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Cackle

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All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly pe All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation. Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?


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All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly pe All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation. Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?

30 review for Cackle

  1. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Cackle by Rachel Harrison The synopsis for this book is misleading. It mentions that the story is dark, funny, and frightening but it didn't seem dark or frightening to me, when seen through the eyes of Annie, the main character. Even though Annie is sad due to her boyfriend of ten years dumping her (he says eight years but maybe really six years...how is that for not seeing the past the way your boyfriend sees it), the story has a lighthearted feel to it. Sure, you might not want to be a bully o Cackle by Rachel Harrison The synopsis for this book is misleading. It mentions that the story is dark, funny, and frightening but it didn't seem dark or frightening to me, when seen through the eyes of Annie, the main character. Even though Annie is sad due to her boyfriend of ten years dumping her (he says eight years but maybe really six years...how is that for not seeing the past the way your boyfriend sees it), the story has a lighthearted feel to it. Sure, you might not want to be a bully or rude or block headed if you live in the small town where Annie has a new teaching job, but from Annie's perspective, once she gets over thinking about Sam every single second of the day and night, she's in a pretty good place. And she has a friend now, two in fact, although one of her friends is a bit different than anyone she's hung around with in the past. Sophie is beautiful, generous, popular (even if some folks seem leery), full of life, and ready to mentor Annie to live life for herself and not for anyone else. Sophie's forest mansion is a bit strange, has strange things going on in it, but then Sophie is a bit strange, too. Actually, Annie begins to suspect that Sophie is a witch, a witch that takes Annie under her wing. Brew a cup of hot tea and settle into a comfy spot for this cozy witch story. And say hi to Ralph for me. Publication: October 5, 2021 Thank you to Elisha Katz, Berkley, and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Happy publishing day to this bizarre, extremely smart, quirky, outstanding thriller! 🥳📚🕷🕸 I know that most of you start cackling so loud as soon as finish this book. It’s freaking weird, eerie, disturbing! But this is great kind of weirdness combined with originality, uniqueness, absurdity and balanced dosage of sarcasm with feminism and girl power messages I truly enjoy! I liked this batsh*t crazy journey a lot! My casting choice for Annie is Emma Stone and my choice for actress who should play Happy publishing day to this bizarre, extremely smart, quirky, outstanding thriller! 🥳📚🕷🕸 I know that most of you start cackling so loud as soon as finish this book. It’s freaking weird, eerie, disturbing! But this is great kind of weirdness combined with originality, uniqueness, absurdity and balanced dosage of sarcasm with feminism and girl power messages I truly enjoy! I liked this batsh*t crazy journey a lot! My casting choice for Annie is Emma Stone and my choice for actress who should play Sophie is absolutely Angelina Jolie! Both women gave me creepy, bitchy, witchy vibes I experienced during my read! It was fast pacing,interesting story you’re drawn into as soon as you devour the first chapter. Poor Annie celebrates her birthday with her colleague she doesn’t know much! She has to move to the small village upstate by leaving her nearly one decade long Manhattan life! Because her boyfriend she grew up with ( we can use this term after dating for ten years) dumps her when she accepts marriage proposal. So she is the one who has to change her life completely and make fresh start by getting teaching job at high school. And at the birthday day, her friend forces her to visit a fortune teller who gives her bad news about her dark and not so promising future! She gathers her things, saying goodbye to Sam who is still love of her life ( or she thinks so) , starting her journey! Thankfully the town resembles Storybrooke from Once upon a time series. The people are welcoming her with open arms, acting kind and friendly. Her apartment is also charming minus the spider infestation. And when she stops by at the liquor store, she meets with eccentric, sophisticated Sophie who invites to meet her at the Farmer’s market. As they spend more time together, they get closer. Annie is so happy to find a great friend as she still licks her wounds after her traumatic breakup. But townies seem like thinking otherwise. They act like they are afraid of Sophie who lives at a gorgeous mansion reminds us of American Horror Story’s famous Murder House. Actually there are ghosts luring around the house just like Ryan Murphy’s famous mansion. This is not the only creepy thing about Annie’s new friend. Sophie has some powers and as she continues to spend more time together she starts seeing the changes about herself which terrify her a lot! There’s a witch of their town everybody beware or! What makes Annie by bonding the relationship with Sophie? She also crosses the dark side. What will happen to her at the end? My favorite character of the book is obviously Ralph. The protective, friendly, smart creature stole my heart. I found this story so smart, entertaining, peculiar, outstanding! I wasn’t a big fan of the author’s debut Return but this book exceeded my expectations and earned my weirdest funniest nonstop cackling five stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    If stories had color palettes, Cackle’s would be an ombre fade of white gradually turning to black. This is a book that vibes hard, though the vibes vary big time. What starts out feeling like a NYC-set romcom slides through magical realism on its way to paranormal before ending with a wee bit of witchy horror. It’s almost like a writers’ relay, where chapters might have been written by different authors in the following order: - Christina Lauren - Sarah Addison Allen - Alice Hoffman - Anne Rice Cack If stories had color palettes, Cackle’s would be an ombre fade of white gradually turning to black. This is a book that vibes hard, though the vibes vary big time. What starts out feeling like a NYC-set romcom slides through magical realism on its way to paranormal before ending with a wee bit of witchy horror. It’s almost like a writers’ relay, where chapters might have been written by different authors in the following order: - Christina Lauren - Sarah Addison Allen - Alice Hoffman - Anne Rice Cackle follows a year in the life of 30-something Annie after she’s dumped by her boyfriend and moves from the big city to upstate New York to start over. She meets an impossibly beautiful woman named Sophie, and they become insta-BFFs. They drink a lot of wine, play dress up, and play with spiders. A LOT of spiders, most notably a big one named Ralph who has a jovial personality and dons a little hat. Through her friendship with her new feminist bestie - who, it goes without saying, is a witch - Annie learns to take back her power over her life while gaining powers over the universe. While uneven in tone, Cackle is a great choice for a little Halloween reading that’s spooky enough to feel seasonal but not enough to scare. I can’t stress this enough though: Must Love Spiders. 