Review: The Witch by Polly Esther Rayon

The first novel in Sweet Valley satire series Saccharin Valley Twits and Fiends was so well done that of course I just had to read the sequel. This volume satirises classic Sweet Valley Twins title The Haunted House and the whole thing works so beautifully well that I found myself laughing out loud in multiple occasions. 

In this one, the kids at Saccharine Valley Middle School have become convinced that the old Morrison Mansion, the one that has never been mentioned before in the series, is haunted. Everyone is afraid of the place, including twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wastefeld. When Fallon Morrison moves in to the mansion and enrols at Saccharine Valley Middle School, it follows that everyone thinks she is a witch and bullying soon becomes rife. Then, it turns out that Fallon may very well be a witch ... and she's intent on getting her revenge on these meddling, bullying kids.

This one was pure fun. I like the way that it pokes fun at the original series, whilst offering a new, believable and, ultimately, satisfying, adventure. The author shines a light on certain troublesome aspects of the original series, in particular how much bullying went on and remained unaddressed, with key characters rarely getting their comeuppance. Unsurprisingly, Piper, an original character and a key player in the Saccharine Valley series, makes a return and I'm surprised by how much I love this character and I'm finding myself cheer for her more and more.

Highly recommended.


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