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Once a Witch Paperback – 6 Sep 2010

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Once a Witch + Always a Witch + The Winter Trilogy: A Witch in Winter
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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company (6 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547417306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547417301
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Once a Witch Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, but her Talent (magic) has never arrived. Now 17, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan. After she's mistaken for her Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom. Full description

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By C. Manning on 28 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of powerful witches, and was prophesied to be the most powerful of them all. Each witch in the Greene family has a special Talent, but Tamsin's Talent never showed up turning the prophesy into a cruel joke. Now she's 17 and spends most of her time away at boarding school, only returning to her hometown when she is forced to come back and work in the family bookstore. But when a stranger comes into her family's store and, mistaking Tamsin for her extremely talented sister Rowena, asks for help finding an old clock Tamsin sets a chain of events into motion that will change her life forever.

I was really looking forward to reading this as it has one of the best first lines I have read in a long time: "I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper thin and when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it." It's atmospheric, lyrical and sets the story up really well, and I have to say I'm impressed with where the story went from there.

The plot was well thought out and developed, with the occasional twist to keep things interesting. That said, I figured out a couple of plot twists before they happened. The plot also played out in a way I didn't expect, which I have seen mentioned in a couple of other reviews so this could well be down to the blurb. I don't want to give too much of the story away, but I'd recommend keeping a open mind when reading this.

The book has a little bit of a character overload at times, but it is understandable as it has to set up the unique extended family Tamsin comes from. It also narrows down very quickly to Tamsin, the mysterious Dr Alistair Callum, Tamsin's best friend Agatha, her perfect sister Rowena and her love interest Gabriel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jodzie on 22 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
I brought this book to read as l had the second book to review called Always a Witch (Not yet released). l never like to read a book which is second in the series before having read the first book because l hate missing out on a good book and would never read the first book after reading the 2nd already.
Anyway, my thoughts -
Carolyn is a new author for me and l am glad l have found her, l love the way she writes, her writing style makes the book constantly interesting and great to read. This book is also one of my first (if not my first .. can't remember) book which l have read that focuses so much on the magic that the characters hold. I was a bit nervous this would be too unrealistic but actually you quickly get dragged into the world which is created and start to believe this world really exists.
I love how the book started off and Tasmin introduced me to her world and that she felt a very normal girl.
The characters and their relationships are fun to read about, l especially loved the relationship between Tamsin and her sister. It is so similar to real sister relationships out there (mine included with my sister!) but has the added factor of the magic in the family which makes it very funny to read about. You find the characters themselves and the relationship between other characters changing as the story goes on and bonds between characters are quite out of the blue! The complex connections and ties between different people in this book makes for an interesting 'community' within the book and more so because of the different opinions with the characters hold about their family.
As well as many of the bonds between the characters coming as a surprise the main storyline within this book was not expected.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca_21 on 30 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is about a girl who was prophecised at birth to be the most powerfull witch ever, but that turned out to be untrue at her initiation ceremony. Now she's a 17 year-old girl who hates her family because they treat her differently because she's not a proper witch.
With a need to feel important she poses as her "brilliant" sister and gets involved in a magic quest that seemed ordinary enough but the man she's helping is not all he appears to be...
When an old friend comes back from the past, what feelings will she have...
Even without magic, can she save her sister...

This book is quite enjoyable but it wasn't what I expected. The story line was very good but the author could've gone a lot farther with it than she did. There is going to be a second book and I believe it is going to be better than the first one. If your looking to try something new or just a light read story, then this is the book for you. But if you are wanting a brand new series that you can be totally imersed in, then this isn't the book for you.
I hope this review helped.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fiction_Fan on 16 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There aren't nearly enough books in the YA genre which focus on witches for my liking. I love a good witch story, especially when they can do such amazing things so I was really excited after I stumbled across this one on Amazon.

Tamsin was a great heroine. All she wants is to act like a normal teenager now she has come to terms with the fact that she is Talentless. She has a strong voice, knowing exactly what she wants, and it stands out from the first page. She is gutsy, brave and very courageous. She is also extremely rebellious which is one of the things I loved the most about her. I thought that Tamsin was a very well written character and by far, the most likable out of the whole book. There were a couple of things about her which I loved even more, things which I have never seen done in a YA book before but I don't want to give them away for anyone wanting to read this book. I wonder if anyone who has read it can guess at what I loved the most?

The different Talents that the family members had was a great addition to this book. Each family member can do different things and while most of them are helpful or useful at times, others seem to not be as great. The diverse mix of Talents was one of the things that made this book for me. The fact that Tamsin doesn't have a Talent made her stand out from the rest of the family and I can only imagine how this must have made her feel. Having a family full of people who are successful is hard enough but to have a family who can all do magical things apart from you must be horrible. Tamsin does explain her reasons for going away to Manhattan for school though, mainly because she feels like a bit of an outcast after her grandmother proclaimed her the most powerful of them all... which didn't amount to anything.
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