A Manhattan girl is headed for the country this summer, leaving her divorced parents to themselves. Starry night skies, campfire roasts, canoeing and finding the boy of her dreams are among her plans, just like the other 14-year-olds jumping off the bus at Camp Wood Lake. Except she's not like the others - she's a witch whose powers recently emerged. Though she's under strict orders not to use them this summer, she can't help but consider a few minor changes. Camp, she concludes, is going to be fun, fun, fun! Little does she know that a continent away someone with a little crystal ball has different plans, plans meant only for Rachel.
At first camp was fun. She had her eye on a boy who looked back. The girls in her bunk were nice and welcoming. The activities were fun (except swimming, of course). And the weather, food and stars were just perfect. But then her new magic begins to flare up at the most inopportune times. And a bunkmate becomes mean and yet befriends her sister. And the problems mount - an errant soccer ball, a capsized boat, even a case of lice. When her friends turn against her and something life-changing occurs, things look bleaker than bleak. Can Rachel's newbie witch magic solve all this?
Spells & Sleeping Bags is full of modern teen lingo, quirky humor, an overall light tone with a surprising dark vein. Though Rachel, the protagonist, at first appears vacuous and self-involved, the reader watches her grow throughout her trials and travails. But does she ever get her priorities straight? Check out the book and see! A fun read, especially on the heels of the first two in the series, Bras & Broomsticks and Frogs & French Kisses.
Review by D.