An inexperienced 15-year-old witch struggles to establish her ethics as she fights to save fellow high school students from the predations of older wicked witches.
When Camellia’s witch mother, Sarmine, (both white) invites three racially diverse witch friends over, ostensibly as a reunion of an old college Do-Badders Club, Cam is horrified when they decide to resume their antics and select Cam’s fellow high school students as victims. The challenge? The witch who makes her victim the most miserable over the course of a week is the winner. To thwart them, Cam bets the witches she can undo their work, but there are problems: she doesn’t know which students are the victims, she barely knows any spells, and she refuses to use any spells that contain animal ingredients—which, unfortunately, are most of them. If that weren’t bad enough, the ante gets upped considerably when Cam discovers the real reason most-evil-witch Malkin suggested the challenge in the first place. Cam’s flippant first-person narrative rises above teen boilerplate due to the intelligence, vulnerability, and self-deprecating humor she displays. Connolly’s first-rate plotting delivers a clever story that empathizes with the self-conscious teen world even as it pokes a tiny bit of well-meaning fun.
Accomplished plotting teams up with a winsome narrator to give readers a bewitching story. (appendix) (Fantasy. 13-16)