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Bras and Broomsticks (Magic in Manhattan Series #1)

Bras and Broomsticks (Magic in Manhattan Series #1)

4.5 173
by Sarah Mlynowski

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What if all your wishes could come true? Blink your eyes, drink a fizzing pink potion, and poof! Life is perfect. That’s Rachel’s situation. Except she’s not the one who suddenly has magical powers. Her younger sister is. And as Rachel would tell you, spellbooks are wasted on the young!

Yes, yes, of course world peace and cures for


What if all your wishes could come true? Blink your eyes, drink a fizzing pink potion, and poof! Life is perfect. That’s Rachel’s situation. Except she’s not the one who suddenly has magical powers. Her younger sister is. And as Rachel would tell you, spellbooks are wasted on the young!

Yes, yes, of course world peace and cures for horrible diseases are important. But so is dancing without looking like she’s being electrocuted, winning back her best friend, stopping her dad’s wedding, and finding a date for Spring Fling.

Rachel’s not bewitched. Yet. . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Sabrina fans will get a witchy kick out of Bras & Broomsticks!” —Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries

“Poof, instant bliss.”—Lauren Myracle, author of TTYL and Rhymes with Witches

“One magical romp you won’t want to miss.”—Discovery Girls

“Mlynowski has a real ear for dialogue, and she displays a keen understanding of teen mores as she pokes fun at high-school cliques.” —Booklist

“All of the ingredients you could ever want in a teen fantasy chick lit novel: family angst, friendship and popularity dilemmas, crushes, parties, magic, and more!”—Chicklitbooks.com

"Poof, instant bliss." —Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of TTYL and TTFN

Publishers Weekly
"This novel about a teenage witch, told from the point of view of her 14-year-old mortal sister, offers plenty of laughs and some deliciously complicated predicaments," according to PW. Ages 12-up. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Freshman Rachel Weinstein cannot believe it. Not only has her little sister inherited the boobs in the family but also the questionable gift of wielding witchcraft. Although Miri is the younger, she is also the more reasonable and cautious of the two girls, and she is happy to take her training slowly under their mother's tutelage. Rachel must persuade Miri to try out her new abilities early-all for good causes of course, such as turning Rachel into a talented dancer to boost her to the A-List and making their divorced father fall in love with their mother again just days before his second wedding. Predictably things go downhill. Lessons such as the true meaning of friendship, the sketchy values of popularity, the necessity to accept change, and the flexibility needed in the family dynamic all come into play. Rachel is a bit too vapid to be a likeable main character, and Miri will garner sympathy as the reasonable but misguided younger sibling. A sequel is planned, so be prepared for more Bewitched type chicanery from the Weinstein girls. The premise is humorous enough, but Rachel's shallow tendencies seem to eclipse opportunities for humor rather than enhance them. It will not be a title for serious fantasy readers. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Delacorte, 304p., and PLB Ages 11 to 18.
—Julie Scordato
Kirkus Reviews
Fourteen-year old Rachel is a high-school freshman who yearns to get in with the A-List. She has crushes on two popular boys who barely notice her. When Rachel learns that both her younger sister Miri and her mother are witches, she grabs the opportunity to use magic to achieve her goals. Miri casts a spell that makes Rachel an exceptional dancer, and Rachel seems to be living her dreams as she's cast in the school fashion show, and gets a date with one of her heartthrobs. When Rachel and Miri try to interfere with their divorced father's upcoming wedding, however, disaster strikes. Written entirely for humor designed to appeal to its target audience, this may be too long to attract reluctant readers. Nevertheless, plenty of young readers will find it screamingly funny. (Fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Magic in Manhattan Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


Better Than Ruby Slippers

I've wished for lots of things in my fourteen years . . . a boyfriend, world peace, cleavage. But none of my wishes have come true.

Until now.

I'm standing by my locker, zipping up my black puffy coat, when I notice the sneakers.

They're the green suede designer ones I admired at Bloomie's last week. My mom said I couldn't have them because they cost more than our TV.

And they're on my feet.

"But how—" I mumble, blinking in confusion. Where are the beaten-up black boots I always have on? "I mean, when . . .?"

