Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DNF Explanation: Housewitch by Katie Schickel

ARC from publisher
DNF on page 191 of 352

With its Witches of Eastwick (the tv show) meets Practical Magic (the movie) vibe, Housewitch was a book I could have easily liked. And I almost did like it. Or, I did like it, mostly. Kind of.

See? I'm feeling ambivalent here.

Look, in theory, I really liked Housewitch. All of the ingredients are there and the writing is easy and comforting. It's like lounging inside wearing sweats even though it's sunny outside. Fun, soothing, nice.


I read a little over half the book and Allison had only just started to embrace her magic. And when she finally did? Sure, it was fun. But it was fun like lounging around watching infomercials in your sweats is fun. I mean, these witches hold the magical equivalent to Tupperware parties. That's nice, and I kinda actually want my own magical Tupperware party, but it isn't exciting.

I think part of my wishy washy feelings come from Allison herself. She's so meh. I think she's supposed to be easy to relate to and represent "normal" but she just came across as dull. Like the before photos on a shampoo commercial. Hanging out with her was exhausting in the same way lounging around all day in sweats watching infomercials totally destroys all motivation to do....anything.

Dragging things down even more was Allison's kooky aunt and her coven of eccentric magic folk. I think her aunt was supposed to come across as endearing, but to me she came off more like a dirty bag lady who lives in the park talking to squirrels and yelling at you to stay away from her benches. I didn't like being around her and couldn't wait for her scenes to end. Extra points off because she and her fellow witches weren't very nice to Allison.

My favorite parts were when Allison finally embraced her magic and joined the local It Group of witches. I liked hanging out with Allison and co as they made magic beauty masks, soaked in magic spas, and concocted magical "do whatever I want" potions. This was fun. This is why I read magic books.

So I really, really didn't like that sinking feeling in my stomach that these ladies were up to no good. (I could be wrong! Remember, I didn't read to the end to find out!) I didn't want the lesson that using magic for beauty lotions is bad or that you shouldn't cast spells to make you rich. I may sound like a petulant kid or a shallow woman, but, hey, I'm ok with that. I would totally use magic to make myself pretty and rich.

At this point I DNF-ed because a) I wanted to preserve my happy shallow fantasies without moralistic lessons, b) I just wasn't invested enough to read more, and c) I couldn't stomach another scene with the aunt.

Bottom line

I knew this book wasn't going to be more than a 3 star read and I had a big pile of better books waiting to be read. If I were stuck on a plane or on vacation then I would have happily read to the end and enjoyed Housewitch as a decent but forgettable 3 star read. It's a good beach read and if you click with Allison and her aunt, then you'll probably like it even more.

This is an adult book, btw. Allison is a married mother of three and there's enough of that to likely turn off YA only readers.

Looking for another book like this? You might like:

 Click on the covers to go to my reviews.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, man. It's too bad this book wasn't any good. With that cover, it'd make me look twice. :) Thanks for your honest review!

    Angie @ BadassBookReviews


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