Author: Alex Flinn
Published: HarperTeen, February 2012
Purchased: Downloaded my copy from iBookstore
Bewitching can be a beast. . . .
Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t.
I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age.
You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out.
I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it.
Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.
Kendra is a witch, an immortal. Born in England in the 17th century, she watched many of her family members died from the plague. When the last of her siblings suffered miserably from the disease, Kendra prayed, tapped into her witch power and healed her brother. Realizing people could become suspicious about the sudden cure of her brother, she figured the only choice she had was to take her brother away from the village and never return. This also marked the beginning of the many adventures that Kendra has as an immortal witch.
Although the main focus of the book is about the story between Emma and her stepsister, this book is told in multiple POVs and I find it interesting to read about some other adventures that Kendra went through while she contemplates on whether or not she’d help Emma.
In the story, Emma is an ordinary girl who loves to read books. She has self-esteem issue and when her pretty but nasty stepsister moves in and brings chaos to her peaceful life, Emma tries to cope but because of the wicked interference of her stepsister, she withdraws and no longer enjoys the same level of harmony in the relationships that she has with those whom she cares about.
As the story unfolds, it’s pleasantly encouraging to watch how Emma grows and becomes stronger even when she is being caught in a series of unfortunate events and disappointing setups. What I really love is how in the end Emma discovers the truth about what has been really costing her from living a happy life and when she applies what she has discovered, her life naturally transforms for the better. I also love that although Kendra does use her magical power in the process, Emma’s situation is not resolved by magic but through the intent and action carried out by Emma.
While I enjoy the retelling of several fairy tales: Hansel and Gratel, The Princess and The Pea, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, etc., I can’t help but wonder if the connection to these fairy tales actually takes away the fun for me to dive deeper into breathing and living with the characters of the book. Though I appreciate the many flavors of fairy tales that are included, the quantity somewhat chops up the book and makes me somehow feel as though I was reading a number of stand-alone short stories inside a story.
Overall, I had an enjoyable time reading Bewitching . I have not read any other work by Alex Flinn, and if you have any recommendation, I’d appreciate if you’d drop me a line and let me know. Thanks!