In search of comparative titles for my own manuscript, Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe was recommended to me by a friend. I listened to the audiobook read by Caitlin Kelly who does a fantastic job making the characters come to life! Overall, I greatly enjoyed the book.
Eva Evergreen is a middle grade fantasy that follows 12-year old Eva as she sets out on her novice witch quest; however, Eva is at a disadvantage because she only has a pinch of magic and her spells usually go awry. For example, she gets a sunburn instead of summoning rain. In addition, using magic drains her and after casting a simple spell or enchantment, she falls asleep. Yet, Eva is determined. She sets out on her quest to earn her license as a novice witch, but things are not easy for a young witch with only a pinch of magic.
Eva finds herself in the seaside town of Auteri. Many people, including the town mayor who is needed to sign off on her paperwork, doubt her. But, she is able to secure a Guardian and make some friends, including a flame fox whom she names Ember. Though she at times even doubts herself, she never gives up.
Truly a heartwarming story about perseverance, friendship, and learning to embrace who you are, Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch is a story children, young adults, and adults alike may enjoy. Readers who favor coming of age stories with likable, determined protagonists will greatly like Eva Evergreen.
The book is an easy 4 star read for me. It didn’t get a full 5 stars because over halfway into the book, there is an automobile and mention of airplanes – it took me out of the world that had been built up until that point.
Furthermore, the book seems to promote hope, but then in Chapter 18 it states, “…Because hope was a cruel sorcery of its own. The power of hope was always tainted with the sharp sorrow of unfulfillment.” I can’t get this out of my head. It is difficult to say sometimes what is hope compared to false hope, but isn’t the purpose of hope to trust that something will be fulfilled? And once it is fulfilled, the hope changes into something else like gratitude? I understand the line in context of the character it referenced; however, I feel that it is misplaced in the story overall – it just doesn’t fit if that makes sense.
Overall, I’m excited to have discovered Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch. Not only is it a cute, heartwarming story, but the epilogue sets up future books. Further, I think it is a great comparative title to my own manuscript (more information on it will be shared soon)!
You can order your own copy of Eva Evergreen from Amazon here OR you can request a copy at your local library!