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The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic by Breanne Randall
Magical realism

The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Breanne Randall, on your first book!

by Breanne Randall

Excellent choice

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Quick take

By turns heartwarming and clever, this story about loss but also profound love is dusted with just the right magic.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Foodie

    Foodie

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Witch

    Witchy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Siblings

    Siblings

  • Illustrated icon, SecondChanceRomance1

    Second Chance Romance

Synopsis

Sadie Revelare has always believed that the curse of four heartbreaks that accompanies her magic would be worth the price. But when her grandmother is diagnosed with cancer with only weeks to live, and her first heartbreak, Jake McNealy, returns to town after a decade, her carefully structured life begins to unravel.

With the news of their grandmother’s impending death, Sadie’s estranged twin brother Seth returns to town, bringing with him deeply buried family secrets that threaten to tear Sadie’s world apart. Their grandmother has been the backbone of the family for generations, and with her death, Sadie isn’t sure she’ll have the strength to keep the family, and her magic, together.

As feelings for Jake begin to rekindle, and her grandmother growing sicker by the day, Sadie faces the last of her heartbreaks, and she has to decide: is love more important than magic?

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Content warning

This book contains scenes that depict suicide.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic.
The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic

1

The sun was cold, the teakettle refused to boil, and the wretched scent of old memories burned from the logs as Sadie Revelare built up the fire. Even the grandfather clock, which never paid attention to time, warbled out ten sad magpie notes.

A sign I must not miss.

Sadie threw the tedious old clock a withering look and kicked it at the base. It swung its gold pendulum as though wagging its finger in warning. Irritated, but not one to mess with the sign, she crossed herself with a cinnamon stick and then crushed it under her boot heel on the front porch.

Back inside, the house echoed its silence like a gentle reproach. Gigi had already left for the day. Seth had been gone nearly a year. Not that she was counting the days. She wouldn’t give her brother that satisfaction. She glanced at the toothbrush holder as she washed her face. One lone toothbrush.

Long ago, she let herself dream of her own house, a pair of toothbrushes, maybe even water spots on the mirror from a child brushing their teeth too close.

But her curse made that impossible, and she’d given up on romance too long ago for it to make a difference now. Some people needed flowers and pretty words. Sadie needed truth and kept promises. She finished getting ready, and on her way out the door, with coffee in hand, the clock chimed again.

“I took care of it!” she shouted back.

But on the short drive to work she had to swerve twice: once to avoid a snake in the road and another time to dodge the crow that nearly swooped into her windshield. She shivered. Portents of change and death, respectively. Still. She shrugged them off. Business didn’t stop for bad omens. Actually, it thrived on them.

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Why I love it

What better month than October to dive into a cozy, witchy tale of magic, spells, and tantalizing treats? The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic delivers all three, and more. From the very first page, I was bewitched by this enchanting debut of love and loss, heartbreak and hope.

Sadie Revelare has given up on romance and having a family of her own. She was born with a gift of magic, but with it, the curse of four heartbreaks. So, when Sadie’s old boyfriend returns, and her beloved grandmother Gigi falls ill, Sadie’s closely guarded heart begins to crack. However, it’s her estranged twin brother’s reappearance that truly breaks it wide open. He comes bearing secrets that threaten Sadie’s magic, and quite possibly, her life. In the end, Sadie must decide what’s more important, magic or love.

I was happily transported to Sadie’s charming small-town, seated in her warm café watching Sadie and her grandmother concoct magical treats for the townspeople. (And bonus, recipes are included at the end of each chapter!) I was so invested in Sadie’s struggles with love and grief and forgiveness that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This story was simply a joy to read.

If you’re in need of a bit of magic and a heaping dose of hope, look no further than The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic.

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Member ratings (4,703)

  • Gina D.

    Santa Monica, CA

    “Hold onto hope no matter the cost, because as long as there’s hope, everything else just is the unfortunate side effects of heartbreak and magic.” 👌 for 🍂 📖 + recipes at the end of every chapter

  • Amanda S.

    Falls City, TX

    I loved everything about this book. So powerful on a personal level. I could relate to this story on so many levels (except the magic part of course 😉). Lots of book quotes to add to my collection

  • Alyssa R.

    Los Angeles, CA

    An intriguing read, having a modern-day small-town romance mixed in with magic and a curse, plus recipes at the end of each chapter too! Hope to try some of the recipes eventually. I'd read a sequel.

  • Michelle M.

    Fredericksburg, VA

    This book was so cozy. I loved the town of Poppy Meadows. You could feel the closeness of the town. The recipes in the book were also a great added touch. I’d love more of all the characters.

  • Kaitlyn D.

    Ladson, SC

    I loved the depiction of magic in everyday things like baking. The family dynamic was interesting. I didn't like the main love interest but the main character's development was fantastic!

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