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When We Were Magic

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A moving, darkly funny novel about six teens whose magic goes wildly awry from Magic for Liars author Sarah Gailey, who Chuck Wendig calls an “author to watch.”

Keeping your magic a secret is hard. Being in love with your best friend is harder.

Alexis has always been able to rely on two things: her best friends, and the magic powers they all share. Their secret is what
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Simon Pulse
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Sarah Gailey The two books are not connected, but neither of them is in a separate universe from our own, so technically they're in the same universe. :)
Sarah Gailey It's about 6 friends! That description had a typo in it, thank you for catching it!

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Feb 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
queer witches + me = match made in heaven

side note: you have no idea how fuckin happy i am right now. all ive ever wanted was a unstoppable girl gang who kiss each other sometimes but are unashamedly themselves. GOD IM SO EXCITED!!
Elise (TheBookishActress)
"in which a group of high school girls face up to the consequences of a disastrous magical accident resulting in a dead boy on prom night" and also there are girl friendships and gay witches. and also I love this author’s short fiction. hm. yes?
queer witches and an accidental murder A.K.A. sign me tf up


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anna (½ of readsrainbow)
i trust sarah w my gay life & this sounds delightful
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, rep-wlw, rep-poc
review on my blog

When We Were Magic was a book I was expecting to give 5 stars, but it ultimately didn’t mesh well with me. The premise had the potential to be a new favourite – a full cast of women, diversity in sexuality and ethnicity, magic, tight-knit, loyal, loving female friendships, and dark humour – but the execution and misleading marketing made it a lacklustre read for me.

Alexis and her five friends have one unique thing in common: they all possess magical powers. On prom night when
christine ☽
Feb 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
Queer witches + magic + murder?

Leah (Jane Speare)
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alexis and her friends are magic. Their magic is mysterious, enchanting, helpful...usually. But when she gets in a bind on the night of prom, her friends’ loyalties become as stretched as the upcoming summer days, and they all find themselves in the middle of a situation soaked in murky moral waters. Every teenager will benefit from reading this book. It deals with the uncertainties life discourteously throws at you, and the messy (but necessary) ways you’ll inevitably have to cope with them. ...more
Joanna Szabo
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When We Were Magic is about trust—not just between friends and family (though very much that too) but also between the author and reader. There were times when I wondered how this book could possibly reach a satisfying conclusion, given everything the characters go through, given all the ways they’re fractured, given this completely bonkers premise, but don’t worry—Sarah Gailey is worthy of your trust. They do things in this book that are unexpected and wild and magic, digging deep into my ...more
Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey.

I am sitting here debating on how to start my review. I honestly liked this novel for all the topics that it touches upon even though it is fantasy. Sarah Gailey uses her ability of writing to go beyond so much more than what is on the surface though. I liked the plot, but I liked these characters so much more. The diversity and humanity that Gailey brings to her
Feb 09, 2018 marked it as desperately-waiting-for
simon pulse if you're reading this I will give you my future first-born child for an arc
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
When we were magic is the best type of speculative fiction. It experiments by giving this group of teens a twist, magical ability, and examines their lives in that context. The magic and the death of Josh are just vehicles that let the readers experience the complex bonds between a set of young people.
There were a few spoilery points that didn't quite feel authentic, but they weren't enough to mar the overall enjoyment of the story.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy
I loved how whole and different the magic system was. I loved each of the girls, who are their own person and who'd I'd adored to be friend with. I really think this gang of girls will be stuck with me now.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually into stories about magic or witches but someone on Twitter gushing over this story being about tight-as-hell friendship pushed me into reading this, and I'm so glad I did. Yes, it's about queer teenage witches, one of whom accidentally kills a boy with her magic. But it's also about having a tight-knit crew who will have your back no matter what. It's about being vulnerable and allowing others to see you and support you. It's about opening yourself up to the wild, massive amount ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Alexis and her best friends have a secret-- they harbor various types of magic powers. She didn't mean for their classmate, Josh, to explode on prom night... it just kind of happened. In an attempt to right the situation, the gang work together to destroy what remains of him, holding out for a miracle to bring him back. This isn't just a magic mystery story; Gailey really dives into the depth and love of ride-or-die friendships between young women, the kind of unbreakable bonds that will last ...more
Melinda Beatty
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read in one sitting. Gailey’s prose, as ever, is stunning in this coming of age story of teenager magic users grappling with the aftermath of a magical accident and deciding what they’re willing to lose in the name of love and friendship.
Cody Roecker
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An utterly magical woven tapestry, this book makes my queer heart sing with joyous notes. Unforgettable friendships, captivating storytelling, and a story about love and acceptance and fears and identity. I loved every moment of it.

This will be in my top books that release in 2020 for sure.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the type of book I wish I had in high school. Loved every second of reading it.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, lgbtq
A YA novel by one of my favorite authors about 6 best friends with magical powers working together to protect Alexis after she accidentally kills a boy on prom night. I expected this book to be focused on the teen witch aspect of the story, but the magic actually felt almost incidental while the relationship between the friends was the real heart of the story. It's a coming of age and coming into self novel more than anything else, just with a fun, magical twist.

Beautiful writing, fascinating
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ohhh, this is so good. I'm so excited for teens to read Sarah Gailey, and MAGIC FOR LIARS readers will not be disappointed either. Although the universes are not connected (at least as far as I can tell) all the magic and tension of Gailey's adult novel is here too. When Alexis accidentally kills a boy with her magic, she and her friends must figure out what to do - should they try to bring him back? Cover it up? Or some combination? Alexis does her best to navigate the situation, and as she ...more
Ashlee » Library In The Country
PLEASE be like The Craft.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one- it was my high school experience of loving my friends. But with witches and magic and things gone wrong and girl crushes.
May Regan
Nov 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
girl group? CHECK
witch-y magic? CHECK
something goes wrong? CHECK
it's set on prom night??? CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.
Valerie Anne
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book!!! A fun, magical, queer af book that delighted me at every turn. (My reasons for docking it one star are personal and spoilery but overall I really truly loved it!)
rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2019
David Danford
rated it it was amazing
Dec 03, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Oct 20, 2019
Hendra Cassidy
rated it it was ok
Oct 08, 2019
rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2019
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