Sophia, Mia and Alexis are three girls, best friends, in Year Nine. One night the three decide to cast wishing spells in order to solve their various problems. Sophia is the narrator. She is desperate for Aidan Chambers, the best looking boy in her year, to reunite with her. Mia has a more serious problem to resolve. She needs to stop self-harming. Alexis wants to resurrect her recently expired dog Casper. Are the three girls really juvenile witches? Or is there a different kind of magic at work? If so, it might be a kind of magic the girls can’t control.
This is a problematic book. Holly Bourne has established herself as a successful writer. But this book may not be quite what her admirers would expect. Her readers have come to expect books of 300 pages or more in length, giving Bourne the opportunity to develop characters and narrative in a measured and effective style. This much shorter book develops its themes in a manner which seems more abrupt and far less satisfying.
A final point. Quite why Bourne chose to give the teenage boy in her story the name of Aidan Chambers, in the real world a well-known writer and the winner of a Carnegie medal, is quite baffling and distracting for anyone who has heard of the real-life Aidan.