Fall in Love Whenever You Can (Practical Magic – A Book Review)

Hello, book clan!

I’m sorry about the delay in posting. I took the holiday and spent it with my family and also got slammed with a bit of extra work this weekend with Black Friday. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I’m thankful that I had my family to spend time with. It was a great time. I don’t know about you, but green bean casserole is the best besides the turkey, of course.


Practical Magic (Practical Magic #2)
Author: Alice Hoffman
Published: 1995

On Goodreads

Practical Magic

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in town.

After Sally and Gillian Owens’s parents die, they come to live with their strange aunts. The siblings soon discover their great family legacy. Magic. As they grow up, watching their aunts help countless women by casting love spells for them as well as other spells for the right price, they also witness the consequences and feel the town’s whispers of witchery.

Gillian fall in love as much as possible, but Sally is logical and cautious with her heart. Both women just was to escape and they get their chance. One runs away and the other finally finds love and marries. They’re never truly far away from each other. Their bond keeps them close and protects them. A bond of magic and sisterhood.

 

The Rules of Magic

Book Review

I loved this book as much as I loved the one before it. 5 bolts for this one! It was elegant and poignant and tragic and heartbreaking. The magic lit this book with a warmth that soothes the heart. It’s a struggle being a woman and you get to see some of those struggles in this book. It’s a struggle to be in love, too.

Hoffman’s writing is so beautiful that it makes me ache. They’re like whispers on a warm wind that evokes delicious goosebumps. There’s just a longing in it and makes me daydream.

Scarlet Reader - Practical Magic

The magic isn’t just in the Owens family, but is this book. The cover is vibrant and creative and bewitching. I love the artistry. The writing style is wispy and has an ancientness to it that doesn’t touch the modern world.

The bond between main characters, Sally and Gillian, is one of true sisterhood. While there were times (a lot of times) that they didn’t see eye to eye and argued with each other, they also protected each other no matter what. They loved each other even though they struggled with one another, and you saw that echo on down with Sally’s daughters. I couldn’t get enough of it. It brought realism to the book and made it even more magical. A simply splendid coming- of-age tale.Scarlet Reader - Practical Magic

While there was sisterhood, there was also romance. It’s not easy for an Owens to find love. Sally and Gillian were not excluded. To see how each sister fell in love and how it was for them was emotional. The book takes a primary focus on it. It’s not the idea that love is some fairytale. It’s that love is hard and comes in many and unexpected ways. Also, that love is worth it. It can stun you, shock you, surprise you, make you feel like you can’t breathe and/or that you’re floating. So I hear anyway. All of this? This book greatly encourages it. It seeks for you to fall in love, too, like Sally and Gillian did and to not give up on it.

Overall

I haven’t brought up the movie LOL. The book and the movie are so incredibly different. So much so that they seem like they’re not even related. Both, however, were amazing. Practical Magic is my favorite movie hands down. It’s dramatic, filled with family, romance, and even a little horror, and the best part, magic. I really enjoyed this book. It’s going up on my favorites shelf.

 

Quotables:

“Real love is dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let fast enough you might be willing to do anything for its sake.” (p. 24)

“Never think summer is over, even when roses droop and turn brown and the stars shift position in the sky. Never presume August is a safe or reliable time of the year. It is the season of reversals, when birds no longer sing in the morning and the evenings are made up of equal parts golden light and black clouds.” (p. 193)

“Lightning, like love, is never ruled by logic. Accidents happen and they always will.” (p. 203)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Crystal by Stevie Nicks.

 

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The Only Remedy For Love is to Love More (The Rules of Magic – A Book Review)

The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic #1)
Author: Alice Hoffman
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

The Rules of Magic

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Rules of Magic:

Do as you will, but harm no one.

What you give will be returned to you threefold.

Fall in love whenever you can.

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

On the edge of the sixties, Owens siblings, Vincent, Franny, and Jet are invited to Massachusetts to spend a summer with their odd and mysterious Aunt Isabelle, in that one town, in that one house on Magnolia street. Together, and on their own, they discover the many secrets surrounding the Owens family, and the magic. The town has always blamed the family for everything that has gone wrong, but that doesn’t deter them. If anything, it makes them embrace it all even more.