3.5 stars My thanks to the author and Berkley Publishing Group for the gifted copy to review. Cackle is now available. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    After Annie's live-in boyfriend, Sam, breaks up with her, she's devastated. Sure, maybe they have gotten a little too comfortable lately, but she cannot imagine being without him. As a school teacher, she knows she can't afford to live on her own in Manhattan, and at 30-years old, she's too old to get a roommate. Sam is keeping their apartment and Annie agrees she'll move on; away from the city She applies for a teaching position in a small town in Upstate New York and when it is offered to her, s After Annie's live-in boyfriend, Sam, breaks up with her, she's devastated. Sure, maybe they have gotten a little too comfortable lately, but she cannot imagine being without him. As a school teacher, she knows she can't afford to live on her own in Manhattan, and at 30-years old, she's too old to get a roommate. Sam is keeping their apartment and Annie agrees she'll move on; away from the city She applies for a teaching position in a small town in Upstate New York and when it is offered to her, she accepts. After that, things begin to fall into place rather quickly. She ends up finding the perfect apartment, minus the tiny spider infestation, and the entire town seems warm and inviting. Unfortunately, as Annie tries to settle into her new life, she is still just as heartbroken as the day she left the city and her old life behind. She can't stop thinking about Sam and running endless what-if scenerios through her head. Then she meets Sophie, a confident and mysterious local woman, who seems to have the entire town in the palm of her hand. Intrigued from the start, Annie begins to spend a lot of time with Sophie; pretty much every spare moment. The good news is, Sophie is great at helping her take her mind off of Sam and her aching heart. But when Annie can no longer ignore mysterious traits about Sophie, her circumstances begin to tip a toe into the ominous unknown. 🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤🕷🖤 I absolutely loved this story with my whole heart. It truly has such a powerful message. I think it will resonate with a lot of Readers. It's for anyone who has ever had a broken heart and found themselves on the other side, or anyone who needs to find the other side, pick this book up. You're stronger than you know! The way Harrison wrote Annie, what she was going through after the dissolution of her long-term relationship, it was extremely relatable. I was feeling every emotion she was feeling. After she met Sophie, it was indeed distracting. I was equally intrigued by Sophie. She was completely enchanting, mysterious, sexy, addicting; I wanted to know everything about her. I think I would have fallen for her as quickly as Annie did. The small town, spooky vibes are on point throughout this story. It's one of those stories where small town citizens act a little strangely around the new girl and you want to know why! This is the perfect book for Autumnal vibes for someone who maybe doesn't want to get too scary. Although, I will say, there were at least a couple of scenes in here that gave me legit chills. Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I finished this at the end of August and it is still fresh in my mind. I have no doubt this will be on my Favorites list for the year. Cackle should absolutely be on your Spooktober TBR!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    NOW AVAILABLE! How should you spend Halloween this year? 🕷🕸 A. Eat way too much chocolate 🍫 because you have an excuse to do so. B. Read Cackle and learn to discover your inner 🧙🏻‍♀️ Witch. C. Both answers are correct. The answer is C-both answers are correct! Sam and Annie. Annie and Sam. They have been a couple for 10 years, and Annie thought the next step was marriage while Sam thought it was to break up and be “just friends”. Yeah-that old line. So, Annie has accepted a new teaching job upstate NOW AVAILABLE! How should you spend Halloween this year? 🕷🕸 A. Eat way too much chocolate 🍫 because you have an excuse to do so. B. Read Cackle and learn to discover your inner 🧙🏻‍♀️ Witch. C. Both answers are correct. The answer is C-both answers are correct! Sam and Annie. Annie and Sam. They have been a couple for 10 years, and Annie thought the next step was marriage while Sam thought it was to break up and be “just friends”. Yeah-that old line. So, Annie has accepted a new teaching job upstate and is leaving Manhattan for the small, picturesque town of Rowan, to lick her wounds in private. Instead she immediately meets, Sophie, a beautiful, independent woman who lives life unapologetically and seems to want to help Annie to live her life the same way. But, Sophie has had many years to learn this lesson-possibly hundreds if you are to believe what is said. I wasn’t expecting a feminist slant to this book-and not a whole lot happens as the two women hang out, eating, drinking wine and talking, but it was a QUICK-often humorous read-UNIQUE, CAMPY and UPLIFTING! You may even find yourself “cackling” once or twice! Who ever decided that being a WITCH was bad, anyway? 🕷 3.5 ⭐️ rounding up for the POSITIVE message! And the FANTASTIC COVER! ☕️🕷 Thank You to Elisha at Berkley for inviting me to read an early gifted copy of this delightful book, provided through NetGalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    3.5 STARS Hocus Pocus This one has more giggles than screams, so no need to be frightened! Maybe a few goosebumps! The story is about Annie finding her true self after a twelve year long break-up with her boyfriend, Sam. Annie moves to a small village and meets a charming unconvential friend, Sophie. Her home is enormous, beautiful and as enchanting as she is. They become good friends. They spend time together drinking tea, playing dress-up, trying on her collection of hats, making caramel apples an 3.5 STARS Hocus Pocus This one has more giggles than screams, so no need to be frightened! Maybe a few goosebumps! The story is about Annie finding her true self after a twelve year long break-up with her boyfriend, Sam. Annie moves to a small village and meets a charming unconvential friend, Sophie. Her home is enormous, beautiful and as enchanting as she is. They become good friends. They spend time together drinking tea, playing dress-up, trying on her collection of hats, making caramel apples and watching documentaries on Netflix. There is also some magic and sweet creatures, but its focused on friendship, building self confidence and living your best life! Its a sweet read, a bit juvenile (except a few curse words) and I would call it a witchy fairytale or cozy witch story. If your in the mood for something unique that may make your spidey senses tingle. This may be your cup of tea! Thanks to NG and the publisher for my review copy! OUT October 5, 2021

