Sarah's Stars

Sarah Mlynowski. Parties and Potions
Delacorte $18.99 ISBN 978-0-385-73645-9  340 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 15

The world is spinning around me. As Miri sprinkles the powder into the air, I realize that I knew along that he would react like this. That's why I didn't want to tell him. Why I didn't want to tell anyone. Which is why I will never, ever tell anyone the truth about me again as long as I live.

Even in the unlikely event that Raf and I stay together for the next five years, or for the next ten years, even if Raf and I get engaged and then get married, I will never tell him that I am a witch, because I never want him to look at me the way my father just did.

Mom was right in the first place: magic should be kept a secret.

Rachel, a witch from Manhattan and her younger sister, Miri, are back for another installment of the Magic in Manhattan series! Rachel has finally (sort of) gotten control of her powers and even though her spells often go awry, at least Miri doesn't have to watch over her like a mother hen anymore. For Rachel, life as a teenage witch is pretty good: she can adjust her wardrobe to suit her mood without spending a dime, she can zap herself across the globe in the blink of an eye and things have never been better between her and her beau, Raf, and that didn't take any magic at all! But Miri is getting restless. She desperately wants to learn the rituals of real witches (think Hogwarts with a touch of glitter!) and she also wants to let their father in on their secret. But Rachel is petrified that things will go wrong between them and their father. If they tell him, she'd have to tell Raf too, and what if he got scared off? Can Rachel and Miri make the right decision before the magical Halloween ceremony?

Okay, so yes, the cover of Parties and Potions is bright pink and I felt a little bit embarrassed walking down the hallway at school with it in my arms, but who cares? I love these books! Sure they're kind of cheesy but they're cute and interesting and just plain fun to read! Rachel is the classic bumbling hero(ine). She can be a bit shallow at times and ditzy but hey, aren't we all? Miri is the perfect contrast; she's serious, smart and totally into learning all the old spells from the girls' spell book, but even she's not mature enough to handle her first (warlock) boyfriend all by herself. Rachel and Miri are the perfect pair, each with their own distinct style and a loving, hilarious bond that keeps the pages turning. The plot was great, the pace was just right and it was quite nice that (along with all the previous installments) author Sarah Mlynowski tones down the language and inappropriateness often found in books of the same genre so everyone from 11-17 can enjoy these books. They're easy to read, sassy, smart and perfect for the beach. The only thing I might suggest to Sarah Mlynowski is to write the sequel faster!

I give Sarah Mlynowski's Parties and Potions five out of five stars.

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