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Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly (3 stars)

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I reviewed Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly last year. Despite the broom on the cover, it felt more like a contemporary YA novel with a tiny sprinkling of magic. The sequel, Seriously Shifted, shifted gears and brought on a lot more magic and fantastical elements without losing the down-to-earth, "teen finding herself" core.

This book was provided by the publisher for review. Thank you, Tor Teen!
Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly
Series: Seriously Wicked #2
Genres: YA, Paranormal
Published on November 1, 2016
Published by Tor Teen
Final Rating: 3 stars
Teenage witch Cam isn’t crazy about the idea of learning magic. She’d rather be no witch than a bad one. But when a trio of her mother’s wicked witch friends decide to wreak havoc in her high school, Cam has no choice but to try to stop them.

Esmerelda is the mean girl of the witches. Valda likes to drop anvils on people’s heads. And Malkin—well, Malkin is just plain terrifying. Their idea of fun is a little game—they each pick a student from Cam’s high school and compete to see who can make their teen the most miserable. But Cam suspects one of the witches may have an ulterior motive…which means someone at school could be in worse danger yet.

Now Cam’s learning invisibility spells, dodging exploding cars, and pondering the ethics of love potions. All while trying to keep her grades up and go on a first date with her crush. If the witches don’t get him first, that is.
Can’t a good witch ever catch a break?

Seriously Shifted pits good witch-in-training Cam against a wicked witch reunion, and her mom's old college buddies are in town for more than drinks and laughs. After an ill-made wager, with more on the line than she realizes, Cam's in for a week of new secrets, new friends, new spells and new danger.

There's conflict galore from the start, which is a good thing because, for better or worse, Cam isn't great at driving a story herself. She's very loyal and likes helping people, but she's reactionary. So the story is plot-driven, but it balances out when combined with Cam's relationships with her mom, friends and crush.

And let's not forget the three new wicked witches on the scene! I liked the mystery element, trying to figure out which witch was making which student's life miserable. I was less fond of Cam's ethical dilemmas. She wants to beat the witches at their game without going over to the Dark Side. That's great, young Skywalker, but it doesn't mean you have to join PETA. Let's pick slightly less severe self-imposed hurtles. Cam's internal dilemmas also tend to slow the pacing. It's much more interesting when she's getting stuff done.

Other than that, the author's writing is enjoyable, the witches are both evil and entertaining, and the teenagers all read like teenagers. I had fun watching the characters take chances, make mistakes and suffer. Recommended for readers looking for contemporary YA with fantasy icing on top. :)

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