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT A SPIDER THE SAME AGAIN !!!!! 🕷🕸 I love all things witchy, so I was immediately drawn to this book, love the cover!!! Don’t be too afraid to read this one, you will meet some wonderful characters that you can root for and have some great life lessons reaffirmed. Annie has just turned 30. She is leaving Manhattan where she has lived for 10 years. Her boyfriend since she was a teen has broken up with her. After 10 years he thinks they should stay “friends” but move on. Annie i YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT A SPIDER THE SAME AGAIN !!!!! 🕷🕸 I love all things witchy, so I was immediately drawn to this book, love the cover!!! Don’t be too afraid to read this one, you will meet some wonderful characters that you can root for and have some great life lessons reaffirmed. Annie has just turned 30. She is leaving Manhattan where she has lived for 10 years. Her boyfriend since she was a teen has broken up with her. After 10 years he thinks they should stay “friends” but move on. Annie is devastated!!!!! She has loved Sam and lived with him for years, she thought they’d get married, he has other ideas. Annie takes a job as a teacher in a small town in upstate New York. The town is so pretty, quaint, idyllic in fact, almost like a story book!! The people she meets are friendly and her apartment is great, just what she was looking for!! Annie doesn’t have a lot of self confidence or self assurance. She wants to make a fresh start but doesn’t know if she can let go of Sam. She spends a lot of time brooding in her apartment and drinking the nights away. THEN SHE MEETS SOPHIE!! Annie and Sophie seem to bond from the start; Sophie is so kind and inviting. She is like a balm for Annie’s downtrodden self esteem. She is beautiful and self assured. But some of the townspeople seem to be afraid of her???? WHY???? Annie has found a friend who teaches her how to cook, how to enjoy doing things just for your own enjoyment. They have some great picnics and fun nights together. Annie will have to decide how she can move forward and let go of the past!! Sophie is very mysterious and of course as you know from the blurb there are some out of the ordinary things going on in this town!!!!!! This is really a late stage coming of age novel with some great “witchy” elements. Annie grows a lot during the novel which I always enjoy. I would recommend this book for anyone from mid teen years and up!! I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley. This novel is set to publish on October 5, 2021.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    Let's make one thing clear: 👏This is not a thriller! This is not a horror! 👏 To be a thriller, it has to play with your (or at least the MC's) mind, to be a horror, it has to have at least one character dead/murdered (or in danger of the same) and at least one gory scene. (Not) Sorry to spoil you, but this has non of that. This is cozy women's fiction with paranormal (witchy, perfect for Halloween) elements that can also be categorized as feminist novel and that is it!! It was weird, I'll give it t Let's make one thing clear: 👏This is not a thriller! This is not a horror! 👏 To be a thriller, it has to play with your (or at least the MC's) mind, to be a horror, it has to have at least one character dead/murdered (or in danger of the same) and at least one gory scene. (Not) Sorry to spoil you, but this has non of that. This is cozy women's fiction with paranormal (witchy, perfect for Halloween) elements that can also be categorized as feminist novel and that is it!! It was weird, I'll give it that, but it is definitely not disturbing (unless you hate spiders, who are here pets because why not throw something childish and unnecessary to make it unique)! So yeah, if you consider Twilight a horror because it has vampires as characters, then this is the horror/thriller for you. If you are looking for thrilling book that will keep you at the edge of your sit, this is not a book for you. This is cozy, slow paced book, perfect for readers who are looking something to read for Halloween, but instead of being scared, they want to be relaxed. It was entertaining, with characters interesting enough, and easy to read writing style. It is written in first person. I could spend my time overanalyzing the novel, telling you how Annie reminded me of my own friend which made me care for her on a higher level, how in my mind Sophie looks like Megan Fox, how I loved Sam and am sorry the writer ruined his character even though I understand why she did it, how I think cat would work way better then the spider and how absurd it was for MC to take everything like it was even though no sane person would do it. I could also tell you how I really enjoyed the atmosphere and my friend Amanda who I buddy read this with, and me, we had great time and how this book was exactly what we both needed after finishing Mexican Gothic, but I won't bore you more then necessary. I will just recommend this novel to everyone who are looking for cozy autumn book with witchy/Halloween elements.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Frank Phillips

