October Books & Hooks Review: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

I wanted something witchy for October to give me all the fall, gothic vibes, so I originally chose The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow. Then I realized it didn’t release until mid October. Super bummed. So began my quest for the perfect October read.

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I had it narrowed down, to two:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo

Ultimately, I ended up choosing Practical Magic, and boy did I wish I chose the other. I didn’t get the gothic, witchy vibe I’d been wanting much after the first page. I’m going to be pretty critical here because honestly, this one was hard for me to get through and I had such hopeful expectations.

I’ve not seen the movie, but I hear it’s much better. Magic, spells, etc are virtually non-existant in the book minus small hints towards ghosts and magic, but it never really overtly comes out and says that’s what is going on. The story starts out fine with the Owens sisters escaping their abnormal life for a life of normalcy, until younger sister Gillian shows up at Sally’s suburban home with her dead husband. They ultimately decide to burry him in the backyard and then…. nothing happens for about 200 pages. There’s a small bit about his ghost and making some shrubs grow in the yard and the sisters’ past catching up with them even though they tried to escape their implied witchy upbringing. Then in the last 50 pages of the book, an investigator shows up and things get interesting again for a few seconds. But then it’s over.

I found myself reading at night and then picking it back up the next day only to remember nothing I read the night before because it never drew me in. I’m giving this one star. Did anyone else really enjoy this book? What am I missing? This is never something that I’d read and say “This should be a movie!” I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Now on to read Katrina Van Tassel and hopefully redeem myself before October is over and I have to wait next Halloween…