Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic
(Practical Magic #0.2)
by Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: Oct 10, 2017
Genre: Fantasy

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.



This is not an easy book to review. Mainly because while it brought back a lot of nostalgia from Practical Magic, there was a lot that bothered me. Honestly, if it weren’t for the ties to Practical Magic, and the fact that it was the October read for my book club, I might have thrown in the towel.

The story follows three siblings who go to stay with their aunt one year. They learn that all of the weird things that happen to them actually means that they are witches/warlocks. The learn a lot from their aunt during the time that they are there. The most important rule being to not fall in love due to the family curse. Which, of course means that they fall in love.

One thing I can say about this book is that the author sure knows how to write an enchanting story. Even if I had problems with events in the story and the characters, I can not deny the fact that the author knows how to weave a tale. However, I will say, that her writing didn’t help me fall in love with the story. I appreciate the word she put into this, but I had a lot of problems.

I think the first being all the time jumps with no warning. I listened to the audiobook and it seemed like the book was always jumping forward in time and I was left scrambling to figure out that they weren’t children or teens anymore. It was a little confusing at times, and I really wish that there was a year stamp to mark the change in time. Another thing I had problems with was the underage sex. I mean, one of the kids is 13 or 14 and has sex with someone who’s his mother’s age. I just, EW! The worst part is, the aunt had no problem with it and told him to be careful. WHAT?! Then there’s the sex between cousins… I just couldn’t handle the sexual exploits of these children. There were just so many questionable things taking place that I just did not care for the characters. Siblings wishing the other’s dreams are crushed so that they don’t get left behind, party crashing an engagement party to sleep with the soon to be groom… it was just too much.

I had really high hopes for this one. I loved that it told the aunt’s story starting from when they were children. However, I just couldn’t get behind the characters or their actions.




One Thought on “Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

  1. Sorry to hear this wasn’t as good as you had hoped.

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