    What a refreshing, original, spooky read!! Cackle is a horror / comedy written by Rachel Harrison, who happened to write my favorite horror novel of 2020, titled The Return. That being said, I had very high expectations going into this, which I know can be a recipe for disaster - however I am pleased to say that was not the case with this book! While this novel was nowhere near as sinister as her debut, it was nonetheless incredibly enjoyable and I can say I'm continually impressed by Harrison as What a refreshing, original, spooky read!! Cackle is a horror / comedy written by Rachel Harrison, who happened to write my favorite horror novel of 2020, titled The Return. That being said, I had very high expectations going into this, which I know can be a recipe for disaster - however I am pleased to say that was not the case with this book! While this novel was nowhere near as sinister as her debut, it was nonetheless incredibly enjoyable and I can say I'm continually impressed by Harrison as an author! With Cackle, I was immediately drawn to our protagonist Annie, who has just been dumped by her boyfriend of 10 years and has decided to put some distance between herself and him, taking a new teaching job and renting an apartment several hours away. This leads her to Rowan, a very charming small community outside of the big city. Annie hopes this will be the perfect place to recover from heartbreak, and boy is she in for a surprise! Almost immediately she falls in love with the simplistic way of life Rowan has to offer and how warm and welcoming the townspeople seem to be. Then she meets Sophie, who by all accounts is just as welcoming and friendly. In fact, she almost seems too good to be true! After a couple weeks of rough adjustment she settles into small town life and establishes a close friendship with Sophie, who the townspeople oddly seem keen to keep a distance from. The longer Annie stays in Rowan, the more she learns about who Sophie really is and what that means to her personally. Sophie of course is not your average person, in fact she's a four hundred year-old witch! Is Sophie a good witch, like she claims to be? Or is she in fact evil, with dark, macabre intentions for Annie? Is she behind the strange occurrences Annie has been experiencing lately? And what is the deal with all these darn spiders everywhere?! Man, this book was so compulsively readable I didn't want to put it down! Even though it didn't end anywhere remotely close to how I thought it would, I was still very satisfied with pretty much every aspect of the story. This is primarily a story about self-discovery whilst at a crossroad, and finding happiness in your true self outside of a relationship, but don't get me wrong, there are definitely a handful of creeeepy moments along with just as many hilarious moments! I don't think I've read a book with such a variety of elements in it in quite some time! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys mysteries, horror, dark comedies, and anything with a Halloween vibe, it's the perfect book for the season!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Meisha (ALittleReader)

