Arguably one of the biggest fantastical staples of my childhood were witches. Whether it be watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch marathons when home sick, encountering Shakespeare’s “double, double toil and trouble” in school, or taking a trip to Hogwarts with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, witchiness was simply inescapable. Thanks to the beloved witches and wizards of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, these witchy YA tendencies have followed me throughout life, and I have to share some of my favorite tales of witchery with you.
After all, anything can happen with a little bit of magic!
The first book in this fluffy and rollickingly fun series proves that the only thing worse than being a witch is living with one. Like any young girl, Cam is expected to grow up to be just like her mother. Unfortunately for her, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch. Cam’s used to casually stopping her mother’s crazy schemes for world domination on the daily, but things take an unexpected turn when a demon gets loose and inhabits the cutest boy in school. Her friends are getting zombified, their dragon escapes their garage, and a phoenix hidden in the school is about to explode during the Halloween Dance. You can find out how things shake out in book three of the series, Seriously Hexed, out next week on November 14th!
Hawkins has produced a staple in any YA reader’s world by gifting us with the amazingness that is Hex Hall—an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, also known as witches, faeries, and shapeshifters. When Sophie lands there on her first day, she manages to make three powerful enemies that look like models, catch a crush on a gorgeous warlock, get stuck with a creepy ghost following her around, and find herself rooming with the most hated person in school: its first and only vampire attendee. Naturally, the best kind of shenanigans ensue!
Dennard has crafted an intricate world full of new kinds of witches in her series The Witchlands. Gone are flying broomsticks and cauldrons, replaced by Threadwitches that can follow threaded connections between people, Bloodwitches that serve as ruthless bodyguards and fearsome warriors, and Truthwitches who can discern truth from lies. When two best friends anger a powerful Guildmaster, they must flee their home while being pursued by a powerful Bloodwitch—sending them on a dangerous journey full of encounters with the most unlikely of companions, and setting up one of my personal favorite YA female friendship stories ever! Up next in the series is the novella Sightwitch, out January 23, 2018.
Schwab’s debut novel adds a dark, atmospheric read to this list. Lexi has grown up in the town of Near—a town that has a storied witch that frightens children, a town where you must not listen to the wind calling you at night for fear of never returning, a town where there are no strangers. These statements are the facts that the residents of Near live by. So when a strange boy that fades like smoke appears one night and children begin disappearing from their beds the next, the hunt for the lost children, the strange boy, and the fabled Near Witch is on. Like me, curious little Lexi simply cannot allow this juicy mystery to pass her by.
Witches have played an important part in history, so it’s only natural for a historical fiction novel following three witchy sisters made its way onto this list! Everybody knows that the Cahill sisters are eccentric—too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good (insert old-timey harrumph here). However, the truth is even worse: they’re witches. If word ever got out, it could lead them to an early grave. When Cate discovers her mother’s diary, uncovering a spell that could lead to her family’s destruction, she must find a way to change their fates. While balancing tea parties, marriage proposals, and forbidden romances, Cate starts scouring banned books and forging rebellious friendships to save her sisters before it’s too late.