‘Hexed: Don’t Get Mad, Get Powers’ – Julia Tuffs

Jessie Jones has got used to moving schools regularly, being the new face and trying to do enough not to get noticed. However, when her mum moves the family back to her hometown, things are not quite as straightforward as she might have hoped.
Trying to fly under the radar might work out okay for most…but when you find your darkest wishes suddenly manifesting in front of you it’s a sign something strange is going on. Jessie finds herself wondering how she’s managed to turn the face of popular bully boy Callum acne-ridden, and how her desire for a boy to get caught out in his lies can result in his nose suddenly growing. What she’s not expecting is the revelation that she’s a witch.
The stereotype of witches is definitely challenged here. Jessie and her family come from a long line of witches, and their powers can come in useful.
There’s a bit of silliness at first with talk of witchcraft being used to rectify awful cooking or to conjure up the perfect bath. But in Hexed we have a superficially funny tale – of a girl who learns she’s a witch coming into her powers – that is used to deliver a very important message about women in society.
From early on we can see things on the island are not quite right. Women are treated badly…and these misogynistic views are held under scrutiny with the focus on behaviour in Jessie’s school. From the casual scoring system of rating girls’ attractiveness to the leery comments and tales of poor behaviour. There’s a clear culture of sexism and this book shows one girl’s attempts to take on and challenge these views.
While it might not exactly be smashing the patriarchy Hexed shows sexism is still an issue and ought to be challenged, by everyone. Along the way, there’s some other useful life lessons challenging attitudes and pushing back bit by bit. A tale that should be shared every day…not just Wednesdays!
Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this before publication.