    Looking for a deliciously wicked treat to throw into your cauldron of Halloween Reads? Look no further! This is literally the PERFECT witchy Halloween book! This has small town vibes filled with feminism, cutesy and sometimes spine tingling supernatural happenings. Pretty much everything you could want in a fun book for the spooky season. However, please don't go into this expecting it to be straight up horror. Although it has horror elements, horror is not what this is per se. I would say this i Looking for a deliciously wicked treat to throw into your cauldron of Halloween Reads? Look no further! This is literally the PERFECT witchy Halloween book! This has small town vibes filled with feminism, cutesy and sometimes spine tingling supernatural happenings. Pretty much everything you could want in a fun book for the spooky season. However, please don't go into this expecting it to be straight up horror. Although it has horror elements, horror is not what this is per se. I would say this is closer to a Spooky Disney movie than horror. But if Disney is what you're looking for, you're in the right place! I have to say that my favorite part about the book is the characters. Annie got really frustrating sometimes because all she could think about was her ex. I couldn't fault the book for that though because I have to admit that I was that person when I was younger. I thought I needed a man to be happy and I think this is a great book to remind women that that's not the case. (Sophie is a fantastic role model in general but especially in that aspect.) Plus, I appreciated getting to see Annie go through the amount of character growth that she went through. I also want to point out that I am absolutely TERRIFIED of spiders. I never thought that I would be able to say that I love a spider. Much less "I absolutely adore this spider!" But this book made that happen for me. Yup. That's right. I love the spider in this book and I think he's adorable! So that was a feat in and of its self! As far as the plot goes, there were slower parts here and there. But there was always something keeping you guessing and wanting to continue turning the pages. Sophie in particular was a big aspect of that. I kept going back and forth on deciding whether shes really a good person or if theres something more sinister going on. And i loved that! Besides that, shes very mysterious. Theres so many layers to her that you just want to learn more about. Again, I thing the characters play a huge part in this book. So if you're a character based reader and love a fantastic atmosphere, (particularly homey, small town, spooky atmospheres) then I really think this would be right up your alley! Either way though, I think this book would be worth anyone's time and would recommend giving this one a shot! Thank you to Berkley Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Annie gets dumped by her boyfriend of 10 years, so she takes a teaching position and moves out of NYC to a small town upstate NY where she meets beautiful and charismatic Sophie. Never one to have many friends, Annie quickly bonds with mysterious Sophie and learns that there is much more to her than meets the eye. Cackle wasn't what I was expecting, but it was different and gave me the witchy feels I've been craving this Halloween season. The tone of the story starts out light, then gets a bit da Annie gets dumped by her boyfriend of 10 years, so she takes a teaching position and moves out of NYC to a small town upstate NY where she meets beautiful and charismatic Sophie. Never one to have many friends, Annie quickly bonds with mysterious Sophie and learns that there is much more to her than meets the eye. Cackle wasn't what I was expecting, but it was different and gave me the witchy feels I've been craving this Halloween season. The tone of the story starts out light, then gets a bit darker, delves a tiny bit into mild horror, but clearly not much if I was able to handle it. Despite those elements, under all of the hocus pocus, it is really a book about finding one's true identity. I enjoyed watching Annie's growth and found myself cheering for her. I am most definitely not a fan of spiders, but Ralph stole the show and may have converted me. This is a good choice if you are looking for a lighter story with atmospheric fall vibes. 3.5 stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This could’ve been a new favorite, I loved the beginning so much, but then it got kind of repetitive and the main character started to annoy me 😅 love the concept though! Reading vlog: https://youtu.be/1-Q5QE_faPY This could’ve been a new favorite, I loved the beginning so much, but then it got kind of repetitive and the main character started to annoy me 😅 love the concept though! Reading vlog: https://youtu.be/1-Q5QE_faPY

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    While Cackle by Rachel Harrison is technically a paranormal horror novel this one is not overly scary horror but more on the humorous side. There are a few moments that could give a reader chills but this is more like a chicklit paranormal. Think of what a cozy mystery does with a murder instead of a darker thriller and then you’ll be more on the right track of what you may find in Cackle. At only thirty Annie has spent the last ten years of her life with the man she thought she would be with for While Cackle by Rachel Harrison is technically a paranormal horror novel this one is not overly scary horror but more on the humorous side. There are a few moments that could give a reader chills but this is more like a chicklit paranormal. Think of what a cozy mystery does with a murder instead of a darker thriller and then you’ll be more on the right track of what you may find in Cackle. At only thirty Annie has spent the last ten years of her life with the man she thought she would be with forever living in Manhattan. Now though Annie finds herself alone and packing her things to move upstate and begin her life again. Annie has taken a teaching position in a charming little town and is moving in a quaint little apartment on her on for the first time in years. After arriving in the town the only thing Annie can complain about are the spiders she has to keep shooing away. The residents are all so welcoming wherever she goes in the new town but Annie does find herself a little lonely. Then Annie meets the mysterious Sophie. Sophie just has the personality that draws Annie into her world and makes her feel special, so what if the others in town seem a little afraid of her and she lives in that spooky old mansion. Being someone that absolutely adores books that are just a little bit out of the ordinary and don’t fall into the same old mold following a singular genre Cackle was right up my alley. This one has a little bit of several genres thrown in and mixed together, perhaps in a witches cauldron, and I loved every minute of it. I will certainly never look at a spider the same way again or think twice about that quick swim. At the core of this one though was character growth and discovery magically molded in a humorous but slightly spooky package just in time for the Halloween season. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  14. 5 out of 5

