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review 2017-05-27 14:28
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

A special thank you to Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Hoffman revisits the Owens family in this prequel to Practical Magic.  For hundreds of years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town.  It all started in 1620 when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for falling in love with the wrong man.  Hundreds of years later in New York City, Susanna Owens knows all too well the dangers of falling in love, and tries to spare her three children from the curse.  This means no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no books about magic, and most importantly, no falling in love!  Franny, her most difficult child, has hair the colour of blood, and skin as white as milk; Jet is a dark-haired shy beauty who can read other people's thoughts; and Vincent, irresistible to women, is full of trouble.

The Owens children visit their Aunt Isabelle at her home in Massachusetts where they uncover family secrets, and the truth of who they really are.  Feared and revered, it is made clear that this next generation of Owens will not be exempt from the scorn of the townspeople, that is until they want something that only magic can cure.
Back in New York City, each of the Owens children begins on their own journey of discovery while trying to avoid the family curse by not falling in love.  They cannot escape the magic, just as they cannot escape love and the bonds they share.

Thrilling and magical, this beautiful work sets the table—the sisters grow up to be the aunts from Practical Magic, while Vincent leaves behind the legacy that will define the Owens women.  Rich with imagery and prose, Hoffman sprinkles pop-culture and history in this beautiful story of love, loss, and magic, and I simply did not want it to end.

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text 2017-05-11 13:54
White Horses by Alice Hoffman
White Horses - Alice Hoffman

A special thank you to NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

For those of you who read my reviews, you know how much I love Alice Hoffman's words.  Hoffman could teach a master class.  You know those online seminars that you see advertised on social media sites?  Well, Alice Hoffman should lead one.

Teresa's mother, Dina, fills her head with bedtime stories of an Aria—a dark-eyed fearless hero on a white horse who would come and rescue her.  Aria's are rule breakers and so is her brother, Silver, who Teresa comes to believe is one of these fabled men.  Instead of a fairytale, Teresa and Silver's relationship is dark and dysfunctional, not unlike her mother's relationship with her father, King Connors.  The women in this story are swayed by myth and folklore instead of realizing that they can rescue themselves and be their own hero.  It doesn't help that women can't seem to resist Silver, this only fuels Teresa's belief of him being an Aria.

This story may not sit well with all readers due to the incestuous relationship that is the underlying current of the novel.  There is so much more going on here, Hoffman explores when when fantasy collides with reality and its repercussions.  Teresa must change who she loves and rewrite her story into something real and not forbidden and taboo before she loses herself in myth and fantasy.

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review 2017-03-18 20:42
The Ice Queen - Alice Hoffman

Evident by the amount of time it took for me to complete this book, The Ice Queen was hardly readable. The key to keeping a reader is ensuring that the general audience can relate and sympathize with the protagonist. The nameless woman who makes a wish at the age of eight years old was irreparably altered, turned to metaphorical ice since being suddenly deprived of emotional depth when her dark wish actually came true.


The story is told in first person, and reading each chapter was a long slog. The protagonist's voice is dry, pessimistic, and incredibly "doom and gloom." I had expected as much after reading the synopsis before I cracked the book open, assuming once she met the mysterious fiery Lazarus her personality would suddenly bloom and lighten (much like Hoffman's March Murray after reuniting with Hollis in Here on Earth, which I loved).


This was not the case. Instead she plummeted deeper into tedious quintessential comparisons between passionate love affairs and fire's ability to consume or melt ice. Except the "passionate" love affair with the eternally warm-skinned Lazarus does very little to melt the protagonist's stony heart. It just makes her even more self-involved and endlessly self-deprecating.


Perhaps Hoffman's purpose was to perfect the character everyone loves to hate, nevertheless I slipped this book back on my shelf, paused, and was not surprised to discover that I still did not feel even the slightest twinge of love for it.

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review 2017-01-08 00:00
Property Of, The Drowning Season, Fortune's Daughter, and At Risk: Four Novels in One Collection
Property Of, The Drowning Season, Fortun... Property Of, The Drowning Season, Fortune's Daughter, and At Risk: Four Novels in One Collection - Alice Hoffman

A special thank you to NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Those of you that actually read this blog, my online reviews, or follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Pintrest would know that Alice Hoffman is my favourite author, so to be asked to review this collection was an absolute pleasure.

This eBook features four of Hoffman's early works: her first two novels (Property Of and The Drowning Season) as well as two from almost a decade later (Fortune's Daughter, and At Risk). It is a wonderful compilation of her stunning writing.

I would give this collection a 5/5. It is a must-read for any fan, and would be a brilliant introduction to Alice Hoffman for those who haven't yet lost themselves in the pages of one of her literary masterpieces.

Review of each book is on the blog. www.girlwellread.blogspot.com.

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review 2016-12-21 18:45
Property of - Alice Hoffman
Property of - Alice Hoffman

Not my favorite, but still a strong book from a writer who will go on to greater strengths. This is early in her career. Some times it doesn't pay to be a completist.

Library copy

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