Initial thoughts: “Molly Harper breaks away from her adult paranormal romance stories with this adorable young adult novel about witches and magic. Ms. Harper does away with her trademark snark in favor of teen angst, but she uses the angst to create a highly credible and relatable young woman who captures your attention and earns your respect. The setting is equally charming. With the typical boarding school antics as well as Victorian socio-economic differences, Ms. Harper builds a lot of tension and create ethical dilemmas for our heroine without delving into melodrama. All this to say that Changeling is simply adorable and refreshing in its simplicity. I did not want the story to end and am going to be impatiently waiting for the second story in the series!”
Now: Yes, Molly!!! I started Changeling with much trepidation. Change is scary, after all, and it is always a little nerve-wracking when a beloved author deviates from her preferred storytelling genres and tries something new. Thankfully, I lost all fear after the first chapter and quickly found myself engrossed in this utterly charming fish out of water story. The world-building is thorough, providing readers with a clear understanding of this alternate Victorian-era universe, its history, and the social and political highlights of the time, and Ms. Harper does all this without stultifying the story. Cassandra is endearing in her attempts to navigate the unfamiliar world of magical families and boarding school and quickly proves herself to be a heroine worth admiring. I so thoroughly enjoyed Changeling that it ruined my selection process for my next book to read because I wanted something that would make me feel as happy and light as Cassandra and her antics did. I love that Ms. Harper took a chance on YA, and I am even more in love with the product of that chance.