T.B. Cooper's Reviews > Practical Magic

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
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really liked it

This book was so completely NOT like the movie. In fact, this is one of those rare instances (for me) when the movie is better than the book. I know… why review such a well- known novel at this point? I dunno, why not?

I’m going to break away from the format I usually use for reviews, and instead, I’m going to compare the book to the movie. Spoiler alerts follow for those of you who haven’t seen the movie/read this book.

I fell in love with the 1998 movie based on this book, as did many, many other women I know, who’ve seen it. Some of the main parts of the movie that were NOT originally part of the book, that MADE me fall in love with the movie (and now, a feeling of deep disappointment from reading this) were as follows: Sally’s girls were young in the movie, vs. in the book they are early to late teenagers. Now, I will say that the girls got more exposure in the novel and they were more developed as characters- which as a book to read, was a nice touch.

But the movie had me believing the story was about two sisters (Sally & Gillian) mostly, and the Aunts (who are barely there/make an impression at all in the book & are nowhere near as cool as the Aunts in the movie), and there are two small little girls who add an air of innocence and hope for the future but at its core- the story (in the movie) revolved around their witchy history and lack of loving, lasting relationships. Yes, that is a part of the book’s premise… but maybe going into (finally) reading Practical Magic after all these years set me up for the disappointment that I feel?

There are NO MIDNIGHT MARGARITAS in the book FFS??? And the bestest- most magical part of the whole plotline that made the movie magical, was the spell young Sally Owens casts so she’ll never fall in love… guess what? In the book… that DIDN’T HAPPEN, EITHER!!

So dissimilar were the two stories (book vs. movie) that they could almost be unrelated. Almost. Look, I just haven’t been this disappointed since I read Jurassic Park and THEN watched the movie, okay?

What gets me is my feeling of “no magic” that I’m left with after reading (it). All in all, movie feelings aside, it read well, and in and of itself was a good book. But if you found yourself spellbound by Practical Magic, the movie, and are hoping to find a deeper love by reading the novel… if you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and skip it. The movie is something I watch more times a year than I’ll admit to because it makes me feel so good on so many levels… whereas the book? I will never read it again. *Dramatic Ugly Crying*

4.5 stars to be fair and unprejudiced… 2 stars because I am extremely biased. Giving a final 4 stars.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 9, 2019 – Shelved

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