    Em

    If you got to the end of Midsommar and thought "good for her," this book is for you. If you got to the end of Midsommar and thought "good for her," this book is for you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    This story is about Annie's journey of growth and self-discovery. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it still turned out to be a good one for October 🎃. It's: 👻 Spooky 🕷Creepy 🧙‍♀️ Witchy Unfortunately, it's also preachy. So much focus is placed on Annie's empowerment, that kindness and friendship are diminished. I wasn't expecting that and felt it took away from the story. The premise is interesting, but the execution fell short. This isn't a horror story, and I was actually glad for that. This story is about Annie's journey of growth and self-discovery. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it still turned out to be a good one for October 🎃. It's: 👻 Spooky 🕷Creepy 🧙‍♀️ Witchy Unfortunately, it's also preachy. So much focus is placed on Annie's empowerment, that kindness and friendship are diminished. I wasn't expecting that and felt it took away from the story. The premise is interesting, but the execution fell short. This isn't a horror story, and I was actually glad for that.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    ” It’s best not to be specific with wishes. Otherwise, you end up getting what you think you want instead of what you really need.” Cackle is a weird and mildly spooky (and spidery) tale. At its core it’s about believing in one’s self-worth. I thought of it is a blend of genres. Fantasy, gentle horror, and chick-lit sans humor. This is not a romance in case you’re wondering. Thirty-year-old Annie needs a new job, a new place to live - a new life - after being dumped by her long-term boyfriend. A ” It’s best not to be specific with wishes. Otherwise, you end up getting what you think you want instead of what you really need.” Cackle is a weird and mildly spooky (and spidery) tale. At its core it’s about believing in one’s self-worth. I thought of it is a blend of genres. Fantasy, gentle horror, and chick-lit sans humor. This is not a romance in case you’re wondering. Thirty-year-old Annie needs a new job, a new place to live - a new life - after being dumped by her long-term boyfriend. Annie still loves Sam and cannot imagine a life without him. Reluctantly, she accepts an upstate teaching job and moves out of Manhattan. In the next town over from her teaching job, in the smaller town of Rowan, Annie finds an affordable apartment for rent. At first, Rowan seems like a quaint, sleepy village with friendly people who wave and say “hello.” It’s not until after she meets the beautiful and enigmatic Sophie does Annie notice an odd uncurrent. But being alone and lonely, Annie dismisses the weird vibes and gladly accepts Sophia’s friendship. From the start, I was pulling for Annie to believe in her worth and have something wonderful happen in her life. When Annie, an English teacher, arranged her books on the shelf by “which books [she thought] would be friends,” I just knew I would like her. Sadly, that’s about as interesting as Annie got. Until the end of the book, Annie cycles through a few activities and pines for her ex. The only relief I got from Annie’s cycle was figuring out what was up with Sophie. She lived in a grand house in the woods, where Annie noticed eerie things happening. Sophie was self-assured and guided Annie with sage advice on her ex and life. Frankly, I preferred Sophia over Annie. This was a character-driven story with little going on. It had slow parts, bland dialogue, and Annie was predictable. I like character-driven stories when the characters are not flat and stereotyped. I do not have to like a character to enjoy the book. However, I struggled to read the first half. But the second part revealed more about Sophia, which held my attention, so it took me half the time to finish the second half as it did to read the first. Speaking of stereotypes, all men in this book were shown negatively. It was so obvious to me that it felt preachy. Juxtaposed was a strong message advocating having zero intimate relationships were a sign of a healthy lifestyle. This tipped over into social commentary, I thought. More than anything else, the mashup of genres did not fit well for me. There were questions about Sophia that I wish had been explored in more detail. Instead, that part was only developed enough to recognize typical (light) horror elements. Annie’s thoughts fit into chic-lit, but she wasn’t witty or lighthearted. Fantasy would best describe the parts about Annie (and her pet) in general. Nevertheless, readers may find the book refreshingly quirky because it doesn’t fit one particular genre. Those readers would need to like slow moving books that center around one main character. They also need to be okay with spiders and mild horror tropes. And if you enjoy a book where a character works through issues and comes out a happier person, you may like Cackle.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    This is totally my face anytime I find a witchy book. I've seen this book shelved as horror. I must be jaded because honestly it was a bit fluffy for me. Annie has been dumped by her boyfriend. (Who just wanted to be friends for the last six months that they were together.) She takes a new job and moves to a picture perfect small town. Once there she makes friends with a woman named Sophie. Now Annie has a ton of whine time in this book. I'm sorry. I know you have a right to whine when life i This is totally my face anytime I find a witchy book. I've seen this book shelved as horror. I must be jaded because honestly it was a bit fluffy for me. Annie has been dumped by her boyfriend. (Who just wanted to be friends for the last six months that they were together.) She takes a new job and moves to a picture perfect small town. Once there she makes friends with a woman named Sophie. Now Annie has a ton of whine time in this book. I'm sorry. I know you have a right to whine when life is crap but damn. Needless to say. I was not an Annie fangirl. Now on to Sophie. I kinda hate that she was a secondary character that really never had her time in this book. She was there but I really felt her character did not get the time that she truly deserved. That's right Sophie. Rock on with your bad self. I did read this book in one day because it's totally readable. I just wish that there had been a bit more nasty to the story. I did like the fluffy little spider though. He gets a star all by himself. Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    If you're looking for a witchy Halloween book that's more light-hearted than scary this is a good one. If you're looking for a witchy Halloween book that's more light-hearted than scary this is a good one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alma Katsu

