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FICTION

B*WITCH

Freeform. Jul. 2020. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368028769.
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Gr 9 Up–Iris, a teenage witch, is new to Sorrow Point High. To ameliorate her sky-high anxiety she performs a calming spell at school, breaking federal anti-witchcraft law 6-129 and potentially outing herself to any anti-magic Antima members operating at school. While no Antima see her, she is, however, noticed by Greta, Ridley, and Binx, witches and members of one of two feuding covens; the other coven is made up of three teens of the mean-girl variety. The two covens are both keen on recruiting Iris and Penelope, another potential witch, when someone is murdered and the teens must work together to solve the crime. The witches are a diverse bunch, including POC, lesbian, and trans characters, as well as one who is coping with a sensory processing disorder and anxiety. There are many characters to keep track of and the story line is elusive at first, but readers who persevere will be rewarded by an elaborately plotted, if unevenly paced, novel that is clearly the first in a series.
VERDICT With faint traces of Harry Potter and whiffs of the television series The Secret Circle and Charmed, this will appeal to teens who love witches in contemporary settings and can’t get enough of the subject.

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