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A Reader of Fictions: Somewhere I Belong - Linkin Park

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Somewhere I Belong - Linkin Park

Once a Witch
Witch, Book 1

Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Pages: 304
Publisher: Clarion Books

Brief Summary:
Tamsin comes from a family of Talented people. On the night of her birth, her grandmother, gifted with the Talent of foresight, predicted that she would be the most powerful one in ages. Unfortunately, this was the one time grandma got it wrong, because Tamsin never got a Talent, not even a lame one. Her sister Rowena, though, really is that powerful with her ability to persuade anyone of anything. Tamsin resents her family for treating her like she doesn't belong; she just wants to escape to school. Even when her hot best friend from childhood, Gabriel, returns to town. During one of the last days before heading back to school for the fall semester, someone asks her for help finding a clock (such requests often come to the magical members of her family, but never to her) and she thinks it is her chance to prove herself to everyone. Too bad nothing's ever that simple.

I just devoured this novel from the first page, which is set in a bookstore by the way (what's not to love?). The Talents are similar to some other stories I have read, most recently those in the Alcatraz Smedry series by Brandon Sanderson, although he did something quite different with them. It reminded me too, for reasons I cannot divulge, of Shanna Swendson's Enchanted, Inc. books, which are also completely fabulous. The writing is good, the characters are interesting and the plot draws you in and keeps you there.

Tamsin was easy to relate to from the get-go. Most everyone has felt like an outsider at some point or had sibling issues (although not me, as I'm an only child) or wished desperately for some special talent. She has a bit of an edge to her, which I appreciate for the most part. She sneaks out to bars to drink beer and watch bands with her roommate Agatha. She's sarcastic with her family. In addition, she adapts well to all crisis situations, trying desperately to make things work out; even though she doesn't always succeed, it's awesome that she tries, rather than sitting idly by waiting for a savior.

My one big complaint about Tamsin is the scene where she smokes a cigarette in her room. Blah blah rebellion blah blah badass. I really hate smoking, because, well, it's awful. However, what really bugs me about this scene is that it has so little bearing on the rest of the book. It seems so out of place. Tamsin never smokes again, nor does anyone else mention her doing so. I can't help wondering if she was a smoker originally and most of it got edited out. Either way, it struck me as clunky and gross.

Gabriel was totally awesome. His talent (finding things) rocks. I seriously want one of him for my own, so he can keep me from having to turn my house upside down trying to locate my missing remote. (This happened this evening and the remote was, of course, in the first place I looked. Why I didn't see it, I don't know, but that's always how it goes.

Once a Witch was such a fun read and I am eagerly anticipating starting the sequel. If you're looking for an awesome summer read, definitely pick this up at your local library or book store!

"I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long
(Erase all the pain till it’s gone)
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong"

Note: I am joining NetGalley month hosted by Red House Books, since I was trying to catch up this month anyway (with titles like this one)!

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