Did I accidentally swap shoes with someone after gym? Am I a thief?

Impossible. The only time I ever took anything that wasn't mine was when I inadvertently wore Jewel's retainer. Gross, yes. But criminal? No.

My heart starts beating erratically. This is so weird. How did these shoes get on my feet?

Wait a millisecond. Maybe my mom bought them to surprise me? Not that she normally does stuff like that, but I have been on my best behavior lately (after being grounded for something completely ridiculous, don't even ask) and she's big on rewarding good deeds.

I guess I must have laced them up this morning without even noticing. Lame. But I went to bed really late last night, and I'm always zoned out when I'm tired.

That still doesn't explain why I didn't notice I was wearing them until now though. I glance back down. The shoes are a luminous green. Sparkling, even. They're practically screaming at me to notice them.

Whatever. New shoes! The ideal accessory for my awesome after-school plans. I smile like someone who just got her braces off.

"Can I borrow your phone?" I ask Tammy. She's busy rummaging through her satchel. The least I can do is thank my mom—maybe she'll cave on a cell phone for me next.

"Cool shoes," Tammy says, glancing down. "When did you change?"

"I . . . didn't. I've, uh, been wearing them all day." Haven't I? Now I'm totally unsure again.

Tammy gives me a thumbs-up sign with her right hand and passes the phone with her left. She uses finger signals to indicate her thoughts. She learned to scuba dive with her family last year in Aruba and now frequently communicates by underwater mime. Thumbs-up means "Let's get out of the water," which means she wants to hightail it out of here.

My mother answers on the first ring.

"Mom, thanks for the sneakers. They're perfect! Sorry I didn't notice them this morning."

Pause. Then muffled static.

"You still there?" I ask, tapping my heels together. Who knew green suede could look so glam? "I can't hear you."

There's furious whispering in the background, and then a loud "Shhh!"

"You need to come home," my mom tells me.

"What? Why?" I ask. My stomach free-falls.

Another pause. More furious whispering. "I have something to talk to you about," my mom says. Her voice sounds uneven. "Something extremely important."

"But I have extremely important after-school plans!" My destiny is waiting for me at Stromboli Pizzeria! This is a complete and utter disaster. "And when I called you an hour ago you said I could go!"

"Things have changed," my mother says, her clipped words ruining my life. "I want you back at the apartment."

My down-filled coat starts to feel like a furnace. "Can't we talk about whatever is so earth-shattering later?"

My mother heaves one of her why-must-I-carry-the-weight-of-the-world-on-my-thin-shoulders sighs. "Rachel, enough."

"Fine." I sigh right back. I have a sigh of my own, and it's just as martyrish. In a small triumph, I press the pink End button before she can say good-bye.

"I can't come," I tell Tammy, handing her the phone. My cheeks feel all blotchy. Why couldn't I have just thanked my mom when I got home?

Tammy adjusts her light brown ponytail and makes a fist in front of her chest, her "low on air" sign, meaning she feels bad for me. Tammy is an excellent sympathizer, as well as smart and reliable. She's always there when I need someone to talk to, and more important, when I unintentionally sport poppy bagel seeds between my teeth, she immediately and covertly lets me know by tapping her lips. She's a great friend. It's just that—okay, I hate to play favorites—I like Jewel more. But the way Jewel has been treating me, I might as well be walking around with an I-just-got-dumped sash across my nonexistent chest.


Over the past four months, since she strutted her stuff for the JFK fashion show tryouts and got in, Juliana Sanchez (Jewel for short, Bee-Bee for shorter/longer) has morphed from my sidekick and best friend into a card-carrying member of the inner circle. Yes, she made the A-list. Except for a few minutes in math class, I hardly ever get to talk to her anymore. I miss her.

Going to Stromboli's would have been a step toward reclaiming our Bee-Bee status. (Sorry for the cheddary Best Buds acronym, but Jewel and I have been using it forever.) The entire cool crowd will be there. I was lucky even to have been asked. Mick Lloyd invited Jeffrey Stars, who invited Aaron Jacobs, who invited Tammy, who invited me. And you don't go if you don't get an invite. You can't. You wouldn't know what pizza place/coffee shop/parentless apartment the A-list selected, so you wouldn't know where to show up. If only they would just choose the same place every time, like they did on Friends. Monica never showed up at a new coffee spot, The Not-So-Central Perk, wondering where everyone was.

