When you’re fourteen and life has been nothing but hurt and disappointment, maybe it’s time to strike out on your own. But after leaving the boring village and foster home for the excitement of London, Raya finds out she’s a witch, with this annoying habit of time-travelling – by accident. And this sarcastic witch’s cat Oscar tags along for the ride. But why would she fling herself into the midst of the Essex Witch Trials in 1645 England? After being arrested by Matthew Hopkins, one of history’s most notorious witch hunters, her social worker and witch mentor Bryony goes back to try to save them from the gallows. But returning to present day London remains out of reach with Raya’s powers still out of control when they find themselves in 1645 Istanbul/Constantinople. There, life is more amazing than she ever dreamed. Can she stay? And at what cost? (via Goodreads)
I received an ARC from author Sara Pascoe in exchange for an honest review.
I read Being A Witch in one sitting, and reading it flew by because this book read very young to me. That’s not a bad thing, just not necessarily what I expected from this book, which is marketed as YA to me. Personally, I would market this towards the younger end of the YA age range.
I love time travel books. I love books that deal with hard situations and show you how those characters dealt with them. However, there’s a lot that was never explored in this book that I felt really needed to be.
For example, how does being an integrator work? How do you get involved in the IHS? Are integrators marginalized in this version of society?
I loved that not being skilled enough got her into a lot of trouble, and her friends, but also I really hated Raya. She gave very little thought to anyone around her, and treated Bryony like shit throughout the book, even being willing to literally leave Bryony in Constantinople/Istanbul because Raya didn’t want to leave the city.
A lot of the conflicts in this story weren’t resolved, and Raya was a little asshole throughout the book. She makes really awful comments about everybody, and uses phrases like war paint and a “really bad case of schizophrenia” without giving a shit about the other characters.
Overall, this was a 2 star read for me. This could have been a really good novel, and I could have gotten over my hatred of Raya, but I didn’t. I really wouldn’t recommend this to anybody.