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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Parties and Potions

Synopsis (Courtesy of
Perfect hair, cute clothes, healthy tans—life’s a breeze when you’re a witch! Even special witchcraft classes Rachel agrees to attend with Miri turn out to be fun. The sisters meet other teen witches just like them—who knew? Everyone’s preparing for a magical party called a Samsorta—a debutante ball for witches. And it wouldn’t be a ball without warlocks. Cute ones. Like Adam, who wants to slow dance with Rachel, and ski with her in the Rockies—on a school night! Of course, Rachel is madly in love with her boyfriend, Raf. So why can’t she bring herself to tell Adam—funny, charming Adam—that Raf exists?Rachel knows Raf likes her. Maybe even, gulp, loves her. But Raf doesn’t know her secret. Unlike Adam, Raf doesn’t know who she really is. And she can never tell him. Or can she?

Review: Reading Parties and Potions rather like reading Rachel’s journal. The events of the story were summed up in quick blurbs with little to no detail. When Rachel wasn’t giving quick accounts of the events in her life she was rambling incisively about nothing in particular, doing nothing but filling up space and losing the readers interest. While the Samsorta, a coming out party for witches, is supposed to be marking a transition from girl to woman, it seems that Rachel is aging backwards. Throughout the book she proves to be shallow and superficial, worrying only about her looks and is constantly day dreaming about childish fantasies. I understand that Rachel is supposed to be the fun loving girl who doesn’t worry about the consequences of her magic, she thinks only about the immediate gratification, as many teens do. Having a character that is a little immature is great, it gives the book humor and fun, however the character should also have some substance, something that Rachel seems to lack in this book.
In addition to the weak characters the plot of the book is seemingly nonexistent for a good portion of the novel. Rachel is simply flitting around with Raf and her friends, using magic whenever she sees fit. The Samsorta part of the book, as well as her budding relationship with magical hottie Adam can be summed up in less than twenty pages. While I don’t find having a clear plot incredibly important, it is important that there is a bit of plot.
Don’t be discouraged though, the great thing about these books is the ability for the story to turnaround in an instant. No matter how tiresome the first part of the book is Mlynowski can recapture the reader’s attention and hold it for the remainder of the novel.
The first three books of the Magic in Manhattan series were terrific, fun to read and easy to enjoy. Parties and Potions however, was a disappointment. I would of like to see Rachel grow more, but instead she is the same careless girl she was at the beginning of the series. Even with the disappointment of the newest book I’d still recommend reading the series, as the books still hold a special place as one of my favorite series.

3.5 Stars!


  1. well these parties look so bad.

  2. Sounds like a good plot, but bad writing. At least you never have to read through eight pages of Rachel explaining the unimportant structure of the roof.

  3. hoo! I was looking forward to reading this one, as I am a huge fan of the series as well. ): I hate when books don't live up to the previous ones in a series.

  4. Hello. Nice review.

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  5. you should read twilight. they are really good!

  6. Aww! I really wanted to read this one. I love the series. The series has some of the cutest covers! :)


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