Down the hall I see Raf Kosravi at his locker, pulling out his coat. A strand of his midnight black hair falls into his matching dark eyes, and he brushes it away with the back of his hand.

Heart. Beating. Erratically. Not. Because. Of. Shoes.

Sigh. Because of my mother, I will potentially be missing out on precious flirting time with Raf, the boy I'm in love with.

I am also in love with Mick Lloyd. Yes, I know it seems strange to love two boys at the same time, but since I've never spoken more than two words to either of them ("Happy Holidays!" to Raf and "Excuse me" to Mick), I'm not concerned about my divided heart. Mick Lloyd is the cute, blond, all-American type that's cast on every dating show. Big smile, dimple in each cheek, great hair. Raf is more mysterious-slash-sexy. He's not too tall, only around five foot six (which is still much, much taller than me at five foot one—I'd better still be growing), and has a lean, fit body like a champion tennis player or an Olympic swimmer (not that I've ever watched professional tennis or swimming). Raf is also in the fashion show with Jewel.

Ah, the fashion show. It's really a dance show with a catwalk and designer outfits. Or so I hear. Since I'm only a freshman, and the show is in April, I've never seen it. And since a former JFK student who's now an It Guy Hollywood director launched the idea ten years ago to raise money for the prom, it's always been a cool thing for guys to do. Like football or baseball. There is an overlap of boys who play football with those who are in the show. Unfortunately for the school trophy case, the quarterback is a better dancer than he is an athlete.

Mick isn't in the show, but he does play on the JV baseball team, the only sports team at our school that doesn't always lose. And—impressive residence alert!—he lives in a massive brownstone. Since his mom and dad are frequently out of town, he throws a lot of wild parties (not that I've ever been). Raf and Mick are both very, very A-list. But that isn't the reason I like them.

Raf buttons up his coat and slaps one of his friends on the back.


I am such a liar. Of course that's why I like them. I don't even know them, so why else would I like them? They're hot and cool—as in sexy and popular—and if either of them were interested in me, I would actually have a real kiss to brag about. (I claim my first was with a Texan named Stu who I met on a cruise. This is a total lie. Although there was a boy named Stu from Texas, he was seven.) Plus, I would instantly be promoted from the B-list (B+ on an excellent hair day) to the A-list.

I really want to be A-list. Yes, I know I'm being colossally pathetic, and I've seen enough movies to know that popular people always get their comeuppance. And being A-list in high school doesn't guarantee you'll be cool in college. But . . . like blondes, the A-list always seems to have more fun.

I ask you: Is it so wrong to want to be happy? Is it so wrong to want to be liked? Is it wrong to want my life to be like a soda ad, with lots of laughing, jumping, and high-fiving?

Meet the Author

After graduating from McGill University with an honors degree in English, Sarah Mlynowski spent several years working for a publishing company in Toronto. Her novels have received glowing praise. She lives in New York City.

