignment is shoveling unic
Scarolet Ellis
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Reluctant Witch: Year One (Santa Cruz Witch Academy Book 1) by Kristen S. Walker is a wonderful story that I have read. This is book number one in this wonderful start to a brand series writen by a brand new author for me to read. I can not wait to read the next book and I highly recommend this wonderful story to everyone who loves reading about magic and witches.

I received a free copy of this book via Story Origin and am voluntarily leaving a review
sherri jones-teachout
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beware a mermaid’s song. Brie never wanted to go to witch school. She wanted to stay in human school and become an artist, but her mothers convinced her to try it for a year so she enrolled in Santa Cruz Witch Academy so she could be close to the ocean and surfboard. Her best friend Damien, also gay, is enrolled so she at least has one friend, because she doesn’t make friends easily. She is forced into Earth magic classes instead of what she really wanted was water magic, so because she has no a ...more
Teri Griffis
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an ebook from this author and Story Origin in exchange for an honest review. This is my first Kristen S. Walker book and probably will not be my last.

This book is so well written that the main character reminded me of my sister and her attitudes. When you want to blend into the background, what do you do when you know there is trouble brewing for the school. Do you come forward or stay in obscurity? The trials of a teenage witch. Enjoy! 📚
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kristen S. Walker is a magical writer! This first book of a new series is another page turner, interestingly almost lyrical…full of unexpected events as we learn more and more of this different Earth-world and the beings who dwell there. Brie, our Reluctant Witch, is going to be a junior in high school who has two witch mothers, one of whom persuades her into attending “Witch School”. So she moves from a tiny California town in Calaveras County to coastal Santa Cruz, a magical place of natural b ...more
Roxanne Glawson
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Roxanne... A must read

Brie is not your average girl. She loves the water . Things go awry once she comes to the Academy. Things arent what they seem. She isnt happy with her classes and hopes that will change but will it?

Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found the beginning of this book a little difficult as it seemed to be very slow moving and too much about LGBT.
I stopped reading it for a couple of days and then decided that I would attempt to finish it.
About a third of the way through, I found that the plot really started to move along and I could not put it down.
I am glad that I returned to finish it as it was a good, interesting story after the detailed beginning.
I will be reading the other books in the series, I think.
I received this boo
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A strong start to a series.

Following the trials of Brie as she struggles through a school that she doesn't like, and nothing seemingly going her way.

The author has written a captivating book that is hard to put down. You feel the protagonist's struggle as she works though her troubles, but does not bog down the reader by dwelling.

Can't wait to read the next one.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
That was soooooo much fun to read! I loved reading about Brie’s escapades and the struggles she had with her classes. I loved how when she just needed to she was able to connect with her magic and use it instead of fighting with it. It was just a wholly fun book to read!
Rebecca Brown
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful beginning to a new series. The characters are so good.
I really enjoyed reading this book...
Mary T
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witches
Good story that flows well.
First year at boarding school can be rough. Brie has chosen to go to witch school in Santa Cruz not the one that is local. Her friend Damian is also going to be there. She ends up with a not so pleasant roommate and not in the witchcraft field she wants. She makes friends with Gabriella, a mermaid. Brie ends up getting into trouble and almost doesn't get to stay at the school. She will be making up grades in summer school.
I received this book free as an ARC enjoyed it.
Chad Barrus
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I struggled with this book because I felt Brie was setting a bad example to impressionable youth by her trying to justify her bad behavior. However, it serves as a reminder that you need to read the whole book through before forming an opinion. Once past her finally admitting responsibility for her actions the book became enjoyable.

The same themes in this new series appear in her other series that she has written so fans of Kristen will enjoy this book.
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Kristen S. Walker is a fantasy writer, blogger, and geek from California.

She grew up in small towns in Northern California, running around barefoot in the woods and climbing trees with a notebook to write down stories. She lives with her family, including one rescued cat, in a house full of books.

She writes and self-publishes fantasy novels for teens and adults.

Other books in the series

Santa Cruz Witch Academy (3 books)
  • The Salty Witch: Summer School (Santa Cruz Witch Academy #2)
  • The Daring Witch: Year Two (Santa Cruz Witch Academy #3)

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