Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date of publication: October 10th, 2017
Genre: General Fiction, fantasy, paranormal, romance
Number of pages: 384
POV: 3rd person
Series: Practical Magic
The Rules of Magic – Book 0 (prequel)
Practical Magic – Book 1
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Trigger Warning: None
I was a huge fan of Practical Magic….the movie. I did not know that the movie was based on a book until I saw The Rules of Magic on NetGalley and saw under the author’s name “author of Practical Magic“. What I liked even more that it is the prequel to Practical Magic. So, when I go to read that book, I will know the back story behind Franny, Jet, and Vincent.
The book follows 3 children as they grow up as unique individuals. Individuals who have no knowledge of their heritage. Their mother had deliberately kept it from them. She also imposed strange rules with the most important one being “no falling in love“. After a visit to their Aunt Isabelle, the children realize that they have powers that are unique. Franny has an affinity with birds. Jet can read minds. Vincent can charm anyone he meets into doing what he wants….among other things.
The Rules of Magic is women’s fiction with a huge lean on the paranormal and fantasy woven into it. I have read a lot of women’s fiction lately. I will say that it is growing on me. I have read a few books that were poorly written and that turned me off this genre. But, if I keep getting gems like The Rules of Magic, then I will reconsider my stance on reading them.
Franny was my favorite out of the three Owens siblings. Which surprised me because she was very abrasive at the beginning of the book. While she didn’t deny her powers, she didn’t embrace them either. I felt bad for her also because she loved Haylin but she couldn’t admit it because of that darn curse. She had seen, first-hand, how the curse kills. So she and Haylin made a pact where they didn’t discuss love, hoping to beat the curse. In a way, they did but it came at a horrible price.
I felt awful for Jet. She dealt with so much at such a young age. She fell in love with the Reverend’s son. She thought she could beat the curse and unfortunately, the curse gave her a double whammy. She lost her love and her parents that awful night. She was so traumatized that she lost her magical powers for a long while. With all that aside, she had to have been the sweetest characters that I have ever read. Everyone loved her….even people who were supposed to hate her.
Vincent was the one I didn’t like. Something about him rubbed me the wrong way. He didn’t give me the same likable vibe that Franny and Jet did. When he came out, all I could think is “how is he going to use this to his advantage“. What I didn’t get was how the girls could be affected by the curse and he wasn’t. I mean, he fell in love with his partner and there were no repercussions.
There was plenty of sex and romance in The Rules of Magic. But it wasn’t graphic.
The end of the book was very sad. But, I could see the ending being the beginning of Practical Magic.
My Summary of The Rules of Magic:
If you have read Practical Magic and wondered about what the aunts’ story was….then The Rules of Magic is the book for you. It has a great plotline and memorable characters.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Older Teen
Why: Sexual situations, mild language, and mild violence
I would like to thank Alice Hoffman, NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read and review The Rules of Magic
All opinions stated in this review of The Rules of Magic are mine and I received no financial compensation for this review
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**