    Cackle delivers a lesson that every woman needs to hear: embrace your inner witch! Sweet, sinister, and 100 percent delightful, this is the Disney movie we all need.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    She's so endearing. So thoughtful and generous and beautiful... I mean, so what if she just so happens to be able to control spiders and curse obnoxious teenagers> So what if she dabbles in some dark magic and is over a hundred years old? I like her, and she likes me. She's my friend. It's hard to make new friends, especially as you get older. This is one twisted little story, with an ending that takes a pretty abrupt tone shift - but still somehow works. Annie Crane is thirty (the horror), single She's so endearing. So thoughtful and generous and beautiful... I mean, so what if she just so happens to be able to control spiders and curse obnoxious teenagers> So what if she dabbles in some dark magic and is over a hundred years old? I like her, and she likes me. She's my friend. It's hard to make new friends, especially as you get older. This is one twisted little story, with an ending that takes a pretty abrupt tone shift - but still somehow works. Annie Crane is thirty (the horror), single (oh the more horror), and is having a hard time finding her feet after a long term relationship came to a pretty crushing end (indifference really can be worse than spite). Her plan for a new job and a new life outside of New York City appear to be off to a pretty average start, until she makes a great new friend in Sophie. And yes, there's some red flags, but it would be kind of rude to speak up. I think that was probably one of my bigger frustrations with this book - I almost wanted it from Sophie's point of view, because Annie could just about have Welcome printed on her forehead and be less of a doormat. I get the need to please people, but it goes on for so long. Probably the reason this worked for me as well as it did was resonance, though it wasn't an "oh my god, it's me" moment - I feel like the more you relate to the main character here, the more you'll enjoy this. There's plenty of fun, witchy shenanigans, a healthy dose of gorgeous small-town setting, and a mansion in the woods (even including a library with a sliding book-ladder!) to keep you going without it though - so for a quick, fun, actually-surprisingly-spooky Halloween season read, Cackle certainly fits the bill. Also Ralph is definitely my new favourite literary spider-sidekick.

  21. 4 out of 5

    JasonA

    This wasn't really what I was expecting, but I still liked it. This was yet another novel labeled as horror that wasn't remotely a horror story; I'd probably wind up calling it Fantasy. There was also a lot more humor than I was expecting. This is a tale of two adult women, one of whom is a witch, becoming friends. At multiple points, it reminded me of a T.J. Klune book, if he were writing about a platonic relationship between two women. I don't really have any major gripes about this one. I wou This wasn't really what I was expecting, but I still liked it. This was yet another novel labeled as horror that wasn't remotely a horror story; I'd probably wind up calling it Fantasy. There was also a lot more humor than I was expecting. This is a tale of two adult women, one of whom is a witch, becoming friends. At multiple points, it reminded me of a T.J. Klune book, if he were writing about a platonic relationship between two women. I don't really have any major gripes about this one. I wouldn't have minded if Annie got over her ex quicker and we got more of Sophie's backstory. I'd have also liked to see a bit of what happened between the end of the book and the epilogue, but the book is still fine without all of that. Overall, this was an enjoyable read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    Review originally published at Cemetery Dance (October 27th, 2021) https://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/... Cackle by Rachel Harrison is a mixed bag of emotions. The story centers on Annie Crane, a woman looking for a fresh start after her boyfriend moves their relationship into the friendzone. She leaves the city for a quaint, little rental in a small town. Things do not go well. Annie is consumed with her feelings about the break-up and her new job at the local high school is only adding to her l Review originally published at Cemetery Dance (October 27th, 2021) https://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/... Cackle by Rachel Harrison is a mixed bag of emotions. The story centers on Annie Crane, a woman looking for a fresh start after her boyfriend moves their relationship into the friendzone. She leaves the city for a quaint, little rental in a small town. Things do not go well. Annie is consumed with her feelings about the break-up and her new job at the local high school is only adding to her lack of self-esteem. None of her new co-workers make her feel welcomed and the students in her class are not cooperative. Then she meets Sophie and everything begins to change. First of all, I want to set some early expectations here. I don’t know why Amazon has this book under “vampire fiction” because there are no vampires. Don’t come to Cackle looking for any blood-suckage. But can I interest you in some cozy Witch-Lit? As Sophie and Annie’s friendship develops, it becomes increasingly obvious there is something different about Sophie. Annie takes note of how the townspeople engage with her new friend; the way people seem almost frightened by her. Annie is utterly mesmerized by Sophie’s charisma but also a little thrown off by how intense she is about everything. Honestly, Sophie’s behavior toward Annie gave me anxiety. As an introvert who enjoys my own company and a low level of social commitments, the way Sophie courts Annie for friendship is a lot. There are invites for breakfast, trips to the café, so many tokens of affection and gestures of kindness, even an invite for an overnighter after just a few days. Not to mention, Sophie clearly wears her neediness for a bestie on her sleeve. I felt like the author did an amazing job communicating how exhilarating all of that attention can be while, at the same time, how overwhelming it would be. I think some women were made for that level of intimacy between friends and seem to thrive in situations where there is daily interaction, but I felt validated by Annie’s hesitancy to jump into it with the enthusiasm Sophie was expecting. This book is really about Annie and the rollercoaster of emotions she goes through during the course of this novel. Themes of self-care and personal introspection. Setting healthy boundaries in relationships. The process of learning to love yourself in any setting-alone or moving through life with a partner. Layered into Annie’s journey of self-discovery is the story of Sophie and why she’s so unique. It’s a lot of fun because it never really crosses into dark horror territory. Harrison keeps this tale pretty light, all things considered. This is the perfect kind of book for readers who like to read something a little spooky and dark for October but aren’t really looking for traditional horror scares. I enjoyed this one and had it perfectly cast with actors who fit the various roles for the movie that played in my mind while I was reading. So much fun.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madison Calhoun

