Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!
I get so excited for the fall reading season each year that I tend to start my fall reads pretty early. As soon as we had our first signs of fall in September, I picked up The Rules of Magic, which I'd been looking forward to since reading Practical Magic earlier in the month. Both of these titles were on my Spooktober Reads list last week, but I want to talk a little bit more about why this series has quickly become my number one recommendation for fall.
Practical Magic and Rules of Magic both tell the story of the Owens family, whose ancestry dates back to one of the original Salem witches. The story is more magical realism than fantasy -- everything about our current world remains the same, but with an added touch of magic and mystery.
In The Rules of Magic, we get the story of The Aunts, the two women who raised Sally and Gillian in Practical Magic. We learn about their childhoods, more about the origins of the Owens' curse, and about the tragic times when the two women dared to fall in love.
I love to read books about witches, and I have a feeling that my preference for this type of story is based in where I was raised -- in a small town right next to Salem, Massachusetts. We have great history in our town -- both related to the Salem Witch Trials and related to the colonial era in general -- but I've always loved the culture related to being a witch.
One of my favorite spots in town is a little pond named Redd's pond, named after Wilmot Redd, one of the convicted Salem Witches. She died by hanging in 1692 at the height of the hysteria, and her memorial marker is located in this very graveyard where I went to snap some photos of this book.
I love being immersed in the world of the Owens family, with all of its eccentricity and ethereal boundaries between our world and the supernatural. The Rules of Magic is, in my opinion, even better than Practical Magic, but I do recommend reading it only after you've read the first. It may be a prequel, but the story in Practical Magic lays the groundwork for this newest release. I can only hope that we'll see another book featuring the Owens sometime in the future!
Bottom-Line Rating: 5/5
Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Price: $16 on Amazon
Source: Simon & Schuster
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There are some lovely, fabulous people working behind the scenes at Simon & Schuster, and they've generously partnered with me to give away FIVE copies of this book to TST readers!
Rules of Entry
In the spirit of Autumnal celebration, leave a comment below telling me the best Halloween costume you've ever worn!
Mine had to have been the year my grandmother made me a beautiful pink silk princess gown, complete with a fur hemline. I adored it. (I have always been princess-obsessed.)
Shoutout to my Nonna for her awesome sewing skills & creativity!
U.S. Entries Only, Valid through Friday, October 13th at 7pm EST.
I was the Statue of Liberty, but in gold not verdigris green.ReplyDelete
The best costume I ever wore was a catwomen one, that I put together. Black tights, black tight-fitting shorts and a black long sleeve shirt. I had cat shaped glasses, black gloves, a tail and cat ears. I wore a big silver belt. I felt devish wearing it and it was fun to see everyone's reaction.ReplyDelete
Being barely 5 feet tall....best Halloween costume I'm gonna go with the year I dressed up as an Oompa Loompa...just going to say I was a little scared my hair would stay green...ReplyDelete
So the best Halloweencoatume I ever made was Peter Pan. I had a folded triangle newspaper hat that I painted green and a big green trash bag for the body. All I did was cut a hole in the top for my head and arms. Not bad for 9 year old me! Lololol 🎃ReplyDelete
Hmm...my mom made me an adorable Scarecrow one year! My favorite that I forced my hubby andnkid one year... The Man with The Yellow Hat and Curious George!!ReplyDelete
My mom made me this incredible elephant costume when I was a kid. It was really amazing!ReplyDelete
My favorite Halloween costume was in high school I dressed up as cat woman. The best part was that without ever talking about costumes my boyfriend at the time wore a Batman costume!ReplyDelete
My absolute favorite costume was when I dressed up as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I even got to use my great-grandfather’s medical bag from the early 1900s to put my candy in.ReplyDelete
My favorite was probably when a group of my friends dressed up as characters from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There aren’t many female characters so I went as Tim the Enchanter.ReplyDelete
My favorite Halloween costume was from when I was little. My parents dressed me up as a pink elephant... in an election year.ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was when I dressed up as Cleopatra!ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was Elphaba from Wicked. I painted my entire face bright green!ReplyDelete
When I was little my favorite costume was a Mexican girlReplyDelete
That my mom made. When a neighbor asks what my costume was I answered kitchen curtains which was what my mom used to make the costume !
