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Search tags: Alice-Hoffman
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url 2018-04-17 16:39
The Rules of Magic
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

Months ago, I made a big fuss about this book and how excited I was that I could get my hands on the ARC...and then promptly went silent because I'm lazy like that. I ended up getting the book and reviewing it for Bust.com. I actually struggled with it; it was a good story, yet I think I wanted or expected it to be something it wasn't. I don't know if Practical Magic can be recaptured in a prequel or a sequel or any other method. This link is ancient by internet standards, but in the interest of trying to be an actual blogger again, I guess this as good a place as any to start.

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review 2018-03-15 18:46
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman,Marin Ireland

I read Practical Magic a million years ago (1996 maybe) and remember almost nothing about it besides the fact that I pretty much loved and adored everything about it. I didn’t obsessively write reviews for everything I read back then so I may need to reread it someday to see if this still holds true. This is the prequel. You do not have to have read Practical Magic in order to love and adore The Rules of Magic. I listened on audio and did not take notes and simply enjoyed every word. 

Susanna moved out of Massachusetts as soon as she was able. She landed in NY and was diligent about making sure her kids had a normal life and stayed away from certain things like Oujia boards, cats, moonlit nights, red shoes and true love. Especially true love. Finding or seeking love would doom them, she promised. Of course the kids do the exact opposite. When Susanna’s oldest daughter receives a formal invitation to spend the summer at her childhood home with her two younger siblings she tells them they can go but strongly advises against it. She claims, very ominously, that they will never be the same if they leave and visit their aunt and learn all the family secrets she’s been keeping from them! 

Susanna handled this all wrong, if you ask me. Were I her, I would’ve told the kids that auntie was a mean old hag who would lock them in the basement for the summer and feed them rats. Of course they go. I mean, wouldn’t you? Franny, Jet and Vincent spend the summer released from all of the rules and restrictions their parents usually inflict upon them. They can eat whatever they want, go to bed whenever they want and as long as “they do no harm” they are free to be themselves. They revel in it and start snooping into their heritage and learning all about their inherited magical abilities. And, just as their Mamma forecasted, none of them will ever be the same.

See, they’ve inherited more than magic. A terrible curse will plague them throughout their lives. The curse of true love. Mamma wasn't lying.

This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking book about the three siblings as they grow from teens to adults and do their best to avoid love and the grief that accompanies love. In the process, they fill their lives with sorrow.

“I’m fated to lose everyone I ever love”

“Of course you are. That’s what it means to be alive.”

Reading this is like free falling into another world. It’s a truly magical experience and I highly recommend it. I hated leaving the characters when it was all over and that so rarely happens that I’m giving it all the stars. 

The audio narrated by Marin Ireland is the way to go if you enjoy audio. She’s excellent and a pleasure to listen to.

 

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review 2018-03-04 01:03
The Rules of Magic -- Yummy, fun, made me happy
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

"I think we're going to like it here."

 

I really liked this book. I've not read anything by Alice Hoffman before, and this was the most easily accessible from the library, so I grabbed it with zero knowledge of what I was grabbing.

 

It's the story, starting in the 1960s, of the Owen family - mostly Frannie, Jet and Vincent, three teenagers in New York City, growing up under the watchful eye of their parents. They've been given strict rules about messing around with any sort of magic. Because of that, as children do, they gravitate toward ouija boards (getting babysitters fired in the process) and their mother's fancy and mysterious soap. Before their parents can do much, they've discovered that there is something different about them, and this is the saga of their family, culminating with the girls being old ladies, living in the family house in Connecticut and welcoming Vincent's grandchildren into their home.

 

It's realistic fantasy, which is the type I seem most suited for, I am learning. There were some weird things (like why can't they just make someone invisible, or avoid the family curse through magic, or any number of other things I wondered. However, I don't know magic, so maybe there's more to it than I can comprehend.) None of it was enough to deny me enjoyment. It is not the great American novel, but it was a really nice read. Nothing annoying, always interesting, both characters and plot were satisfying. I will certainly be finding more of Ms. Hoffman's writing very soon. 

 

"I think we're going to like it here," says one of the little girls arriving in Connecticut to their aunts' house after a tragedy. I agree with them, so I will pick up Practical Magic soon and happily follow the rest of the story.

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text 2018-02-21 01:20
Reading progress update: I've read 130 out of 366 pages.
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

1. There goes the "do no harm" rule of magic. Right out the window.

 

2. Haylin is one of those guys that hates his family's money, only wears cheap, old clothes and says when he inherits their fortune he's going to rid of it. I hate people like that. He's a 17 year old snot living in Manhattan. He doesn't have a job. He doesn't know hard work. He's going to Harvard so clearlt it's okay to take the family money when education, food and shelter is involved but fuck everyone else. Stop being a pretentious snob. Go live in the Bronx where in this time period you were more likely to get shot or burned alive just minding your own business, living in a slumlord shithole. Then you can bitch about rich idiots.

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text 2018-02-20 01:47
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 366 pages.
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

Hmmm....

 

 

Not sure what the plot is or where this is going. But I'm down for this so far.

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