Friday, October 16, 2015

The Teen Witch Series by Megan Barnes

The Teen Witch series by Megan Barnes consists of four titles that were published in 1988 and 1989.  I saw an eBay listing for three of the four titles which appeared in a Nancy Drew search, since the seller had used a Nancy Drew ISBN on the listing.  Normally, I ignore such listings, but for some reason that I cannot explain, I was intrigued.

I thought about it for five or ten minutes, really not sure that I wanted to make such an impulsive purchase.  I was feeling the same way I felt when I saw the Lovecraft Middle School books in a local store. As with those books, I was certain that I would somehow like the Teen Witch books, even though it was counterintuitive.  After all, reading about a teen witch seems stupid.

I purchased the books, since I couldn't let go of the thought of acquiring them.  After the books arrived, I read the beginning of the first book and knew that I would like it, so I purchased the remaining title that I needed.

In Teen Witch #1, Lucky 13, Sarah Connell turns 13 and learns that she is a witch.  Aunt Pam tells Sarah that she is also a witch and explains to Sarah that in time she will learn more about her powers.  Sarah decides to use her powers to make the cutest guy in school fall in love with her.  Unfortunately, Sarah's plan doesn't work out the way she expects.

Sarah is 12 years old at the beginning of the story and then turns 13 shortly into the story.  She is already a student at Waterview High School.  This is so weird, since students are typically 14 before they enter high school.  No explanation is made for the young age, and this is one of many things about these books that make no sense.

Did I care?  Nope.  The book is light reading and great fun.  I loved it.

In Teen Witch #2, Be Careful What You Wish For, Sarah decides to get a boyfriend for her best friend, Micki.  Unfortunately, Micki's personality changes with the new boyfriend.  Then the situation takes a huge turn for the worse when Sarah accidentally wishes away Waterview High School.  Oops.

On page 15, Sarah and Micki mention differential equations.  Later on pages 144-145, Sarah doesn't know what quadrants are, except that they make her think of geometry.  Right, quadrants are learned by Sarah's age, but she doesn't know about them.  Instead, she knows about differential equations, which is a college course requiring calculus.  Lots about these books make absolutely no sense.

The cover art is not accurate.  It makes it look like the school is still there, just closed.  The school vanished, leaving an empty lot with bare dirt.  That wouldn't have looked as interesting on the cover.

Obviously, an entire high school vanishing is not logical, but who cares?  This book is even more fun than the first book in the series.

In Teen Witch #3, Gone with the Witch, Sarah accidentally wishes herself and Micki back in time to Georgia just before the Civil War.  Sarah ends up enjoying herself, but Micki wants to go back home.  In time, Sarah realizes that they need to return, but she can't get her powers to work!

The cover art for this book is also not accurate.  Micki is shown wearing her modern clothing, but the girls' modern clothing did not travel to the past with them.

On page 112, I was interested in the use of the term "spit and image," which, as far as I know, I have always seen as "spitting image."  I had to look it up, and apparently, "spit and image" is the original idiom that some people still use.  There is also some dispute on the origin of the phrase, where some people claim that it was once "spirit and image."  However, it apparently was originally "spit and image." 

This third book is the one that most people like the best because of the historical content.  I have loved all the books, but this one has a greater impact, since most of the story is set in the past.

In Teen Witch #4, Witch Switch, Sarah is jealous of her sister, Nicole.  Sarah feels that Nicole's life is perfect.   When Nicole goes away for the weekend, Sarah decides to take her place and falls in love with Nicole's boyfriend!

This is another solid entry in the series and is unfortunately the final book.

These books remind me of Sweet Valley High.  The premise is not the same, obviously, but the style, devotion to fashion, references to pop culture of the 1980s, and the humor are all strongly reminiscent of Sweet Valley High and other books that I read in the late 1980s.  I felt like I had stepped back into my teen years as I read these books.  I loved reading these books and couldn't read them fast enough.

I loved all four books enough that I decided that I should try to get some more books from the same time period.  I recall that I enjoyed reading some of the Sweet Dreams books.  I decided to purchase some of those to see if they still hold up.  I hope they do.

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