My mom made me a Raggedy Ann costume one year that was just fabulous. I felt so special. That was more than 40 years ago but the memories of it are so vivid.ReplyDelete
My best Halloween costume ever had to have been when I was in 5th grade and my best friend and I dressed up as Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. So fun! But I also loved my 2nd grade costume when I was a "beautiful princess fairy godmother" (apparently I made sure everyone knew that exact name complete with all the adjectives...).ReplyDelete
My mom loved doing DIY costumes. One year I was dice. Yes, dice. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! ��ReplyDelete
I love Halloween and dressing up. One if my favorite costumes as a kid was when me and my two friends dressed up as the Sanderson Sisters. We completely decorated my house and made a witches brew punch to give out with candy. It was so much fun!!!ReplyDelete
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My favorite costume: I was in 7th or 8th grade, and a group of my friends and I dressed up as KISS. It was so fun and unique, since we were not in the age of KISS.ReplyDelete
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My most favorite costume was when my Godmother dressed me up as a cat. She made the entire costume: including ears, whiskers, and tail. I loved that costume. And it brings back such fond memoriesReplyDelete
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My best costume was the year I went as a number die. I had a big white box with white dots on every side and one dot on my head. I wore it around my high school all day. Very fun.ReplyDelete
I think the best one Ive ever WORN was a witch costume my momput together when I was younger.. complete with big bushy (cotton ball) eyebrows. The best Ive ever made was my now-husbands the year I came up with his Popeye costume (I was Olive Oil).. he drank from a washed spinach can all night 😂ReplyDelete
When I was a kiddo, my mama made me the cutest lion costume trimmed with fur around the face with the cutest tail! Your fur hemline rekindled this long forgotten memory--thank you for the smile!ReplyDelete
I was 5 years old and my grandmother bought me this really great Queen of Hearts costume from Alice in Wonderland. But all I wanted was to be the red power ranger, we settled and my mom let me be the pink power ranger. But my mom made me put on the costume my grandmother got me so we could take pictures and send them to her!ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was when I dressed up as princess jasmine from Aladdin! I even had a genie lamp ;)ReplyDelete
My mom had a fabulous wrap around skirt from her days of being on the dance team in college. I remember her letting me use it to dress up like I was from the 50s, complete with scarf around my neck, sunglasses and records. Of course we went out for chocolate milkshakes all dressed up ;-)ReplyDelete
A birthday present!ReplyDelete
When I was little I had a parrot costume, but it was a fat parrot with a huge stuffed belly and I loved that thing so much!ReplyDelete
One of the best costumes was the year I went as a bookworm. I created a book that I could wear and then dressed up as the worm. It was such a huge costume and kind of a pain but so fun.ReplyDelete
My best Halloween costume was being a Mime with my three other friends in high school, we painted our faces all different with a theme of happy, sad, angry, and ecstatic! Best Halloween ever!ReplyDelete
Mine was dressing up as the disney character Mulan because it required very little preparation! hehe =)ReplyDelete
I tended to buy Halloween costumes all through childhood so nothing super original. But one of my favorites was in college when my friends and I went as the Spice Girls (I was Scary Spice). It was just a fun time putting everything together then going out for the night.ReplyDelete
My best Halloween costume was dressing up as a Hillbilly with my cousin and best friend. I still laugh when I see the picture of us.ReplyDelete
We love Halloween in our family!! I have so many good ones. But my favorite was when my family went as characters from the movie Big Hero 6. My husband made all the costumes and I got to be the Aunt who runs the cafe. So I got to wear a black t-shirt, jeans, and an apron. But with the rest of my family so dressed up, I totally fit in.ReplyDelete
