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on 22 March 2012
OK, I'll admit it, the cutesy cover suckered me in. It looked like just the thing I needed after a long, bothersome day.
And yes, a 'Girl's Guide To' anything has to be a guilty pleasure, unless it was, say, Quantum Physics.
I keep trying to leave the fluff alone and get to the highbrow stuff.

But you know how it is.

Anyway, I downloaded it when it was free and thought I'd have a quick peek.
The story is a comedy of romantic errors, with twists and unexpected turns just where you'd want them. Enough to keep the pages turning quickly.
Friendship, unrequited lust, a geeky, plucky heroine, and some darker themes of betrayal and abandonment along the way.

And then there's the magic.
Spells, charms, runes and a sexy, black clad familiar, lately a cat, who turns out to be the new GBF.
If only I had him to advise on my wardrobe. Sigh.

Jane Madison is a loveable, stubborn klutz, who manages to have an awesome best friend, who bakes delicious cakes and makes Mojitos with her at the drop of a hanky, hates to do any exercise, especially yoga, and still stays fit enough to draw in a slew of smitten swains. Even whilst wearing Colonial costume.

Oh, and she happens to discover she has intense magical powers to boot.

I wanted to hate her, really I did... But, ahem, I found I had to buy the next book in the series.

You know, for research purposes.
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on 9 December 2012
Girl's Guide to Witchcraft
Wonderful reading, couldn't put it down, light hearted and fun.
I recommend that you read all the series.
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on 21 September 2015
This is a cautionary tale about a kindhearted but naive librarian who finds a set of books on witchcraft in the basement of her new home. She randomly recites a few spells from one of the books and discovers that she is a witch with all that this entails.

I am calling this a "cautionary tale" as it warns us to be careful what we wish for. Without wanting to give away the plot, Jane, the heroine wishes for certain things. Because of her new powers, some of her wishes come true. She then discovers that not everything is what it seems and what she wished for was not what she really wanted at all. She also discovers that having power has consequences for herself and others. She not only has the power to obtain what she wants but also to hurt others.

Jane is academically brilliant but naïve to the point of being stupid. Readers will not need magical powers to see what Jane could not see, namely that she is being used. She makes up however for her lack of common sense by being a genuinely decent person and we want things to work out for her.

The themes of family and friendship also figure strongly. Jane is loyal to her grandmother and her best friend and they in turn are loyal to her.

This book was so pleasant to read that I actually would have liked to jump into the story and follow Jane around Georgetown to her job at the library, her friend's café and her witchcraft lessons with her warder and familiar. The scenes in the bakery were also particularly well written and I could almost taste the cakes while reading.

I don't agree with the readers who believe that it was simplistic to believe that Jane only needed a makeover to change her personality. Ok, maybe fashion advice from Neko and his friend helped give her a little more confidence and not wanting to ruin her manicure made her stop biting her nails. She succeeded however not because of her makeover but because she was nice and took the time to talk to people.

All in all, this is an entertaining read and I must admit, was much better than I expected. This book was free but I would definitely buy the next one as I would really like to see how things turn out for our heroine and her friends.
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on 10 February 2013
Really good read! Really connected with Jane the main character. I often went to bed after reading a chapter, sighing and thinking about the predicaments Jane constantly gets into. Am in love with David the warder. Can't wait to crack on with the next one!
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on 30 August 2015
The Plot
Jane is a librarian for whom things just aren't going to plan. Unceremoniously dumped by a philandering fiance, forced into a pay cut at work and a grandmother who elicits ridiculous promises at all times of day, Jane plows on moving into the cottage in the grounds of her library. And thus things become complicated. Accidentally casting her first spell she activates her feline familiar in the form of Neko, a protector and not to mention a long lost parent. Time for mojito therapy with best friend Melissa and let hillarity ensue!

My Opinion
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't a saccharine sweet romance and although witchcraft was key to the plot there was plenty of other subplots to enjoy right alongside Jane's mystical discoveries. I would say there were no dire and dramatic plot twists and no-ones life was at risk, which is a lovely change (speaking as someone who can't leave her book characters in mortal peril) and the story was pleasantly gentle. It did make me laugh and smile, and with an overwhelming craving for a good mojito!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 October 2015
I enjoyed this so much that I immediately got the second book when I finished this one. Jane, the central character of this tale, is not someone I particularly liked. She was too self-absorbed and, for someone who had enough intelligence to get a degree I thought she was somewhat stupid in her inability to understand what a great talent she had been given and spent her time dwelling on trivia instead of developing her abilities. The thing that redeems this book in spite of the idiotic main character is the writing style. It is entertaining and witty and moves along at a fast pace so that you can't wait to turn the pages to find out what happens next. Neko (her familiar) and David (her warden) are both great characters who Jane does not seem to value in the slightest. I got the second book in the hope that Jane would grow and develop into her new witch persona. So, does Jane grow in the second book? You will have to read it to find out.
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on 8 April 2016
This is just a quick review, most points have been covered by other reviewers, but I enjoyed reading this book so much that I think it's only fair to let the author know. It's an entertaing light read with interesting characters, I like the original concept of the familiar taking on a human form. There is no cliff hanger at the end of this book, the author is good enough that she doesn't need to play that cheap trick to get the reader to buy the next book. This can be read as a stand alone book, but the characters and the pleasure I had from reading about them make me want to read more, so although there is no urgency about it, I will be getting the next book in the set.
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on 4 October 2015
Look at the cover of this book and even read the synopsis and its very own implied statement. What do you see/ expect? Beach read, light, fun, easy, fluffy. Spiced with paranormal elements. Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft has all the ingredients to be a good piece of fun chick lit. And that’s exactly what I was expecting to get when I picked this book: nothing more, nothing less. If this book was light, fun and entertaining, even not being a masterpiece, it would get 5 stars from me.

In the end, I can say that I didn’t dislike this book, yet I was more than a bit disappointed.

Full review here:
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on 31 March 2016
I'd classify this as a growing up novel with a dash of magic making it interesting. The interaction between the heroine and the men in her life is rather awkward, but I found it interesting to watch her as she came round from being so utterly convinced that the world dismissed her instantly to the more tame acceptance of herself and that the world will just have to follow suit.

While I did enjoy it, however, I'm not sure that I will look further in the series as some of the reviews have made me reluctant. The ending was just good enough that this could be read and perceived as a stand-alone novel, although it is not so.
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on 26 August 2015
Honestly, I think I'm far too grown up and sensible for this book. I normally quite like paranormal romance and romantic comedy as genres, but the heroine in this one, Jane, is just annoying. She's not only an absolute idiot, but she's incredibly immature. I found myself not commiserating with her problems, or laughing along with her, but rather just wanting to shake her.

The ending message of the story (that people will all love you if you just get a makeover) was the final straw - that's not a message for a mature or a modern woman. That's a message used to sell acne cream to insecure teenagers.
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