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Well Witched by Frances Hardinge

Well Witched (2007)

by Frances Hardinge

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The story of three children, Ryan, Josh and Chelle who miss their bus and in order to get home steal coins from a wishing well. The children soon begin developing strange traits and learn that there really is a wishing well witch. I enjoyed the story but don't know that it is really a juvenile book which is where my library classified it. I'd say it is better for middle school aged kids. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Adult Reader Reaction: Well Witched turned quickly from *just* an adventure to an intriguing story about right and wrong, secrets, choices and consequences. It is a fun read, but it has more depth than its premise might suggest. Overall, the story seems to be a cross between a Grimm's fairy tale and an Aesop's fable.

Pros: Mystery and fantasy lovers alike will find themselves totally wrapped up in Josh's, Ryan's and Chelle's adventure.

Read whether we recommend buying or borrowing this book in the full review at The Reading Tub®. You can add your review, too.
  TheReadingTub | Oct 26, 2015 |
Three friends make a wish at a very special wishing well, and start to gain powers the well wants them to use to grant other wishes. But the wishes keep going wrong, and the ringleader of the friends seems too enamored of his powers. This is a solid story about the terrors of childhood and the ways in which friends can be cruel to each other. ( )
  rivkat | Aug 4, 2014 |
A bunch of kids, stuck without bus money, steal some coins from a wishing well and discover that they're now obliged to grant the attached wishes. As a premise, this is straight out of Nesbit, a cross between Five Children and It and The Would-Be-Goods, but everything is tarnished with verdigris and the book is deeply creepy from first page to last - about half-way through I identified the feeling I had as similar to when I started reading Ella Enchanted, realised the scope of the blessing curse, and said "That's horrid!" so emphatically that I then had to spend a minute reassuring Irina (who'd lent me the book) that I meant the situation, not the book; the book was fantastic.

The children here are in a complex unhealthy 'friendship'; among their parents and other caregivers are breaking relationships, unethical jobs, and disturbing mental problems; the powers the kids receive are more frightening than cool; and good wishes go wrong and bad wishes go wronger until they (and the people around them) are in very very real danger.

It's absolutely horrid, and absolutely fantastic.
( )
1 vote zeborah | Jun 5, 2013 |
I was slow in starting this - having heard from many friends that this was great, the blurb didn't entirely grab me somehow, and I never got round to reading it until Damian thrust it into my very hands when we were round his place for a cuppa. Thank you Damian!

This is a great, spooky, fantastical-yet-grounded, well-constructed novel that I am sure I will re-read. The language and images are innovative without being overpowering - none of yer Lit Fic that I find pretty hard to wade through, but genuinely weird scenes described in phrases that strike you where you live. On this first read I was to an extent reading for plot and resolution - one that came with no disappointments - and so I look forward to a future re-read that will leave me looking at the language in a bit more deeply, but even on a shallower read it struck me.

Characters such as Ryan (the young lead), Chelle, and Josh are really well done - far from perfect, no question of quickly coming to terms with their situation and sorting it but also not actually stupidly helpless. The various sets of parents and the other grown-ups involved, too, are distinct from each other and neither used as nemeses nor as the levers for the resolution - that comes pretty much from the kids working things out for themselves in a way and, yes, growing up somewhat.

After having enjoyed this so much despite the unnecessary delays, I now see I need to get a copy of Frances' [b:Gullstruck Island|6293900|The Lost Conspiracy|Frances Hardinge|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1249097852s/6293900.jpg|6478271], her third book... ( )
1 vote comixminx | Apr 5, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frances Hardingeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Swearingen, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060880384, Hardcover)

Ryan and his friends don't think twice about stealing some money from a wishing well. After all, who's really going to miss a few tarnished coins?

The well witch does.

And she demands payback: Now Ryan, Josh, and Chelle must serve her . . . and the wishes that lie rotting at the bottom of her well. Each takes on powers they didn't ask for and don't want. Ryan grows strange bumps—are they eyes?—between his knuckles; Chelle starts speaking the secrets of strangers, no matter how awful and bloody; and Josh can suddenly—inexplicably—grant even the darkest of wishes, the kind of wishes that should never come true.

Darkly witty, wholly unexpected, and exquisitely sinister, Frances Hardinge's Well Witched is one well-cast tale that readers didn't know they were wishing for.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:57 -0400)

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Three friends fall prey to the demands of the Well Witch when they trespass in her wishing well and steal some coins.

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