This is as nerdy as it gets, but during graduate school, my cohort had class on Halloween so we all dressed up as statistical concepts. It was a total surprise to our professor and he had to guess what we were. I was the confidence interval.ReplyDelete
My favorite Halloween costume was when my twin sister and I dressed as Before and After Sandy from Grease!ReplyDelete
My favorite Halloween costume was when I went as a Pinterest Board!! It got a lot of laughs!! I also love dressing up as a Witch. That is my go to costume!!ReplyDelete
My favorite Halloween costume was the year my husband (then boyfriend) and I were Barbie and Ken, but I made us these boxes to make it look like we were still packaged.ReplyDelete
I don't really remember my costumes as a kid (except when I was a vampire) but last year my daughter went as a gumball machine and it was just the cutest (and easiest) costume.ReplyDelete
My absolute favorite Halloween costume was the year I dressed as a Crayon, followed closely by the year I dressed as a M&M. These were both simple costumes but lots of fun.ReplyDelete
I’ve been a witch 3 times but my favorite is my dark velvet green dress with a really cool broom! I featured it in my Practical Magic bookstagram post!ReplyDelete
My best costume was when I dressed up as Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time a few years ago. My husband dressed up as Finn and everyone who recognized us got so happy and it brought us both so much joy!ReplyDelete
One year I was an Instagram selfie �� with a cardboard cutout frame and all #wokeuplikedis :)ReplyDelete
The costume I remember most was also a princess dress with a light flowing pink skirt on the bottom. I remember making my crown and wand (which makes me wonder if I was Glinda) after school on Halloween out of cardboard and covering them in tin foil. Back in those days, people did all their decorating on Halloween afternoon and took them down once all the tricker treaters had stopped coming (around 9:00).ReplyDelete
In college, my friends and I were "The Spice Girls." But we decorated and wore posters that looked like the McCormick spice bottles! Ha. It was fun.ReplyDelete
GREAT review and pictures!ReplyDelete
The best costume I've ever worn is probably not super normal for little girls, but I loved it. My mom made me into a scarecrow, complete with a blackbird (fake, of course) on my shoulder, and a hat with flowers and cute, fuzzy worms crawling around it.
My favorite costume memory ever has to be dressing up as Raggedy Ann. My mom had had a giant Raggedy Ann rag doll (like life size) growing up, and my industrious mom and grams put the doll's clothes on me, slapped on a orange yarn wig and some drawn on freckles, and voila--Raggedy Ann!ReplyDelete
One year, I covered myself in aluminum foil and went as leftovers!ReplyDelete
I once went as static cling and pinned socks and bras to a sweat suit.. lame I know...ReplyDelete
My favorite was when I went as Babs Bunny. I loved it so much I think I wore it like 3 years in a row!ReplyDelete
My favorite was when I was a witch- 3 years in a row. I had a handmade cape made by my Great-Aunt. I loved it so much she added a new piece the next year, a handmade hat. The third year she added a dress! Simple and classic, yet special!ReplyDelete
My favorite was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz! I was five and my parents were away, so my aunt took me trick-or-treating. She found a vintage pink gown and dressed up as Glinda the Good Witch. I loved it then, but love it even more now.ReplyDelete
My favorite has to be when I was Ariel from The Little Mermaid. She's definitely my favorite princess so obviously I wore it for like four years. It was so glittery and just fantastic. Getting to have red hair was the best part!!ReplyDelete
I was a crazy cat lady, wearing a nightgown with curlers in my hair and smeared lipstick. The kids I nanny let me take their stuffed animal kittens and I attached them all over my body. It was kinda hard to walk but the outfit was a hit! LolReplyDelete
A pumpkin... It was made by my aunt, it involved green tights, a green hat, the pumpkin part was homemade with a jack-o-lantern face and it was made round/ fluffed up by stuffing it with balled up newspaper. I loved it! :)ReplyDelete
