ARC review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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Decades before the events of Practical Magic, Franny, Jet, and Vincent are just three kids trying to navigate life in 1950s New York City.  Their mother, Susanna, has forbidden them from doing anything that might reveal their magical bloodline: no black clothes, no cats, no crows, no magical books.  Most importantly, due to an old curse, no falling in love.  The children grow accustomed to these rules.

But when their mysterious Aunt Isabelle offers to host them for the summer at her Massachusetts home, the children experience freedom like they’ve never known.  Not only are they allowed to run around at all hours of the day and night, but Isabelle also teaches them about their magical abilities and the perils of trying to ignore them.  Despite Isabelle’s lessons, the children are still no closer to breaking the curse – will any of these characters be able to find love?

Have you ever loved a book so much that you didn’t even know what to say about it? From the first chapter, I loved these children.  As we watched them grow up, I wanted to keep them safe from the heartaches that I knew were coming, but I also wanted them to learn and grow into better people.  Once I hit Part 2, I was fully immersed in this story and could hardly put it down.

I would love to go into a detailed review about this.  How the writing flows and the story moves fluidly from town to town, from decade to decade.  How much I loved every single character.  How the plot twists were just twisty enough to keep me on my toes, but never out of place or over-the-top.  But I feel like I’d be doing readers a disservice to get into the plot.  This book is so good that I think it’s best to go in nearly blind.

I think I’m in the small minority of people that have neither read Practical Magic nor seen the movie, but I need to remedy that ASAP.  I only just finished this book and I already want to go back to this universe.

Final rating: ★★★★★

I was invited by Simon & Schuster to read The Rules of Magic in exchange for an honest review.  I received my copy via Netgalley.

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