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young adult book reviews & more

Rogelia’s House of Magic by Jamie Martinez Wood

Rogelia's House of MagicThree very different girls, Marina, the spoiled girl whose mother has turned her back on her Mexican heritage, Fern, the nature-loving free spirit, and Xochitl, the shy one whose withdrawn inside herself since the death of her twin Graciela, form a tentative bond under the tutorage of Xochitl’s grandmother Rogelia. Rogelia is a curandera or a spiritual healer. Each girl has a unique magical ability; Marina can hears the voices of the dead, Fern can see auras of living things, and Xochitl can turn invisible at will. But this shared similarity does little to cement their friendship. Xochitl has lost her faith in magic and feels wrong learning more without her sister, Marina has to struggle against her mother’s prejudices, and Fern is distracted by the cute boy Tristán, who sometimes looks like he’s walking in a storm cloud with that gloomy gray aura that surrounds him. But as they spend more time together, they start to realize that truly anything is possible in Rogelia’s House of Magic.

I found Rogelia’s House of Magic to be a fun and relaxing read. Marina, Fern, and Xochitl were well developed and realistic characters, and I enjoyed reading about their backgrounds and watching how that played out in this story. I felt just the right amount of insight into each girl’s mind was divulged, enough that I got to know who they were but not too much that it drowned out the importance of the other characters. I also greatly appreciated the incorporation of Hispanic culture and its centrality to the story. I particularly liked the curanderismo and magic because its air of supernaturalism made Rogelia’s House of Magic even more unique and gave the story a little extra sparkle. There were a couple of times I felt that the story dragged a little, but the plot picks up at the end and has a heartwarming close. Rogelia’s House of Magic is definitely one of those stories that will make you believe in magic, and not the wand-waving kind, but magic in friendship, family, and yourself.

Rogelia’s House of Magic appeals to a wide audience, but especially to those interested in the rich Hispanic culture and magical stories about friendship. Fans of Amor and Summer Secrets by Diana Rodriguez Wallach will also enjoy this novel.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from publisher Random House

3 munch(es) :

Justagirl said...

Great review and I might check this book out!:)

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caterpillarchic727 said...

This book looks very promising... I think I'll see what I can do. I've always had a thing for hispanic heritage books.(~:

Rebecca said...

Great review! I am a huge Diana Rodriguez Wallach fan - so I'm sure I'll love Rogelia’s House of Magic too!

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