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. ~ From GoodReads
What if the fairy tales we all grew up on got it wrong? What if the evil step-sisters weren't so bad, but cruelly manipulated by Cinderella? What if the mermaid didn't get her "happily ever after", but a tragic end? What if the witch wasn't an evil shrew, but just a lonely girl who tries to help others, sometimes with disastrous results? Bewitching, re-telling classic tales through the eyes of the witch, breathes new life into these stories and shows us (to quote my favorite witch, Alex Russo!) "everything is not what it seems".
I have to start by saying that Bewitching caught me completely off-guard. I expected the story to be a little fun and cute, but I didn't expect the lessons learned and to have as much fun as I did! The story is primarily from Kendra's point-of-view, but does switch to the view of the character she is helping at the moment, mainly Emma. Emma is a sweet, but plain girl, bookish and quiet, living a happy life with her mother and step-father. But her life takes a dramatic turn when her beautiful, perfect, and seemingly fragile step-sister Lisette comes to live with them after her mother's death. Emma is desperate for a sister, and wants to be close to Lisette, but it quickly becomes apparent that Lisette is out to destroy Emma, out of jealousy. Because she is so sweet and seems innocent and broken, Lisette (Cinderella?) is automatically given the benefit of a doubt. Emma, who is plain and quiet, rarely has the courage to speak up for herself, is quickly turned into the "evil stepsister". Kendra, for the most part is a quiet observer to Emma's pain, only offering bits of advice. But when Lisette goes too far in her effort to destroy Emma, she decides to step in and help. Will her efforts turn out as tragically as it did with a certain mermaid? Or will she be able to change a life for the better, as she did with the Beast?
Bewitching is the first of Alex Flinn's books I've had the pleasure to read. I had heard about Beastly, but not until it became a movie and that's most likely because I have a super-strong Alex Pettyfer radar. But now I'm sure to hunt more of her books down and read them. The tale is told in a fun, conversational manner that made me feel as if Kendra and I were having a nice, long chat. The stories she wove into Emma's (the night the Titanic sank, a young French prince searching for a wife) were nice asides that expanded upon the lesson Kendra was conveying.
Bewitching, with a clear message about remaining true to oneself, is a great book for young readers. I could absolutely see a reluctant teen (or tween), snatching this book up and devouring it. But, it's also a story that adults, at least those young at heart, can enjoy!
"She stared at me, at my open mouth. 'Now, what are you going to do about it, Emma? Burn me at the stake? Organize a boycott of all the Harry Potter books because they gave me ideas?' "
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 14th 2012 by HarperTeenYou can pre-order Bewitching at:
Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Amazon
* I received an ARC of Bewitching from Harper Collins, in exchange for an honest review. *