Book Review: "Kat Incorrigible" by Stephanie Burgis

Summary from Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she's inherited her mother's magical talents, and despite Stepmama's stern objections, she's determined to learn how to use them. But with her eldest sister Elissa's intended fiancé, the sinister Sir Neville, showing a dangerous interest in Kat's magical potential; her other sister, Angeline, wreaking romantic havoc with her own witchcraft; and a highwayman lurking in the forest, even Kat's reckless heroism will be tested to the upmost. If she can learn to control her new powers, will Kat be able to rescue her family and win her sisters their true love?

Kat is a great heroine for young tween girls. She's 12 years old but she's very spunky and very smart. Even though she lives in 1800s Britain, she already doesn't want to conform to the norm and is desperate to be her true self. I thought she was terribly funny and downright witty. She is very curious and desperate to know more about her mother, who died when she was a baby. When she discovers the truth, it's definitely more than she bargained for. I really like how she tries to stand up for herself. Even though she might not always get the right reaction, it's good to see that she isn't afraid to speak up for herself.

I really enjoyed the side stories with Kat's sisters as well as Kat's own predicament. Angeline's dilemma with her love spell backfires on her and then she realizes the truth in what she's done. The whole way it's handled is really hilarious. Elissa's intended suitor is rather quite scary and the whole situation with that is very well written with a touch of mystery. The relationship the sisters have is pretty good despite the age difference between Kat and the other two. They do love her very much and for the most part she does her best to make them happy.

While the story is pretty cute, I felt like it dragged a bit at times. I don't mind books that have magic in them but there were places where I got rather confused about the use of it. Not that I think that I'm super intelligent or anything, but I wonder that if me, being a 20 something adult, got confused, would a reader of the targeted age group understand it better than I did? I also didn't feel as if enough information was really given about Kat's mother's background. I wanted to know more about that whole situation and felt a bit let down in that respect. Hopefully future books will further explore the issue.

Overall, this is a really cute and magical book. I really think that girls who enjoy Jane Austen and other regency tales as well as books about magic will really love this. It puts a whole new spin on the genre and tells a fantastic tale as well. I'll be looking forward to the next book in the series.

Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis is published by Atheneum (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher


  1. I was going to say I don't do well with magic either, but I loved the Harry Potter books. I'd still give this one a try.

  2. Oh, that cover is irresistible! Love!


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