Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Audiobook Thoughts: Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Published: HMH Books
Format: Audiobook
Series: Book #1
Source: Brilliance Audio
GR Summary: Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The searchspellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant. 
 My Thoughts: Guys, I'm chuckling right now because I still cannot get over the fact that audiobooks allow me to READ AND DRIVE at the same time. I now don't dread the 40-minute-one-way commute to work! And the fact that Once a Witch is totally badass was pretty cool, too.

Tamsin is a troubled child. Can you imagine? Being in a family of witches with all these awesome talents? And you're supposed to be THE CHOSEN ONE, but then your talent just skips out on you? And having a beautiful, powerful sister and feeling like you're constantly in her shadow? For real, Tamsin is the Ashlee Simpson of the witching world (I know the Simpson sisters aren't exactly relevant anymore. But I still fondly reminisce on the pop takeover of the early 2000s.) But as we all know, Ashlee Simpson was way more awesome than Jessica. YES, even with the SNL ho-down lip-synching. The same goes for Tamsin. If you looked up "wry" in the dictionary, there you'd find Tamsin. That, in itself, is a talent. Not to mention the book was narrated by the awesome Hannah Friedman, who played a big hand in bringing all these personalities to life. (Her old lady voice was creepy, but old witches tend to be creepy, no?)

 Tam definitely got in a bit over her head when she lied to hot Scottish NYU professor, saying that she was older, beautiful, more talented sister, Jessica Rowena, and that she could help him. Honestly, I thought there was going to be a romance between of two of them and got a little nervous, because THAT IS SCANDALOUS, Carolyn McCullough. Tamsin is a teenager! (But I didn't feel bad for mentally asking Alistair "how YOU doin?") Good thing actual love interest (and more similar in age) Gabriel more than made up for my disappointment that there wouldn't be any Scottish swooning.

 With the stellar narration that brought a whole new dynamic to the story and a worthwhile plot with twist after twist, Once a Witch was ridiculously entertaining. If you choose the book, I can guarantee you a fast read. But if you decide to go with the audiobook, you won't be disappointed or bored in the slightest. You don't even have to LIKE witches to like this book, but it might just make a fan out of you.

And in honor of Tamsin, here's an Ashlee song, Love Me For Me. (Because that's all any of us really want, right?)

credit to hotpolishgermangirl on youtube


  1. I'm glad you had me read this book! Super thrilling and witchy!

  2. Yes yes yes!!!! to Ashlee Simpson being the cool sister. I have all her albums. Jessica, bleh.. her stuff was nothing.. bubble gum garbage.. Okay, well, she had some good stuff.. but she was all fluff towards the end.

    I got this in paper back from my secret Santa.. I love this particular cover of it, it's so shiny in person. :) I'm really looking forward to reading it.

    I need to start trying some more audio books. I tried one, the first soul screamer one, and I just couldn't get into it.. but I have the same time commute as you, so maybe I just need the right audio book to get me hooked.

  3. I have a long commute too and love to spend it listening to audio books or my kindle. I like the sounds of this one. I didn't know what it was about before reading your review. Thanks for the great introduction. It sounds like my kinda read.

  4. Welcome to the audiobook train! SO FUN.

    PS - the name Alistair is rad. Always and forever.

  5. I surprisingly didn't finish this one - the whole lying and pretending to be her sister drove me nuts, and I ended up not finishing it. I did love Gabriel for what I had read of this one though.

  6. I've really gotten into audiobooks this past year and I'm kicking myself for not getting into them sooner because they let me read at times when I can't just sit down with a book. I don't even mind doing dishes or cleaning my apartment anymore because I can just listen to a story (yay, multitasking!).

    I listened to Once a Witch and also thought it was wonderfully narrated. I plan on listening to Always a Witch because the same person narrates the sequel.

  7. Witches are the shit. AS IS READING AND DRIVING. Word. While getting stuck behind a slow driver is a pain in the ass still, it's not quite as bad as it was without an audiobook.

    ALSO? Once A Witch sounds pretty good!

  8. I read and enjoyed this one awhile back. It wasn't my favorite read but I enjoyed it enough that I will definitely be picking up the 2nd book. Nice review!

  9. The tale comes to a satisfying conclusion, but it's clear that very soon Tamsin will have more challenges to deal with, which gives us the hope and expectation that we have at least one sequel to look forward to.

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