Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Summary: The year is 1915 when sixteen-year-old Eliza Williams arrives at the Billings School for Girls in Easton, Connecticut. Her parents expect her to learn the qualities of a graceful, dutiful wife. But Eliza and her housemates have a dangerous secret: They're witches. After finding a dusty, leather bound spell book, the Billings Girls form a secret coven. Bonded in sisterhood, they cast spells--cursing their headmistress with laryngitis, brewing potions to bolster their courage before dances, and conjuring beautiful dress out of old rags. The girls taste freedom and power for the first time, but what starts out as innocent fun turn sinister when one of the spells has an unexpected-and deadly - consequence. Magic could bring Eliza everything she's ever wanted... but it could also destroy everything she holds dear.
Kate Brian isn't one of my most favorite authors. Past books that I read from her would always leave me somewhat unsatisfied. The Book of Spells definitely changed my mind about Kate Brian. I loved every single thing about this book, from the plot, the setting, the climax, to the characters.
The vivid detailing of the behavior, setting, and fashion of 1915 mad this book so realistic and surreal. I had a sudden wish to travel back in time, if possible, to live like how they used to. Surely, it would've been beautiful.
I had a like hate relationship with Eliza. Although she was raised under a strict household; forbidden to act anything other than ladylike, robbed of the books she most enjoyed, the classics and books that men would enjoy, Eliza never tried to change who she was. Her adventurous and spontaneous side never failed to show when Eliza and her friends went on many "field trips" together. Along with her leadership skills, Eliza can be very stubborn. So stubborn it was frustrating.
After the last sentence of this book, I thought, 'this can't be the end, I don't want it to end' because of how fond I grew of this book. The Book of Spells was perfectly written, perfectly wicked, perfectly magical and perfectly mysterious. Among the many books I've read that involved witchcraft this was probably the best.
First Sentence: Even at the tender age of sixteen, Elizabeth Williams was the rare girl who knew her mind.