Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones long before J.K. Rowling created Harry Potter and often recommend it to fans of magical stories here at FCPL. This 1977 young adult novel is a classic that really stands up to the test of time.
Charmed Life has a peculiar setting -- witches and wizards are common place but magic is a heavily regulated trade. Bad girl Gwendolen Chant is as nasty to her brother Cat as any mean girl today with spells and incantations to boot. When the two orphans are sent to a castle with its own brother and sister pair, sparks really begin to fly.
Charmed Life takes a turn from the typical fantasy when Gwendolen transports herself to an alternate universe and leaves a teen from our own world in her place. It’s all part of her sinister plot to seize even greater power at Cat’s expense. This imaginative story blends science fiction, fantasy and sibling rivalry into a story that inspired the four book series Worlds of Chrestomanci.