Bewitching - Alex Flinn

What if the fairy tales we all grew up on got it wrong? What if the evil step-sisters weren't so bad, but cruelly manipulated by Cinderella? What if the mermaid didn't get her "happily ever after" with her prince,but a tragic end? What if the witch wasn't an evil shrew, but just a lonely girl who tries to help others, sometimes with disastrous results? Bewitching, re-telling classic tales through the eyes of the witch, breathes new life into these stories and shows us (to quote my favorite witch, Alex Russo) "everything is not what it seems". I have to start by saying that Bewitching caught me completely off-guard. I expected the story to be a little fun and cute, but I didn't expect the lessons learned and to have as much fun as I did! The story is primarily from Kendra's point-of-view, but does switch to the view of the character she is helping at the moment, mainly Emma. Emma is a sweet, but plain girl, bookish and quiet, living a happy life with her mother and step-father. But her life takes a dramatic turn when her beautiful, perfect, and seemingly fragile step-sister Lisette comes to live with them after her mother's death. Emma is desperate for a sister, and wants to be close to Lisette, but it quickly becomes apparent that Lisette is out to destroy Emma, out of jealousy. Because she is so sweet and seems innocent and broken, Lisette (Cinderella?) is automatically given the benefit of a doubt. Emma, who is plain and quiet, rarely has the courage to speak up for herself, is quickly forced into the role of the "evil stepsister". Kendra, for the most part is a quiet observer to Emma's pain, only offering bits of advice. But when Lisette goes too far in her effort to destroy Emma, she decides to step in and help. Will her efforts turn out as tragically as it did with a certain mermaid? Or will she be able to change a life for the better, as she did with the Beast?

Ms. Flinn has the most captivating voice in storytelling and I can’t help but be drawn into everything she writes. Kendra’s story is told within Emma’s story so as I read along I learned both about Kendra, the misunderstood witch who got a bad rap in Beastly but is so fully understood and loved in Bewitching and then there’s Emma, the teenager that Kendra is wondering if she should help or not. Emma's story is a modern day re-telling of Cinderella but it’s not (~Wink~) you’ll have to read to figure that one out! Ms. Flinn’s perfectly poetic plot is full of action, suspense, mystery and of course, magic! Kendra manages to pull off some hilarious hijink’s that had me chuckling-nothing like seeing the ‘mean girl’ get hers! On top of all that, there is Kendra’s glorious history from Louis XV to the Titanic, each one a well known faery tale.