I think my best one will actually be this year. I'm a science teacher, so I'm going to be Ms. Frizzle from Magic School Bus. Prior to that, when my oldest was a baby he was a bee & I was a ladybug.ReplyDelete
That is a hard one! My husband and I love to make our costumes every year. I think my favorite was when I dressed up as a monkey and he was an organ grinder!ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was Pippi Longstocking because I wanted to be just like her and she was one of my favorite fictional characters as a kid!ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was my Wonder Woman costume when I was young!ReplyDelete
A flapper! I'm not very creative with costumes.ReplyDelete
I think my favorite was when I was finally old enough to fit in my mom's 1970's nurse uniform, complete with white dress and hat. So different from what a nurse would wear today, which was fun, and it was more than just a "nurse costume" - I kind of felt like I was dressing up as (and somehow getting to know) the woman she was before she was also my mom. I loved it!ReplyDelete
My mom borrowed a Sylvester the Cat costume from this crazy amazing seamstress from her work. It was absolutely stunning! I wanted to be something a little more girlie, but I remember thinking that costume was the coolest in the whole class!ReplyDelete
My personal favorite was when I was Darth Vader and made my 18 month old nephew go trick or treating as Yoda! He was so confused - it was so adorable! Also last year I was Max from secret life of Pets who also happens to look like my dog so we were matching for Halloween 🎃 😁ReplyDelete
When i was younger i was jasmine from Aladdin. It was my fav childhood memoryReplyDelete
The best Halloween costume I've ever worn was when I dressed up as the tooth fairy. I wore a multi colored glittering tutu and a pink corset. And of course a magic wand.ReplyDelete
This book sounds so good! I never read Practical Magic but I am going to pick it up at the library. I'd love to read The Rules of Magic! The best costume I've ever worn was probably when I was in kindergarten and was Belle from Beauty in the Beast. I wore her gold dress and remember thinking it felt like magic. :)ReplyDelete
Hands down my best Halloween costume was when I dressed as Cruella DeVil—with a fur-trimmed cape AND the wig—my senior year of high school. I wore the costume to school, and my friends all dressed as dalmations. It was so fun!ReplyDelete
Best costume ever was a family ensemble - I was Peter Pan, my husband a pirate, but the real show stealers were my 1yo who was Captain Hook, and our giant labrador who was Tick Tock the crock!ReplyDelete
My siblings and I always had group costumes, and I my favorite was the year we went as the crew from The Wizard of Oz...I got to be Dorothy and carried around a stuffed dog in a basket as TotoReplyDelete
Oh man, one year I went on a Sherlock Holmes reading kick so I like HAD to be Sherlock Holmes for Halloween, but then it was 100 degrees out on Halloween (Texas) so under my Holmes trench coat I wore running shoes and a medal and when I got hot I switched from Sherlock to an Olympic athlete!!ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was my Rubiks cube that my mom made out of a huge cardboard box with holes cut out in the sides for my arms and the top for my head! I was all the rage in the 80s with that one 😆 It was fun until I would fall down and not be able to get myself up without a lot of help…ReplyDelete
Since I've only ever dressed up ONCE and that was as Where's Waldo - I guess that has to be my favorite hahahaha!! I know - I feel so lame saying that's the only thing I've ever done! I'm planning no being more in the Halloween spirit this year. :)ReplyDelete
The best costume I ever wore was a zombie from the walking dead!!! Complete with blood and leathery looking skin!ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was Rainbow Brite. I was in preschool and my mom made it by hand. I think it was the most true to character costume I’ve ever had.ReplyDelete
My best costume was so simple but fun.. a Robert Palmer girl! While I don’t normally dress up, this worked very well for me.ReplyDelete
My favorite Halloween costume was a butterfly costume when I was a little girl. My grandmother hand-sewed the whole costume and it was beautiful. I still have it, 20 something years later.ReplyDelete