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Bras and Broomsticks (Magic in Manhattan Series) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 173 reviews.
BookwormKD More than 1 year ago
Rachel is just a normal girl, she is not nessecarily popular but she is not nessecarily a loser or anything. she has a mom and a sister. she has a major crush on the most popular guy in the school... and her sister is a witch! It is majorly unfair that her little sister gets the magic genes and she doesn't but maybe, just maybe, this could be a good thing... because she is dateless for the spring fling, her crush is in a dance group and she dances like she is being electrocuted, her best friend and her are growing apart, and her dad is marrying the wicked witch of the west, so what girl couldn't use a little magic? This is awesome! a truly amazing book. The writing was great, the story was great, the characters are great. i love books about magic and this toltally beats most of the magic books that i read. it has a fun, creative cover and the story inside is even better then the cover! sarah mlynowsli is just soooooo awesome with her writing skills. if you like this book i recommend the rest of the series (i'm not putting them on the i also recommend spot because there are three other ones and it would take up to much space) i actually read this a while ago and it is one of my favorite series the three following books are: frogs and french kisses, spells and sleeping bags, and parties and potions. since you can only do 5 on the i also recommend spot i couldn't fit this one but if you enjoyed this book i think you might also enjoy Dead is the new Black by Marlene Perez
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
I love Rachel Weinstein so much!!!!! She seems like the fun younger sister that I would not mind hanging out with. But she has her own family to deal with, especially now that her younger sister Miri seems to have inherited the magic gene like their mother and is now trying to make her own dreary d-list life better, by magic. But things dont go that great for Rachel and Miri, and she is left in a humiliating situation by the end of the book. This is a great beginning for the Magic in Manhattan series and I know I cant wait to get to the others in the series. Sarah's characters all are great and the two sisters are great together and the dialog they share is authentic and makes you wish you had them as siblings.
Jamie_Marie_ More than 1 year ago
First things first, I didn't read the whole thing, so just keep that in mind while reading this review. I picked up this book at Barnes & Noble right after I'd finished reading "Howl's Moving Castle", so I suppose you could say I was in a bit of a magic frenzy then. I was surprised to find this in the YA section, but was also excited to find something a little different from the typical paranormal romances that normally crowd the Teen Literature bookshelves. However this excitement quickly faded the moment I actually started READING the thing... after I had already spent 12 bucks on it. Probably the biggest flaw with this book, from what I could tell, is the main character. Fourteen-year-old Rachel is the stereotypical shallow-minded, wannabe-popular, selfish, bratty, falling-in-"love"-with-boys-she's-never-talked-to-before-simply-because-they're-hot-and-popular kind of girl. In fact, part of the main plotline is that she wants to break her father's engagement simply because she doesn't like her soon-to-be-stepmother, and also because the wedding happens to be on the same day of some big dance she really wants to go to. Then Rachel gets her twelve-year-old witch sister, Miri, to cast all these spells to please her own selfishness, even though Miri isn't supposed to use magic until she finishes her witch training. I also didn't care much for Raf either, the sexy, fourteen-year-old heartthrob of the book. I'm not going to get too much into that, however, since there are likely those out there who would swoon if he so much as blinked. I really don't like bashing other people's books, since somebody had to go through all the time and effort to write and revise it a few billion times, but I'm just giving my honest opinion here. I do believe that some people would really love this book, but I think it's more appropriate for pre-teens than for teen-teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it read it like a a 1000 times
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book rachel and miri just kept getting into trouble everytime i turned the page
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. AMAZING sense of humour AMAZING series AMAZING characters AMAZING story line AMAZING imagination The other books in this series are phenomenal CRW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING! Rachel is so desperate for a little excitement in her life, and using her sister Miri's magic she does a lot of different things. With one dance spell that helps her make a dancing fashion show, she becomes extremely popular, wins her popular best friend back, and gets the popular guy that she likes. However, it all ends up a big mess because they also used Miri's magic to hit their father's hateful fiance with an ugly spell and a truth spell, anything to make their father stop loving her. They finally put a love spell on him so that he can fall back in love with their mom, and when their mom finds out she reverses every spell Miri has ever done, and since Rachel is a terrible dancer without the dancing spell, she messes up the show and breaks someone's leg. She loses her popularity, her best friend, and her boyfriend. And on top of all that, Rachel and Miri's dad falls back in love with the woman they hate so much, and they end up getting married after all. Soon though, Rachel learns to love her new stepmother, and that's the end of that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AWWWWWWEEEEEEESSSSSOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEE BBBBOOOOOKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have read the whole seriese and they are all amazing!!!!!!! I read the whole first book in 4 hours! Dont get this book. GET THE WHOLE SERIESE!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book definetly getting the second one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book #1?
