In POLTERGEEKS by Sean Cummings, Julie Richardson’s life as a teenage witch is complicated.
First, Julie’s mom is always ragging on her to make sure her potions are smite-worthy and her hexes rock.
Then, Julie’s pool of potential friends is small because it’s damn hard hiding her innate witch powers. Too many times odd stuff ‘just happens’ around her. Good thing she’s known Marcus, her BFF, forever. He’s a handy punching bag for the football players, but he’s brilliant and super loyal. And, Marla’s goth, so… yeah. Julie’s not fantastically popular.
Still, she’s a good witch, and that’s how she gets into trouble: helping others.
After removing a poltergeist from a neighbor’s home, Julie and her mom sense a new malevolent force in their area. Marcus wants to help, despite not being a witch, because, well, he’s secretly crazy about Julie. When another poltergeist attacks the high school, Julie, her mom, and Marcus must rescue Marla. And that’s when Julie’s good deed goes punished.
Julie’s mom gets hexed with a killing curse, Endless Night, and Julie has two days to wake her from a coma before her body succumbs.
To save her mom’s life, Julie and Marcus team up to find Hudibras, the practitioner responsible for the attacks. In the midst of the hunt, Julie meets the ghost of her father for the first time. Alive he’d been a Shadowcull, an agent of coven justice, but he was murdered when Julie was young child. Julie receives his bracelet, which couples with her amulet to magnify her natural powers, and takes her place as the next Shadowcull.
Now, all Julie needs to do is smoke out Hudibras, save her mom, and decide if Marcus is The One. Tick, tock.
I really loved POLTERGEEKS. The relationship between mother and daughter is spot-on. Impulsive, irrational at times, and eager to take on too much responsibility to prove she can handle it, Julie is every bit fifteen. Her selflessness and emotional awareness are admirable in equal parts. Julie is resourceful and decisive, and I love that in a YA heroine. She met Hudibras on her terms and, despite the shock of betrayal, Julie kicked serious ass. Julie is likeable and grounded, for being a witch with exceptional power. She and Marcus make a great team, and the budding romance between them is done with a light touch—particularly as Julie can’t focus on Marcus while also fighting to save her mom’s life.
Just so we are clear, the language in this one is probably PG-13. Still, I hear 9 year-olds who curse more at the park, so I’m gonna let it go. YMMV.
Look for a review of the sequel, STUDENT BODIES, next week.
You can get POLTERGEEKS in all the usual places:
If you’ve read POLTERGEEKS, let me know your thoughts in the comments! 🙂