The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic: Book 0) by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic: A Novel (The Practical Magic Series Book 1) by [Hoffman, Alice]

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

Where you can find The Rules of Magic: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

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

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Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful: A Novel by [Hoffman, Alice]

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: November 1, 2016

Genre: women’s fiction

Book synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.

My review:

I cried reading this book. Me, who is unemotional as a rock, cried while reading this book. The heartbreak that is portrayed is mind-numbing. But what rose from the ashes….well that was something special.

The writing was fantastic. I love a story where it draws you in and makes you feel for the character and this one does. I felt for Shelby. She was broken and she managed to piece herself together. Not perfect but perfect for her right then.

The ending wasn’t what I was expecting but it went well with the book.

How many stars will I give Faithful? 5

Why? The book was wonderfully written with complex characters that got under your skin. You couldn’t help but care about these characters and weep over the backstories.

Will I recommend Faithful to family and friends? Yes

Will I reread it? Yes

Age range? Adult

Where to buy this book: Amazon

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**