Reviews

Which Witch?, by Eva Ibbotson

emmakreads's review against another edition

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A children's book I held onto far too long, because I once loved Beth O'Leary. This is no longer what I'm looking for.

mariahistryingtoread's review against another edition

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5.0

To avoid a reading slump I could feel coming on after my last two disappointing reads I decided to re-read Which Witch? because it was one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors as a kid and I was confident I'd still enjoy it.

And I was totally right. I am as charmed and delighted by Eva Ibbotson as I was a decade ago.

So many fantasy young adult books want what this book had. It had a whimsical prose that wasn't overly simplistic or overly detailed. It had fully developed characters despite a fairly large cast. It had a quirky, refreshing style that didn't seem forced.

My favorite aspect is that it celebrates the alternative in a really genuine way. The plot of this story is that Arriman, a dark Wizard dedicated to spreading and maintaining evil in the world, is looking for a wife in order to have an evil heir. And the best part is that he and all the witches (except for Belladonna who is a White Witch which provides the conflict) just stay evil. It's completely fine and just presented as the way things are in a totally straightforward way. There's no justification or vilification of being a dark wizard or witch. It's just the way things are and you are along for the ride. I loved it.

I will say that it might not be for you if you want really deep mythos or lore. I feel the characters are developed just fine because I was familiar with the story and Ibbotson's writing style, but it might also come off as rather brisk if you're going into it expecting too much.

For me, however, it was everything I needed right now to re-invigorate me going forward. I cannot recommend it enough.

xeni's review against another edition

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4.0

This book did not feel like a children's book at all. I can see why it would be shelved that way, though. There was a bit of a Roald-Dahl-esque feeling about how the world is turned on its head: darkness and being an evil wizard / witch is the thing to strive for. And yet, none of the characters truly want to hurt anyone, so there is no real evil. Darkness is not evil, I suppose is the takeaway?

In any case, I felt the characters were charming, the story was written magically but to the point, and the plot wrapped up far better than I hoped for. I probably would have loved this book a lot more if I was younger.

bookwyrmreads's review against another edition

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5.0

This was a re read for me but it’s as good as it was when I first read it years ago. Ibbotsons books are delightfully dark and spooky and simply perfect for spooktober

jeanetterenee's review against another edition

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4.0

This was just a ton of fun. Ibbotson is like a tamer Roald Dahl, with a twist of Monty Python. The part about the rats, though? That was pure Stephen King. *shudder*

nicolekaiser's review against another edition

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5.0

One of my absolute favorite books from when I was a child, I used to re-read it over and over again!

readwith_alyssa's review against another edition

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4.0

I loved this book as a kid and I loved it re reading it again as an adult! Eva Ibbotson is a wonderful writer, and I loved when she described all the characters and monsters. Great for readers 8+

yunalilly's review against another edition

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5.0

Which Witch is all around such a great book. I fell in love with it the first time I read it in elementary school and rereading it is such a great experience.

The romance made me laugh (but in a good way, of course). The over-the-top, head over heels, love at first sight meeting of Belladonna and Arriman combined with the absolutely tired aura that Lester and Mr. Leadbetter give off makes for a really humorous combination.

Arriman is like "Oh, yes, I've always wanted to be called Arry! Let's get married!!" and Leadbetter & Lester are like "I am feeling illegal amounts of second-hand embarrassment. This is absolutely ridiculous."

I feel like the pitch of this one should be something like [b:The Selection|10507293|The Selection (The Selection, #1)|Kiera Cass|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1322103400l/10507293._SY75_.jpg|15413183] plus [b:The Witches|6327|The Witches|Roald Dahl|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1351707720l/6327._SY75_.jpg|105046] (but the witches are nice in this book). Maybe I should work on that.

Which Witch is a fun and whimsical middle-grade book that effectively and flawlessly combines humor and a great plot to create just an overwhelmingly lovely tale. There's always going to be a special place in my heart for this book, and for me, it embodies a nostalgic read.

ladysanctuary's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


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eirely's review against another edition

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4.0

"a life of loneliness, begonias, and pain"