Review for Always a Witch (Witch #2) by Carolyn MacCullough

Always A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

TITLE: Always A Witch
SERIES: Witch #2
AUTHOR: Carolyn MacCullough
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 2011
PUBLISHER: Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
PAGES: 276 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 5 stars

Whoa. Just wow, I really wasn’t expecting that ending. It came flying up out of nowhere and hit me smack in the face. It was completely brilliant though. Since I adored everything about Once A Witch, it really is not surprise that I loved this one as well. Carolyn MacCullough took everything I loved about Once A Witch and managed to improve upon it when writing this book. It’s witty, it’s funny, it still has that great Tamsin/Gabriel relationship. The sarcasm is cut down a bit, but it is still great.

This novel pics up not too far after the last one left off and it follows Tamsin in an adventure in the past. Her grandmother can no longer see a future for their family, so her only real option is to follow Alistair into the past and prevent him from warning the Knights. Deciding it is best to do this alone, she uses the Domani to travel back 1887 with no real plan beyond warning her ancestors and finding Alistair. She ends up taking a position as a lady’s maid for the Knight family to watch for Alistair since she can’t find anyone with knowledge of the Greene family. Complications arise, ensue, and are overcome.

I really loved this novel. Love, love LOVE it.

I loved Tamsin going off on her own (though it was stupid) and blindly charging off to save her family. I love that it doesn’t turn out perfect when she arrives. Too many novels have the heroine arrive and it just all magically falls into place, like the first person she asks knows where to find her family and they believe her and fix it and then cue the happily ever after. No, Tamsin arrives and cannot find anyone that has even heard of her family. She wonders around cluelessly until a man offers her a job as a lady’s maid for the Knight family. Then when she finally finds her family, they don’t believe her. I truly loved that. Call me cruel, but I like seeing the heroine (or hero) struggle to get what they want/need.

I was a bit sad when she left without Gabriel because I love him and I want as much of him in the novel as possible. He finally shows up in 1887 a little over halfway through the book, so those of you fearing (like me), that you won’t get enough of him here, let me put your mind at easy. You get plenty of the signature Tamsin/Gabriel banter.

I have to give it to Carolyn for catching me off guard because I didn’t see that ending coming at all. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t****SPOILER****Tamsin giving up her powers to protect the Domani.****END SPOILER**** Even though I didn’t expect it, it was perfect. It seamlessly tied the whole story together. It makes it completely understandable why Grandma forced everyone to hide Tam’s powers from her. It really left me speechless.

I also loved that this series is just a 2 part set. It is very refreshing to see a short series in a world where it seems like every story is continued to like 15 volumes. Oh and for those of you wondering, this series had no love triangle. 🙂

Review for Once a Witch (Witch #1) by Carolyn MacCullough

Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

TITLE: Once A Witch
SERIES: Witch #1
AUTHOR: Carolyn MacCullough
PUBLICATION DATE: September 14, 2009
PUBLISHER: Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
PAGES: 292 pages
FORMAT: Hardcover
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 5 stars

Tamsin Greene comes from a family of witches who all possess a special Talent. All except her. When she was born, her powerful grandmother prophesized that she was be the one of the most powerful witches her family had ever seen and they had high expectation. But when her eighth birthday rolls around and nothing manifests, everyone starts distancing their selves from the only person in the family to not develop a talent. Her best friend, Gabriel, moves away just before this so there is no one to really comfort her. When a gentleman shows up at her family’s bookstore asking for her sister, Rowena, to help him find something (one of the many services her family offers), things really start to unravel. Everything she knows changes and when her sister’s life is put in danger, she’ll stop at nothing to save her.

I had seen this book at Ollie’s several times and though it caught my attention, I never picked it up because I am sometimes iffy and witch books. It’s only logical to be so since there are so many. They are like the vampire and werewolf novels, every fucking author seems to feel the need to write about them these days. I realize not all of them are bad (in fact most are quite good), but weary of the bad ones, I am hesitant to read them unless I know someone who has enjoyed them. Anyway, stuff happened and this was one of the few books I had on my flash drive last week, so while waiting for my computer class to start, I started reading. And I couldn’t stop. I ended up transferring the pdf to Luna (my kindle) so I could read it any moment I had to spare. This book is one of the great ones. I really loved it.

Things I liked:
– I loved Tamsin. She is quirky, rebellious, sarcastic as hell, and has a decent sense of humor.
-There are no love triangles. There is just Tamsin who is attracted to Gabriel and Gabriel who is attracted to Tamsin. There is no angst over which guy to choose, just those 2 on an adventure to save the day.
-It is written in first person. I love things written in first person because I always get a better feel for the characters.
-It doesn’t shy away from sexual innuendos. Some YA novels do these days and it bugs me. I hate to break it to anyone out there with a teenage daughter 16 and up, but sex does cross their mind and is a topic that will be discussed with their peers. That being said, this book has no sexual content. Tamsin and Gabriel kiss a time or two, but that is it. My point is more that it isn’t an issue that is just completely left out. I love how Gabriel is portrayed as an amazing guy who does think about it a lot, showing that guys don’t have to be either or. It’s something I think YA is lacking these days.
-Gabriel. Yeah, I am so still going through that phase where I love all the main male characters. Hot, sarcastic, and he plays guitar…need I say more?

-I liked the ending. This doesn’t end in a cliffhanger. Tamsin and Gabriel save the day and though they don’t ride off into the sunset, there isn’t a massive cliffhanger there is grade on my nerves. The ending just leaves it open for another book.

Thinks I disliked:
I really don’t think there was anything I disliked about it.

This novel really is amazing. I will be starting book 2 next and I look forward to raving about how great it is next 🙂