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Once a Witch

(Witch #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  15,175 ratings  ·  1,361 reviews
"Your daughter will be one of the most powerful we have ever seen in this family. She will be a beacon for us all."

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and on the day she was born, her grandmother proclaimed she would be one of the most Talented among them.

But Tamsin's magic never showed up.

Now, seventeen years later, she spends most of her time at boarding sch
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published September 14th 2009 by Clarion Books
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Manuela No, she doesn't. For a short time it seems that she might, but that gets nipped in the bud real quick.…moreNo, she doesn't. For a short time it seems that she might, but that gets nipped in the bud real quick.(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  15,175 ratings  ·  1,361 reviews

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Feb 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This book suffers severely from First Book Syndrome. What it really needs is some solid rewriting and a strict editor.

Where's that full stop, young lady?

Once A Witch is a story about Tamsin, who is born into a family of Talented witches. On the day of her birth her grandmother prophecies great things for her, but it turns out, Tamsin was born with no Talents at all. Feeling like a freak and a misfit, Tamsin grabs at the opportunity to prove herself when a stranger mistakenly approaches her
Jul 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of X-Men or witches
Recommended to Shannon by: Moonlighthaven2004
I have to say I was pretty surprised at how much I liked this book. I've been reading a lot of mediocre teen books lately so I didn't have my hopes up too high when I started this one. Thankfully, it was a really great book!

Tamsin's family is a group of witches, they each have Talents that manifest at around the age of eight. Unfortunately for Tamsin though, her Talent never manifests, but her older sister Rowena is one of the most powerful of the family. Tamsin's forced to live in her sister's
Ahmad Sharabiani
Once a Witch (Witch #1), Carolyn MacCullough
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimate
☆ ĄňŊǡƂėƮĦ ☆ ŞŧŎŋė
This book is about Tamsin who is born into a family with great expectations. They are all Talented meaning that they all have specific powers that they are able to use. Her grandmother predicts that she will be the strongest and most powerful Talented witch. Her family is ecstatic and expect the best from her. They are disappointed to realize that she has no powers. Feeling like an outsider, she tries to stay away from her family and be like a normal 17 year old girl. This ends when she is at he ...more
Honestly, I don’t have too much to say about this one. The story was nice enough, I liked the characters as well as the whole gift concept, but somehow I can’t seem to find anything to gush or complain about.

When I first started reading I got really excited since the plot moves at a really fast pace and I found myself being glued to the pages. I only stopped because I had already spent the better part of my evening reading and this annoying thing called real life kept demanding my attention. Str
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was great! I like Tamsin and Gabriel a lot (a little more action would have been nice) but if I had a sister like Rowena I'd be in jail before my thirteenth birthday. *mumbles condescending bitch*

Read this, all the cool kids are doing it!
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars Unexpectedly good, with well-developed relationships and an intriguing plot. Can't wait for book two! ...more
Alistair M
Jan 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite a promising start, this book really didn't turn out very good for me. I had a hard time swallowing the resolution, since it didn't involve any measure of apology on the part of her family for estranging her all those years. One moment she's the bitter black sheep with no measure of witchy Talent, the next she is the most powerful witch of them all, ready to defend her family with her life despite the perpetuated lies they used to alienate her since she was 8 years old. The book seemed to ...more
Apr 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Although Carolyn had a few novels under her belt already, Once a Witch was my first experience with her writing, and I’m looking forward to more.

Tamsin was a very relatable character. Feeling like you don’t quite fit in with your family or that you’ll never live up to their standards is something that I remember struggling with myself. I loved the dynamics of her family and how even though it was so huge everyone was close in their own ways. It was refreshing to read about a “normal” happy and l
Emma Michaels
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Okay first off… I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!!! I sat down to read it last night but was interrupted so the first chance I got today I started. I went so far as to not even put it down to blow dry my hair making this a very bad hair day because I got completely distracted by the book and so sucked in that I blow dried my hair until it was just a little too dry. This book was very well written and I have to admit I am impressed by the author. It was such a smooth read and as you breeze through the ...more
Anne Osterlund
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Tamsin is a witch that’s not witch. The Talentless daughter of a powerful magical family she would prefer to escape. And she has escaped—at least a little, in her dorm at prep school.

But when a dark and mysterious stranger asks her to FIND a clock, Tamsin tells a fib.

She claims she can find it.

And it’s all downhill from there. Well, almost all. There is Gabriel, the young man from her past who seems not at all disturbed by the fact that she never developed her powers. And not too disturbed by th
Wowzers, this book moves at breakneck speed. There were a lot of characters, a lot of powers, a ton of plot, and Carolyn MacCullough packed it all into a shorter book. Did I enjoy it? Definitely. I just wish it was about 50 pages longer and unraveled at 70-75% of the current pace.

Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea why did I give this book 3 stars when I first read it... because it was amazing!
I started it a few hours ago and I couldn’t put it down! I mean... I have to go to work in a few hours, but this didn’t stop me from finishing the book, because it was way more interesting than I remembered.
Can’t wait to read the second book tomorrow!
A fine urban fantasy about a family of witches, told from the POV of Tamsin, the only member of the family without powers. When she's mistaken for her super Talented (with a capital T) sister Rowena, she tries to prove herself to her family by finding a long lost family heirloom for a handsome young professor. Of course, mayhem ensues.

I wanted to love this a little more than I did. I liked it fine. But I love the "families of witches" plot line, and was super excited to read about Tamsin and he
3.75 stars
I ended up really liking this book, although I didn't expect it to be that good!

