Best Fiction for Young Adults Featured Review: How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy

  • How to Succeed in Witchcraft
  • by Aislinn Brophy
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Release Date: September 27, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780593354520

Shay Johnson is the best or second best witch at her magical high school depending on who you ask. In order to win the coveted Brockton Scholarship ensuring her admittance to the college of her dreams and a career to help support her family, Shay must step outside of her comfort zone to do the school musical. She soon realizes that the person she thought was her nemesis might be a friend (or maybe more), and the teacher who is helping her out might be manipulating her and other young witches.

In her debut novel, Aislinn Brophy ambitiously creates a vivid magical world that feels fresh. She uses magic allegorically to mirror class differences in our own society, but in a seemingly effortless way that will make it easy for younger readers to understand and relate. The story delicately and realistically handles the internal thoughts of a teenager being groomed by a teacher. As the story progresses, you get frustrated by the choices of our protagonist, but in a testament to the writing, Brophy ensures we are always rooting for Shay to find her way.

The teen reader that will love this book will like the cross section of fantasy, feminism, and LGBTQIA+ stories. Recommend this title to readers who enjoyed Aiden Thomas’ Cemetery Boys or The Witchery by S. Isabelle.

Other Nominated Titles

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The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

The Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link: