Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well Witched by Frances Hardinge

If you like your creepy books with a dose of reality, then this book is for you! Ryan, Josh and Chelle are hanging out in town one summer day, when they realize that they don’t have enough money to catch the bus home. Josh, the unspoken leader of the group, comes up with the idea of taking the money from a nearby wishing well. Big mistake. Over the next few days, strange changes happen to them – electrical devices go haywire around Josh, Chelle starts spouting out thoughts and words that aren’t her own, and Ryan develops warts on his hands that have…eyelashes. Soon they discover why these changes are happening, and how it’s connected to the money they stole from the well and the spirit that lives there. This is an original paranormal story that pulls you in right from the start. What I like best about Well Witched are the characters, and their growth throughout the book. The author really understands what it’s like among three kids that are friends - how Ryan and Chelle always feel a little odd together when Josh isn’t around, and how the person with more confidence than the others is the unspoken leader. But the dynamics of the kids’ relationship takes a twisty and unexpected turn by the end of the story. The book also addresses family conflict, abuse of power, and if we really want what we wish for. Review by Katie Corrigan

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