While the Owens siblings embrace their history, they also push it away, trying to refute this family curse. Love snags each of them, putting them on paths that will fulfill their happiness, lead to pain, and send them each on unexpected journeys—the sisters growing to become the aunts so well-known in Practical magic and Vincent leaving behind one life to start a fresh one.

 

This book was utterly gorgeous. If you’ve read and/or seen the movie, Practical Magic then you know this addition to it is going to be phenomenal. And it was. It really was. The storytelling was lush and filled with and heartwarming and heart-shattering beauty. I was swept away into one of the most incredible tales. It even begins with ‘Once upon a time’.  Just the way Hoffman writes whisks me away in a daydream-like wind. I was breathless and holding my aching heart from beginning to end.

Scarlet Reader - Rules of Magic

The start of the book was a little slow, but picked up really quickly. Each page, I was learning something new about the siblings and their family. This history was ever growing as they grew. This is definitely one of the greatest family lines of witches ever.

“Love as much as possible.”

The siblings were so independent of each other, yet they were close, protecting one another. Jet was falling in love hopelessly and letting it sweep her away. Franny was resisting it and risking a cold heart forever. And Vincent trying to find himself before he could find love. The way they each approached love is something we all can relate, in a way. Personally, I was tearing up with Franny because I could scarily relate to her the most. I don’t ever give my heart way, much like her, always fearing I am the one who will ruin my love and break him. I also believe in respect and trust first before jumping too far in. So, like Franny, I never let anybody get to close. I don’t want to ruin them and I also don’t want to be in pain. Painful, yes. Scary, you better believe it. The Owens were incredible in conquering their curse and living their lives to the fullest. It’s inspiring and my emotions were hitting a peak.

Love and magic intertwine and nearly seem like a single entity in this book and maybe they are the same in real life too. They certainly seem unbelievable, but create a feeling of wonder. As much as I believe in magic, and I totally do, I believe in love. But, like the Owens, it’s tricky and difficult to have. Do it anyway.

My senses were tingling from all of the imagery. It was vivid and powerful. I could smell the Owens’s garden and envision the walks they went on, feel how hard their hearts beat when they were experiencing that little curse called love, as well as feel the fear that shadowed those heavy thuds.  Each surprise was subtle and not overdone for shock value. It made the story even more realistic. Much like with me and everyone, these surprises whether of pain or loss show us what we’re made of and what we’re willing to do.

Scarlet Reader - Rules of Magic

Transitions were abrupt as were scene switches, but blended into each other. I really enjoyed how each parts of life were segments into parts, showing how the Owens moved forward. It didn’t feel glitchy with the cut of each scene, but reminded me of how movies and TV transition. It was perfectly placed and moved the book forward through its span of a lifetime perfectly, right up to the entrance of Sally and Gillian.

 

Overall

Finally getting to read this and Practical Magic, I am even more in love with this story. It’s powerful and all-consuming for me. I love magic and even more when it can be expressed with such elegance, enchantment, and (again) inspiring. This is going up on my favorites shelf and I will keep it in my heart to remind myself to be more open. IT’s with my heart that I’m terrified to take leaps. In the world today, I feel like it can be a little understandable.

Also, having read both books, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a show made of their story. A full-fledged, in depth, show. Starz, HBO, Netflix, I’m calling you out!

 

Quotables:

“What’s meant to be is bound to happen, whether or not you approve.” (p. 17)

“If you plan on calling yourself a scientist you should be aware that odds don’t matter. The natural world defies statistics.” (Franny to April, p. 89)

“In life we don’t always get what we choose. I gave her what she needed.” (Isabelle to Franny, p. 126)

“Don’t waste time when there’s someone you love.” (Vincent to Haylin, p. 243)

“I just do the best I can to face what life brings. That’s the secret, you know. That’s the way you change your fate.” (Isabelle, p. 258)

“It was said that fate could not be altered, except by one thing and that was war.” (p. 266)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Go Your Own Way by Lissie.

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.