Spoilers in this review will be marked of course

Short summary
This book is about Tamsin, who grows up in a family of witches. Everyone in her family has a certain 'power' or even several powers, like shooting fire/walking superfast/reading someones mind etc. Everyone expected Tamsin to be a great witch, but her magic power never showed up.


I saw a blurb by Cassandra Clare on the cover, so I was
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
(3.5 stars) Tamsin comes from a family of witches. At her birth, her grandmother prophesied that she would become one of the most powerful of all — but Tamsin’s powers have never manifested, making her odd one out in the clan. If this were Harry Potter, she’d be a Squib.

Unsurprisingly, Tamsin is insecure about her magical deficiency. When a stranger comes to the family’s shop, looking for someone to help him find a lost item, Tamsin’s insecurity leads her to make a fateful mistake. Now she’s the
Somewhere along the way, I must have categorized all YA fiction to be subpar books with even worse writing. Yet, I still manage to be intrigued by book covers and add them to my tbr. This is one of the few times that I managed to stumble on a gold mine.

Once a Witch follows Tamsin, the younger daughter of a magical family who was supposedly predicted to be the "beacon of her family" and being super powerful. Well, at the age she was supposed to be getting her Talent, as they call it, she doesn't.
Jennifer Rinehart
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm a pessimist when it comes to new authors. So, when I started to read Once a Witch I was waiting to be underwhelmed.

The opening scene, with Tamsin and Professor Callum was okay, not the best first chapter I've ever read, but the setup, a girl without powers growing up in a family of talented witches, was intriguing enough to keep me reading.

By the time I got to Rowena's Engagement party, her grandmother's prediction for her when she was born ('she will be a beacon')and Tamsin's meeting with G
I thought this one was cute enough, but I wasn't that invested in the characters or what happened to them...not sure why. It's like another book I recently read that had me from the get-go and then lost me or should I say I lost interest? I think perhaps it could've been due in part to the beginning that talked about how the MC was supposed to be a powerful witch (the most actually), so it took a bit to gain some interest in her character.

Oftentimes if I'm not too terribly into the characters
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This surprised me in such a good way. The description sounded so great but I totally expected it to be crap like most YA these days, but I rushed through this one - almost instantly taken in by the story, the characters, and the emotion. Wow, I just realized how cynical I am about ya these days. I really do expect them to be mediocre at best and written as if by a 15 year old girl.

What cinched it for me big time was Tamsin. She is a girl growing up in a world that she cannot participate in. She
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Tamsin Greene was born, destined to be one of the most Talented and powerful witches in her family. But now at seventeen, she has long since gotten over the fact that her “Talent” just never came to be. She’s more or less an average teenager (of course, without taking her Talented family into consideration). She attends school in New York City, has a great roommate/BFF and is as far away from the eccentricities of her family as she can get.

But when a stranger walks into her grandmother's shop an
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
I don't what it was about this book but there was something about it that just drew me in.

The book was a continuous stream of fast-paced tension with an added dose of action. I loved the chemistry and interactions Tamsin had with the male lead. It's quite obvious that they have feelings for the other but it's never bogged down in a mushy subplot that takes away from the main story. Yes, they like each other, but their friendship is more important and she doesn't really want to be in a relations
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2010
I think I see a sequel in the future for this one. I guess I hope so because I'd love to read more about Tamsin, Gabriel and their big family of witches.
Tamsin, born of a long line of witches, has no Talent, what the witches call their power and she feels left out and different. In an effort to try to show that she is capable of doing what the others can, she makes one very bad choice, or maybe several, depending on how you look at it. Anyway, there is time travel, surprising magic and the begi
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting much from this book, to be honest. The blurb on the back didn't sound all that great, and the cover is kind of ho-hum (not that it should matter...but we all know it does!). Anyhoo, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this one. I did have to roll my eyes a few times at some of the stupid things the heroine did, but overall the plot kept chugging along a such a nice pace that it didn't matter too much to me. It also had a nice little love story that surpris ...more
Margaret Stohl
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A really well-polished, well-turned corner of a larger universe I would love to explore in future books. Craft in both senses of the word!
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

I was recently reminded through a book review on this site that people need to start reading for pleasure instead of reading as a critic all the time. I couldn’t agree more. While it wasn’t intriguing or heart-moving, Once a Witch was a pleasant read for me. It felt like a sweet balm to my soul to delve into fantasy again, and I’m glad I finally decided to try this book after having it on my TBR pile for so long.

I liked the protagonist, Tamsin, and I liked Gabriel even more. While I
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this book. Even though it was pretty predictable. Kept me entertained, can't wait to read the second part.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-young-adult
I still love this book!
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Kate
You can check out more reviews on my blog: Paper Cuts

So Once a Witch was recommended to me by my cool friend from Australia, Kate (She's got a pretty cool blog, Nomalicious Reads that you should follow. Check it out!), and I'm so glad she did. I really enjoyed reading it. I thought the relationships were well-developed and the storyline had a perfect, flowing pace.

Normally, I'm really not a big witch fan. Other than Harry Potter, I can't help but think of pointy hatted women with warts, and that
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This is a book that I really enjoyed a lot. The book is about a girl named Tamsin who has grown up in a family who all have different and individualized Talents- their term for the magical abilities each person has which can vary from person to person. Funny thing is, when Tamsin was born, her grandmother proclaimed that she would be the most powerful witch that has ever been born into their family... and then for some reason in the entire 17 years that Tamsin has lived, this has never came to p ...more
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Carolyn MacCullough received her MFA in creative writing from the New School and lives with her husband in Brooklyn.

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Witch (2 books)
  • Always a Witch (Witch, #2)

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