Review: How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy

Posted December 14, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 10 Comments

I received this book for free from Bookish First in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review:  How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn BrophyHow to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 27, 2022
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 416
Source: Bookish First
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: four-stars
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An overachieving teen witch vies for a prestigious scholarship at her elite high school in this contemporary YA fantasy for fans of Never Have I Ever and Sabrina the Teen Witch!

Magically brilliant, academically perfect, chronically overcommitted…

Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. Now that she’s a junior at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, she’s one step closer to winning the full-ride Brockton Scholarship–her ticket into the university of her dreams. Her main competition? Ana freaking Alvarez. The key to victory? Impressing Mr. B, drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee.

When Mr. B persuades Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive, racially diverse musicalat their not-quite-diverse school–she agrees, wearily, even though she’ll have to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But with rehearsals underway, Shay realizes Ana is…not the despicable witch she’d thought. Perhaps she could even be a friend–or more. And Shay could use someone in her corner once she finds herself on the receiving end of Mr. B’s unpleasant and unwanted attention. When Shay learns she’s not the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide if she’ll come forward. But how can she speak out when the scholarship–and her future–are on the line?

An unforgettable debut, How to Succeed in Witchcraft conjures up searing social commentary, delightfully awkward high school theater, and magical proclamations of love.

My Review

I won this from Bookish First and wasn’t able to get to it right away since I didn’t get an early copy, so couldn’t fit it into my review schedule. But when I did get the time to pick it up, I was caught up in the story right away!

I loved the way the author made an alternate world where magic was a normal part of it. It made a difference in how the US worked, colleges, cars, etc. But the author included actual people that were in our history, like Madame CJ Walker for one. The story took on the topic of a teacher using the power they hold over a student in order to get them to do things they wanted or to harass them in some way. And the thread of that was woven into news stories of how a local wizard at a company was making the witches that worked there share their power with him. The story also touched on racism, especially how people like this teacher just wanted “brown skin” students for his play so it wouldn’t be a “white out” as I think he put it.

The different types of spells and potions and how the magic translated into school work and testing for future college was so interesting! And I loved the part that was about licensing schools versus non-licensing schools and how that would affect what type of job or salary you would get afterwards.

A fun read, and I can’t wait to share this with my students. I believe this is the author’s first book, and I look forward to reading more in the future!

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10 responses to “Review: How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy

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