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This Book About a High School Coven Understands Just How Ridiculous Teens Can Be

The opening chapter of Hannah Abigail Clarke’s The Scapegracers is somewhat tough. It begins with a bunch of women gathering in the course of a celebration to do some magic and freak everybody out. Then the narrator breaks off to do more magic with a lady she’s solely simply met, and the sensation that that is a type of YA books filled with unrealistic teenagers extra silly than human was palpable. However that’s not the case! In The Scapegracers the teenagers are intelligent, compassionate, caring, and…additionally so fucking silly.

Teenagers might be tough to write down. Too good and so they don’t really feel actual. Too silly and so they really feel obnoxious. Generally they’re each however it’s so wildly inconsistent that we pivot proper again to them not feeling like actual characters. Take for instance the teen rebel in Colony and or the whole forged of Harry Potter in e-book six. However writer Hannah Abigail Clarke will get teenagers. The ladies on the middle of Scapegracers really feel a lot like them, actually, I discovered myself flashing again to highschool.

Sideways Pike is the narrator, and she’s a teen as a result of she really encourages individuals to name her Sideways. Raised by her two uncles, she’s a misfit going to a small-town highschool the place the richest children reside in huge homes simply off the principle highway and the place moonlight is a extra dependable supply of sunshine at evening than streetlamps. Earlier than the e-book begins, a clique of three of the most well-liked women at school invite her to a celebration as a result of they heard she will do magic and so they assume that will be neat to do for a crowd.

Whereas widespread women within the majority of popular culture vacillate between aloof with a coronary heart of gold or aloof and horrible, these three women—Jing, Daisy, and Yates—are extra like the ladies I bear in mind going to highschool with. They’re simply bizarre. As a result of youngsters are bizarre! They’re greater than the slim little roles we frequently confine them to in tales, and probably the most assured children are normally those most snug being brazenly bizarre as hell, no matter their recognition. As issues unfold, the three women notice their playtime with magic was legit and haven’t any drawback telling individuals they’re witches or making it clear they assume magic is cool. When Sideways is sort of killed by witch hunters drawn in by the spells the 4 women forged, the three widespread children are completely satisfied to assist her cease some dangerous guys. As a result of why not?

The plot of the e-book revolves round their seek for the witch hunters and looking for an answer to coping with them. There are competing covens, books filled with magic, a couple of sentient urns of demon ash, and an excellent huge sapphic betrayal that guarantees to be explored within the following two books of this three-part sequence. However The Scapegracers can also be about Sideways pursuing her personal historical past—largely misplaced when her mom died, and about recognizing that it’s OK to have buddies and OK to look past the shallow trappings of highschool stereotypes.

Highschool friendships are sometimes intense, however fleeting. You’ll be spending day-after-day with a brand new good friend for a month after which by no means discuss to them once more. Otherwise you’ll make certain you and one other child are destined to be finest buddies by way of school and past and later discover they don’t even advantage a observe on Fb. The sheer depth and velocity of highschool friendships are a type of issues I really feel like I didn’t bear in mind till I learn The Scapegracers. Then out of the blue I used to be remembering each clique I solid and forgot over these 4 years. Solely we didn’t have almost as many covens.

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Alex Cranz on io9, shared by Alyse Stanley to Gizmodo