My Thoughts on Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski
Because of the new year, I decided that I wanted to do a MASSIVE clean out of all my books to make room for all the ones I acquired over Christmas annnnd the ones I will be buying over the course of 2016. While going through all my books, I found a ton that I had stuck in the back of my shelves or just forgot that I even had. One in particular was Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mkynowski, I used to LOVE this series. It was one of the first books that I ever read that weren’t cult series, and was my absolute favorite in middle school. I can still remember saving all my allowance money and begging my mother to drive me to Borders so I could go get the next book. I read them and re-read them so many times that I would reenact my favorite scenes with my friends (or Barbie dolls…) I wanted so badly to be as sassy and witchy as Rachel was. I’m pretty sure that I even tried to dress up like her for Halloween one year and my mom told me that book characters could not be costumes (oh mother dear, how wrong you had been! Harry Potter? Gandalf?? DUH OF COURSE THEY CAN) I basically ate this series for breakfast, lunch, and dinner my entire 6th-7th grade years. It had tween romance, comedy, and magic!! But before I really get into my thoughts, here is a little synopsis!
“Fourteen-year-old Rachel Weinstein just can’t believe it. Her younger sister, Miri, and her mum are both witches! How come SHE didn’t get the powers that could have propelled her effortlessly into school superstardom?
Miri refuses to use her witchy skills for the benefit of humankind (i.e. Rachel). Which is a drag, given that Rachel has an urgent need of some supersonic dance talent – not to mention a boyfriend like gorgeous, unobtainable Raf. But maybe there’s one cause Miri just CAN’T refuse. With their dad about to marry awful STB (aka Soon To Be Step-Monster), some witchy wiles may be the only way to derail a major family disaster. . .
But a charmed life has its problems – as Rachel is about to find out!” (Synopsis taken from Goodreads.com)
This is a four book series, but the first book was by far my favorite. Like I said before, it’s funny, light, and full of tween angst. What initially drew my middle school self to this series was the element of magic. I loved how organically the magic was woven into this MG contemporary. It didn’t feel forced, and it fit the tone of the story so well. Rachel’s inner monologues are laugh out loud funny. She thinks (and says) everything that I always wished I had the sass/courage to say out loud when I was that age. Her lack of significant insecurities or any kind of detrimental inner turmoil that she has to overcome – like many MG/YA tropes – was so refreshing. This is a very linear plot, and I liked that Mlynowski didn’t try to make her series anymore than it was meant to be. It wasn’t overly “lesson-y,” and didn’t introduce any kind of themes that an eleven year old shouldn’t have been reading about. Rachel grows so much in this book. Her opinions, thoughts, and dreams change just as much as I remember my own changing. Everything is still the end of the world, but you can sympathize with it all! It’s so nostalgic for me to go back and re-read scenes that I remember outwardly blushing too, or swooning over Raf’s puppy love. This series was middle school for me, and I loved every chapter.
Going through the book again nearly ten years later (can we just take a moment: 10 YEARS?! Time, you have got to stop flying like this) it’s like time travelling back into my old self. This series is perfect for your little sister, or an afternoon walk down memory lane 🙂
So, what do you think?
Any books you ate up like this series? Would you give it a shot then and now? Let me know! Hit me up on Twitter @Lizalee_ or down in the comments 🙂