I love a good graphic novel, and I love a good witch story, but The Okay Witch was just that…okay. It felt very derivative of the genre–part Witch Boy, part Mooncakes, part Fake Blood, part Crucible It’s got all the hallmarks of “classic MG” these days: awkward girl protagonist, kind new male classmate, school play, and that supernatural element. It’s a fine read, but I wasn’t blown away!
Moth is what you would expect of a girl named Moth: awkward, without friends, and insecure. So when she “explodes” on a bully at school she’s surprised to learn that she’s a witch! Or a half-witch at least, her mother reveals. Their town, site of a famous witch hunt recreated yearly as the school play, has never been welcoming to witches, so her mother has shut away her powers for years. But when an old friend returns in the shape of a cat, Moth decides to start exploring her magic by learning through her mother’s time-traveling diary, all while helping prepare for the school play and learning about the town’s history. There’s the requisite “history was wrong!” dialogue, friendship stories, coming into your own on the stage and more.
There’s really nothing wrong with this book, it just felt super derivative to me and that other than the time-traveling mother lost in time aspect, I’d seen it all before a dozen times. The illustrations were great and I liked the grandmother character as a kid of spooky Nana, but I was mostly just glad to be done with this book and onto the next one.