Once a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough (Library book)

3 Stars
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Carolyn MacCullough is the author of the young adult urban fantasy Once a Witch and three other YA novels. Born and raised in Connecticut, she has lived in Sicily, Scotland, and even the wilds of New Jersey before settling down in Brooklyn where she now lives with her husband and daughter. In addition to writing, she also teaches creative writing at NYU and The New School. Visit her website at carolynmaccullough.com.


This book started out great! I was determined to give it 4 - 5 stars, but...
about half way through it started going downhill for me. The beginning hooked me right away, but then something happened. It just got really confusing, conversations didn't make sense to me. I had to keep reading paragraphs over and over and still they didn't make sense. The ending was OK, but that's it. I didn't hate it, but certainly didn't love it. It did keep me reading and I did want to know what was going to happen, but I don't think I'll be reading the second book.
This book got very mixed reviews from Amazon and Goodreads. Quite a few 4 and 5 stars but also quite a few 2 -3 stars. I did agree with all the reasons for the lower star ratings..
There was pretty good character development. A lot of the reviewers said that they didn't like Tasmin. She was a 17 yr. old sarcastic, rude at times, snotty, selfish, smoking, drinking teenager... but strangely enough - I did like her! She felt real to me and in a way (without the smoking and drinking) she reminded me of Amber Tamblyn as Joan on "Joan of Arcadia", so maybe that's why I liked her.
This story had great potential! It was a great idea for a story - I just think it could have been written a little smoother.
Don't not read it just based on my review. Like I said - it did get some good reviews. It just didn't do anything for me.
There was some swearing (they liked the sh** word a lot) and talks of underage drinking and smoking but no sex.

There are a couple of other books by this Author that I would like to try - "Stealing Henry" & "Drawing the Ocean" they both sound very good. See I haven't written her off (pun intended).

This was a library book for me but you can buy it -
from Amazon - HERE
and from B&N - HERE


  1. WOW...good review. I guess I would have to read it for myself and judge.

  2. I don't think this one is for me, and I can definitely see why you had problems with it. It sounds rather confusing at times, which would seriously turn me off. I don't like it when books get so complicated that you have to work to decipher them. Very honest and detailed review. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one.

  3. I love your honesty! I haven't read it but I am tempted to get it out of the Library. I'm plowing my way through Stephen King's ~ 'Lisey's story' and it's killing me. I'm not one for giving up though and will see it through. You sound pretty much like me. Keep em coming, Sally xx

  4. Hhmm, I think I'll still give this one a go at some point.

    1. Yes, you def. should! You might like it!
      But I will be looking forward to your review.


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