luv2read98 More than 1 year ago
this was a funny book about a girl whos sister is a witch. some...uh....inappropriate parts but other than that it was pretty good!
Niveus More than 1 year ago
This book was a gift for my 15 year old neice. I read it before giving it to her and it was a wonderful book perfectly fit for her. The book features a cheerleader who finds "witch" runs in her family. It was the perfect gift for my neice who is also a cheerleader. Think Harry Potter for girls.
JuicyLuver101 More than 1 year ago
This is truly fabulous. It has a great plot and fun, quirky characters. It is told by Rachel, a non-witch who just might have a little more power than she thinks... The idea is very original, and I guarantee you that no matter what your reading genres are, you will be amazed about how funny, entertaining and original this is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss ur hand post this in 3 different books then loik under your pilloww
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this series. I love this series so much that I have read every single book three times. The situations that Rachel and her sister Miri go through in this novel are universal and easily relatable. The magic is more fun and exciting than what you see in Harry Potter. Both girls are a crack up, very funny. Definitely a series for young girls everywhere.
aTwistOfTi More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's fast-paced and hilarious. I usually don't like reading books about girls obsessed with becoming popular but it's hard not to like the main character Rachel. She's funny and smart and just wants people to like her. Doesn't everyone but some of us don't admit it? I can't wait to the read the rest of series to find out if Rachel will 1: Become a witch like her sister Miri and their mother. 2: Rachel will stand up for herself more.
BookLover007 More than 1 year ago
Vet2be More than 1 year ago
It was well written by young author, Sarah Mlynowski, who puts a fun twist on the idea that witches really do exist. Her writing makes you stop and wonder maybe there really are such things as witches. The book not only includes witches, but a little romance, too. It is the perfect book for a teen or preteen who isn't really all that into reading. Or for a rainy day. But overall I do have to say it is a great book to start out a series. Vet2be
broken--wings More than 1 year ago
I've read the first three books in the Magic in Manhattan series so far, and each one is so fun to read! I love seeing the trouble Rachel get herself and her sister into! Sometimes covers can throw you off-- for instance, this cover looked childish to my friends and they laughed at the title. But it's really an awesome series about boy troubles, fitting in, and magic. It's an amazing series, READ IT! [:
HarryvsTwilight More than 1 year ago
I luv it to death.I can relate to Rachel really well cause I've been through friendship and boy troubles like this. She is super funny, all the spells they do always end with suprises. I coudn't put it down. A must read....can't wait to read the next book and see what happends with her and the boy of her dreams.
Annagurl More than 1 year ago
Oh my Gosh, this book is great- light and fun and just a good book to get your mind off of things. I really liked the setting and the plot- all of these books are great reads!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Being fourteen is hard work--and nobody knows that better than Rache Weinstein. She's got a major crush on the two most popular guys in school, Raf and Mick; she's been dumped by her best friend since preschool, Jewel, and instead has hooked up with not-so-popular Tammy; she's got the rhythm of a baboon and so didn't get to audition for her school's all-important fashion show; she's a quasi B-lister instead of a coveted A-lister; her dad is getting ready to marry the most annoying soon-to-be-stepmother in the world; and now, to top things off, she's found out that her younger sister, Miri, is a witch. Seems mom is a witch, too, her decided to live life without her powers, and Miri's inherited her mom's special gift.

Oh, the horror, the unfairness, the indignity! Not only did Miri get the boobs, but now she got the special super powers! Miri, who makes anal retentive, obsessive-compulsive list-makers look like chaos magnets, can now do just about anything she sets her mind to. Things which include, with a little bit of nudging from Rachel, giving her big sister a dancing-is-my-friend spell, getting their dad to break up with STBSM, and banishing pimples from their lives once and for all.

Things don't work out exactly as planned, though, the way things tend to do when you mess with the powers that be. Just when Rachel thinks she's finally got it all--smooth skin, a hunky maybe-boyfriend, a spot in the coolest gig in school, a dad and mom that could be getting back together--things come crashing down.

BRAS & BROOMSTICKS is an absolute riot! I loved this first book in a new series by Sarah Mlynowski. Rachel and Miri make great sisters, the situations Rachel gets herself into are hilarious, and the overall feeling is that life is hard, but sometimes you just have to deal with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has got to be one of the best books I have ever read. It is hilaroius magic meets chick flick meets real life.
Anonymous 6 months ago