Book Review: The Scapegracers – 5 Magical Queer Witchy Reads

Trigger warnings
Physical violence, kidnapping, animal violence/death, body gore, misandry

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book. This does not impact my opinions, whatsoever.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I will receive something in return for your use of my links.

Why You Should Read The Scapegracers:

  • Lesbian witches – need I say more?!
  • You love found family, or found coven, tropes
  • Young female characters with a whole bunch of attitude
  • Breaking the mould of “popular girls”

Grungy teenaged queer witches!

The premise of this book?

A lesbian teen witch who lives life as a grungey outsider gets sucked into a new friend group with some “popular” girls. Things amp up as a coven is formed and the witchy group get wrapped up with a family of witch hunters.

The Scapegracers centres around a strong female group full of diversity and individuality. The story clearly pushes the idea of redefining popular “mean girls”. This is something that I can always support in YA, but I wish the story had leaned MORE into this trope.

The things that didn’t quite work…

Similar to how I wish the author had leant into the “redefining mean girls” trope more, the story’s plot just left me wanting more.

And while I adore a found family trope, it was very insta-friendship. One second, Sideways is just a random they’ve hired for a party trick. Next second they are the bestest of besties. This really damaged any connection I had to the group as a reader.

Overall, this book has cemented the idea that – for me – young adult contemporary witch stories are often not it. Witches and covens promise a sense of dark grunge that is never quite reached.

Even more witchy reads!

These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling book cover

Title: These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isabel Sterling
Source: Libro.FM, Scribd

These Witches Don’t Burn is another contemporary, gay teenage witchy story – just in case The Scapegracers wasn’t enough!

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore book cover

Title: Wild Beauty
Author: Anna-Marie McLemore

If you are looking for something more whimsical and atmospheric, this may be the book for you. Full of family, queerness and Latinx influence Wild Beauty is a guaranteed favourite.

Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries book cover

Title: Witchy
Author: Ariel Slamet Ries

Looking for a graphic novel? I’ve got you covered. Witchy has trans and queer rep, magical hair and a witch academy!

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey book cover

Title: Magic for Liars
Author: Sarah Gailey
Source: Libro.FM, Scribd

Looking for a more adult witchy story? Maybe with a murder mystery? A gripping mystery inside a magical school, Magic For Liars is a fantastic story. Also, there are penis clouds.

Happy reading, bec&books

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4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Julie Anna's Books

    18/09/2020

    Great review! I’ve been wanting to read more books about witches (and have been noticing more of them being published lately) so this is a helpful list! I feel like my main critique for a lot of books lately have been that I wanted more out of something in a book. I love that this book is steering away from the typical mean girls trope though – I’ve been starting to see that more in books too!

    • Reply

      becandbooks

      19/09/2020

      Yes! I love the focus on friendship arcs and witchy stories. There’s also a lot of variation in witch literature which is always great to see. Happy reading!

  2. Reply

    Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    18/09/2020

    Great Review!! 😊 I agree with a lot of your thoughts: the idea behind the book was great and I loved seeing a girl gang, but they became friends a bit too quickly without any good reason!

    • Reply

      becandbooks

      19/09/2020

      I didn’t even realise Insta-friendship was a thing until this book 😅 Thanks for dropping by!

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