My mom had a friend make me a pink princess costume complete with the cone type hat with lace train. I plan on giving it to my kids someday!ReplyDelete
The best costume I ever had was an awesome costume that flipped. So one side was a bumble bee and the other was a ladybug! Nevertheless I went as both because I randomly wanted to change throughout the night. However, my brother went as a pea in a pod when it was like his first halloween ever. To this day that's been my favorite costume on anyone. I still bring it up around him haha.ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was when I dressed up as Spider-Man!ReplyDelete
I think my jaunt as Babe the big blue wild have to be my favorite.ReplyDelete
My favorite costume was when I was a 1950s girl - my grandmother made me a purple poodle skirt TO DIE FOR and I wore bobby socks and a big bow in my hair! I still have the poodle skirt, it’s going to my daughter when she’s a little older!ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness I love Halloween, but I have never been good at planning a costume in advance. So my costumes haven’t been very good, but I always liked my cat costume from when I was 5, because I love cats but am sadly allergic to them.ReplyDelete
I was Hedwig the year my kids were Harry and Hermione. My favorite part of the costume was a white feather shoulder shrug!ReplyDelete
My favorite Halloween costume was the Pink Power Ranger waaay back in second grade. I just have such a fond memory of that Halloween. One year, a group of friends and I DIY-ed flamingo costumes and that was so much fun, too!ReplyDelete
My mom made me a beautiful fairy princess costume when I was in elementary school!ReplyDelete
We only celebrated Halloween one year that I can remember. I was about 5 and I was dressed up as a nurse and my dad dressed up as someone who had been in an accident. I remember he used my mom’s makeup to make it look like he was all cut up and bruised. I don’t remember the party at all, but I clearly remember those costumes.ReplyDelete
My favorite costume has to be from my senior year of high school. My big group of friends all coordinated and dressed up as Disney characters. I was Cruella DeVille - I even spray dyed half of my hair white and half of it black! It was amazing.ReplyDelete
My husband and I went as Bert Macklin and Janet Snakehole from Parks and Rec. it was so much fun!ReplyDelete
My favorite was when I was a dinosaur (in graduate school). I made the most fun costume!ReplyDelete
Oooooh fun question! Mine would have to be my witch costume which my mom made. It was complete with a dress, hat, stockings, and broom -- and I won the "shyest witch award" at a costume party, ha!ReplyDelete
I was Alice in Wonderland for a preschool play. My grandmother made the dress and apron. I used the costume that Halloween. I love the pictures I have of me in that costume. Bring back so many memories. :)ReplyDelete
Last year...I dressed up as a homeless person. I had just graduated from college in May and still wasn't utilizing my degree that I went thousands of dollars in debt for...my cardboard sign that hung around my neck said "After College Lyfe". People loved it.ReplyDelete
The best Halloween costume I ever wore, was in my freshman year of high school. We had a Halloween dance and I dressed up as an old lady. I really looked the part! I had on one of my mother's housedresses, a sweater, knee highs, house slippers, a gray wig, some costume jewelry and makeup on my face to look old. Oh and I walked with a cane. I won third prize in the costume contest.ReplyDelete
It wasn't the most unique costume, but my favorite was the time I got to dress up as a cheerleader. I was probably 11 or 12 and a very shy insecure girl who would never actually be a cheerleader. So it felt amazing to even pretend to be one.ReplyDelete
My all-time favorite Halloween costume was when I made a white sweatshirt with kiss lips decals I ironed on all over it, and painted on the front "Kisses 25 cents" Then I carried around Hershey's kisses to pass out. Doesn't seem to make sense? My last name is Booth....so I was a "Kissing Booth" :-)ReplyDelete
Last year, I was Mary Poppins! Complete with the large bag and umbrella. Practically perfect in every way.ReplyDelete