A fairly quick read, Once A Witch is a fairly average story of a girl who was born into a magical family but has no magical powers of her own. Then of course, a mysterious stranger arrives in the middle of the night, asks her to find this big ass clock and BAM! she uncovers family secrets galore. Well, not that quickly but the story was only 300 pages long and I whizzed through it pretty fast.
The problem I had with this was that I simply did not care. I got to 200 pages and thought to myself, 'If all the characters died right now, would a give a rats ass?' Nope, I wouldn't at all. I genuinely wanted one of the characters to die half way through the book, just to make it a bit more interesting. I think the problem is Tamsin herself. She's got the whole 13 year old angst going on and constantly whines about how much she doesn't fit in her family. Except wait - she's 17 and has moved out ages ago. Get over it already! The interesting element in this is that she's a smoker. I have no idea why this is.
And then there's Gabriel. He has next to no personality except to pine incessantly for Tamsin's attention. He's supposed to be her childhood friend and apart from the brief anger when she crashes into him (literally) he follows her around, making random comments to try and get her attention to the fact that he totally wants to get in her knickers. Rowena isn't much better. Her power is persuasion of the words variety - she can get anyone to do what she wants and as a result, she's pretty stuck up her own... anyway.
And then the family secret went a little Twilight (I'm not sure if this was written before or after Twilight). I'm not a fan of comparing books to Twilight but there you have it. I was expecting Tamsin to actually be pleased about finding out the secret but it seemed to give her more reason to bitch at everyone.