Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. May 2022. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062465030.
Gr 8 Up–Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the biggest skeptic in Salem, MA. She hates Halloween. A calamitous, tumultuous year has left her isolated and anxious, self-medicating with marijuana and with a complete lack of a social life. So when a mysterious, handmade Tarot guide arrives at the kitschy tourist store where she works to help support herself and her ailing mother, Eleanor finds something new to pour herself into. And when Tarot is soon followed by two honest-to-goddess witches—one of whom, Pix, she feels an instant attraction to—Eleanor wonders if it’s actually possible to start over. But in Salem, everyone has secrets, and the two teenagers struggle to keep their fledgling relationship alive through Eleanor’s past, and Pix’s best intentions in this charming, heartrending LGBTQIA+ YA. Neatly laid foreshadowing makes an important but unexpected reveal all the more emotional, and the pay-off all the better as the narrative straddles the border between realism and the fantastic. The book features a white main character and love interest, with Black and Asian American characters in the secondary cast.
VERDICT This title is an excellent purchase for teen collections.

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