Bras & Broomsticks (Magic in Manhattan, #1)

26210Bras & Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: 2005
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, Magic, High School, Family


What if all your wishes could come true? Blink your eyes, drink a fizzing pink potion, and poof! Life is perfect. That’s Rachel’s situation. Except she’s not the one who suddenly has magical powers. Her younger sister is. And as Rachel would tell you, spellbooks are wasted on the young. Yes, yes, of course world peace and cures for horrible diseases are important. But so is dancing without looking like she’s being electrocuted, winning back her best friend, stopping her dad’s wedding, and finding a date for Spring Fling. Rachel’s not bewitched. Yet. . . .


The first time I read this book, which was nine years ago, I was close to immune to immaturity, probably because I wasn’t as mature as I thought myself or simply didn’t mind it.

But now that I’m not immune anymore, meaning that it affects me—annoys me and makes me want to pull the hair out of my head in extreme cases—it doesn’t go unnoticed anymore.

This book is undoubtedly immature. The storyline, characters and even spells are. But the difference between Rachel here and, let’s say, Clary from The Mortal Instruments is that Rachel embraces her immaturity.

She knows she’s not as grown up as her younger sister Miri and definitely not as responsible. She has other priorities—boys, bras, popularity and evil stepmothers.

I’ll admit that it took eighty pages for me to really get into this book. I was afraid I would have to wince at Rachel’s childishness every one page, but after some time I started to *get* her humor and remember why I enjoyed this author so much when I was a tween.

Miri is a very important character, so there *is* a balance in the story. She’s the one with powers, because she’s able to handle them, but her young age means that she is indeed easily influenced, especially by her older sister who she adores.

This book is chaos—the entertaining sort.


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2 thoughts on “Bras & Broomsticks (Magic in Manhattan, #1)

  1. I bought this book when I saw the author speak at the book launch for her newest YA novel, and she talked a bit about how the YA market has drastically changed and the YA books she used to write (like this) sounded much younger than what people expect from YA today. I agree. This may be realistic (honestly, a lot of YA characters sound/act like people in their 20s rather than their teens), but it definitely doesn’t fit the market today or what people expect from YA books precisely because the protagonist is so immature.


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