September 28, 2022

REVIEW Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch (Eva Evergreen #1) by Julie Abe

Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch (Eva Evergreen #1) 
by Julie Abe
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Format: Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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“No matter how far I flew, I never seemed to be able to catch up to her”

Julie Abe’s middle-grade debut, Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch, is a whimsical and entertaining coming-of-age tale that emphasizes the importance of defying expectations, owning your talents and uniqueness, and the power of community. If you’re a fan of fantasy titles or the Studio Ghibli collection (especially Kiki’s Delivery Service), then I think you’ll enjoy this book. 

Eva Evergreen is the daughter of grandmaster Nela Evergreen, and she’s an apprentice looking to graduate to the next rank. The only problem is that she has a pinch of magic compared to her mother. As part of her quest to become a novice, she arrives in Auteri and becomes the town witch. However, she has her work cut out for her because the townspeople are very reluctant to trust her. They eventually warm up to her over the course of the month, enjoying her ‘semi-magical’ fixes, and everyone bands together once they realize ‘The Culling’ (the yearly storm that everyone fears will hit their town) is headed their way. 

I really enjoyed Eva’s growth in this book. She’s able to make her own path and come out of the shadow of her mother’s position and power, and that was so exciting to see. To quote Edward de Bono, “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Eva couldn’t fix the town’s problems in the usual way, so she came up with creative fixes. You go, girl! Semi-Magical Witch for the win. My favorite ‘fix’ was the spell that went slightly awry but ended up creating a tasty new treat everyone ended up loving. 

The rhyming nature of the magic in the book was fun. Each rhyme helped add to the whimsical nature of the book (I’m also impressed with how many rhymes the author came up with). It was cool to see the structure of the witch's and wizard’s society (grand master witches, novice witches, apprentice witches…) In addition to the magic system, there is also some traces of Japanese influence in the world of Eva Evergreen. For example, many of the town names are Japan-inspired. There are also various foods in this book that seem inspired by Japanese culture. 

All in all, Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch was a wholly magical debut from Julie Abe. Narrator Caitlin Kelly did a great job bringing the story to life with her performance in the audiobook. If a fantasy tale about defying expectations and creating your own path in the world sounds like something you would enjoy, then visit Eva Evergreen’s world today! I’m excited to be able to revisit the world in Julie Abe’s most recent novel, Alliana Girl of Dragons (a separate storyline set in the same world) as well as the sequel Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch.  

About the Book

Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic...

Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before she turns thirteen years old. If she doesn't, she'll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it's a simple enough test:

ONE: Help your town, do good all around.
TWO: Live there for one moon, don't leave too soon.
THREE: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.

The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.

When she lands on the tranquil coastal town of Auteri, the residents expect a powerful witch, not a semi-magical girl. So Eva comes up with a plan: set up a magical repair shop to aid Auteri and prove she's worthy. She may have more blood than magic, but her "semi-magical fixes" repair the lives of the townspeople in ways they never could have imagined. Only, Eva's bit of magic may not be enough when the biggest magical storm in history threatens the town she's grown to love. Eva must conjure up all of the magic, bravery, and cleverness she can muster or Auteri and her dreams of becoming a witch will wash away with the storm.

About the Author

Julie Abe is the author of the EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH middle grade fantasy series; the middle grade fantasy ALLIANA, GIRL OF DRAGONS; and the young adult novel THE CHARMED LIST. She has lived in Silicon Valley, spent many humid summers in Japan, and currently basks in the sunshine of Southern California with never enough books or tea. Keep up with Julie’s latest books and adventures at or sign up for her newsletter at

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