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Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn't Ask For by Sara Pascoe ⇉ Witches, Time Travel, and a #Giveaway (International)

Thursday, May 25, 2017
I picked this one up in the midst of finalizing student grades. During this time, I generally don't read much because my brain goes on break, but I always found the time and energy to read this book. Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn't Ask For is a light, enjoyable read that has an underlying level of depth to it in the contemporary issues addressed.

A contributing factor to the lightheartedness of the novel is the youthful tone. At fourteen years of age, Raya is still a child and has much to learn about society. In the beginning, she comes off as bratty and unappreciative, but author Sara Pascoe makes her situation understandable. It may also be that I'm reading this from an older perspective; when I was Raya's age, I probably would have put more blame on the character for her circumstances.

I especially appreciate how Pascoe address contemporary issues through Raya's situation. Some issues addressed include foster care, the homeless, teen runaways, and social care. While I would love to discuss this in more detail, it may result in potential spoilers. Just know that I appreciate how, in the end, both the adults and the children are able to contribute to the discussion and seek mutual understanding. There are too few books out there where children are able to rely on adults or work together with them to a common purpose!

Being a Witch has the additional treat in that it takes place in the UK, both in the present day and in the historical past during the Essex Witch Trials. There's also a side trip to the Middle East. I'll let you find out the time and place when you read the book! Having grown up in the United States, I enjoyed taking a peek into the lives and culture of the people in these locations. It was made all the more enjoyable by the presence of Oscar the cat. Cats always spice up a story with their catty personalities and commentary!

Lastly, I want to once more acknowledge the constant presence of adults in Raya's life. I love that she's able to rely on them and receive support from them. Of course, as the heroine of a novel, she must step up and take action herself at times, but she is also able to be a child thanks to the adults who are there for her.

Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn't Ask For is a magical story that I recommend to readers who enjoy a good fantasy, especially one with witches and (of course) a cat!

When you’re fourteen and life has been nothing but hurt and disappointment, maybe it’s time to strike out on your own. But after leaving the boring village and foster home for the excitement of London, Raya finds out she’s a witch, with this annoying habit of time-travelling – by accident. And this sarcastic witch’s cat Oscar tags along for the ride. But why would she fling herself into the midst of the Essex Witch Trials in 1645 England? After being arrested by Matthew Hopkins, one of history’s most notorious witch hunters, her social worker and witch mentor Bryony goes back to try to save them from the gallows. But returning to present day London remains out of reach with Raya’s powers still out of control when they find themselves in 1645 Istanbul/Constantinople. There, life is more amazing than she ever dreamed. Can she stay? And at what cost?


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If you were to travel to any time period, which would it be and why?

Publication Info
  • Being a Witch, and Other Things I Didn't Ask for by Sara Pascoe
  • Published by Trindles and Green
  • On February 6, 2017
  • Genres: Contemporary
  • Pages: 380 Pages
  • Format: Paperback
  • N/A
  • Language
  • Teen runaway
  • Violence

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author. All thoughts expressed are my personal honest opinions.


Thanks to the author, I have the following to give away to a reader of the blog. The giveaway is open internationally!

Being a Witch and a Being a Witch pen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments on "Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn't Ask For by Sara Pascoe ⇉ Witches, Time Travel, and a #Giveaway (International)"
  1. I would like to travel to Regency England, love that time period for the clothing, culture, manners.

  2. I would love to travel to the early 1920's. I'd love to experience the parties!

  3. The 1920's for me too. Women coming into their own.

  4. This sounds like a book I must definitely read! I don't think I want to time travel to a far off past. Too many choices to pick one and there are drawbacks to everything. So I think I'd just go tell young Charlotte not to take Greek freshman year of college or something like that.

  5. i would back to the 1900 simpler times


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