    Okay then... this is one of those times where I truly wonder if I've read the same book as everyone else. People are blindly praising this novel without acknowledging how screwed up Annie and Sophie are. There aren't that many reviews yet, so I'm going to make a note to myself to check back here at the end of the month and see if anything changes. There are a whole slew of witchy books I want to read that are coming out this October, but Cackle was at the top of my list. I think I was mistaken ab Okay then... this is one of those times where I truly wonder if I've read the same book as everyone else. People are blindly praising this novel without acknowledging how screwed up Annie and Sophie are. There aren't that many reviews yet, so I'm going to make a note to myself to check back here at the end of the month and see if anything changes. There are a whole slew of witchy books I want to read that are coming out this October, but Cackle was at the top of my list. I think I was mistaken about the premise, though. Someone on TikTok labeled it as LGBTQ+, so I was falsely expecting a sapphic witchy tale. Nonetheless, though, I found the premise intriguing: Annie has recently been dumped by her boyfriend of ten years. She's devastated and needs some space, so she takes a teaching job a few hours away and moves to a picturesque, small town. Everyone seems really friendly, and she befriends a gorgeous, glamorous woman named Sophie. The closer they become, though, the more something seems off. Why are the townspeople afraid of Sophie? Is she really as warm and friendly as she seems? Healing from a breakup by bonding with a hot witch sounds like a fantastic premise to me. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get behind it as I read. Your enjoyment of Cackle will probably depend on how much you sympathize with Annie. I couldn't stand her. She's so whiny. She spends the entire book rambling on about missing her ex. Sure, they were together for ten years, so she had a right to be upset. But the way she had no personality or hobbies outside of him frustrated me. He so clearly never appreciated her, yet she devoted her life and ruined all of her relationships for him. Annie's entire approach to men made me roll my eyes. She talks about how she can't live alone and always cycles through guys. Growing up, when her friends told her she spent too much time with her boyfriends, she got mad and stopped talking to them out of spite. She never grew out of that dependence on a man. She's also extraordinarily sensitive and takes every single passing remark by other characters the wrong way and never gets over anything. She was bullied as a kid, but mostly in the way of random insensitive comments from other children, rather than one bully targeting her... And she never forgets it and is still wishing ill on everyone who has ever made a slightly rude comment to her. It's exhausting, and she seemed so cold for no reason to everyone but Sam and Sophie that I couldn't get behind her. (view spoiler)[She does grow at the end, but it's literally in the last 5% of the book that she changes her mind. She had this weird trajectory where she started believing in herself in the second half, mostly to placate Sophie, but then immediately threw it all away for Sam, and then did a last second switcheroo where she realized she could, in fact, survive without a man. I had a hard time believing any of it. (hide spoiler)] I also thought Sophie was extremely toxic. She made some good points, but her actions were pretty despicable. I supported her sentiments that Annie needed to move on and believe in herself. She's right that society pushes women to feel like they need a man in their lives, and, as a result, women end up settling because they don't know they deserve better. However, she was way too controlling and didn't give Annie any room to come to those conclusions on her own. She physically took her phone from her, encouraged Annie to drink way too much every weekend, was too possessive over Annie's time, and eventually (view spoiler)[gave her a pet so that she could monitor Annie's every movement in her own home (hide spoiler)] . Oh, and (view spoiler)[she drugged her (hide spoiler)] with zero remorse. That's abusive behavior! Not to mention all the lies and manipulation. She's an interesting villain, but I'm frustrated to see people saying that she's empowering and in the right. I'm spending so much time harping on the characters because they truly are the focus of the story. There's not much plot or depth beyond the characterization. In fact, there are so so many things left unexplained and zero answers about the magic system (view spoiler)[OR HOW ANNIE BECAME A WITCH. Please correct me if I missed it, but my own personal theory is that Sophie somehow gave her powers (maybe with that ring?). I'm floored that it was never explained (hide spoiler)] . I think it's probably fine if you like the characters, but if you don't, then the cracks show and there's not really anything else to enjoy. The writing is fine, but I didn't feel strongly about it one way or the other. I was listening on audiobook, though, and I have a harder time judging writing when I'm listening. FWIW, the narrator was good (it's the same woman who narrates Lock Every Door), though I didn't love the voice she used for Sophie. Kind of spoilers for the end below here, but I'm not tagging them because they're vague. If you don't want to know the direction of the story, stop reading after this paragraph. Overall, it just wasn't for me, mostly because I thought the characters were all bad people, in a rude, unentertaining way. It did have spooky vibes, but it almost felt like the author was including too many food and coffee references just for the sake of it. It felt more like a random grocery list sprinkled in than the coziness and October atmosphere I was hoping for (sometimes less is more! Tell me HOW the pie smelled and tasted, rather than giving me twenty different baked goods). Giving this book the benefit of the doubt, I could say Harrison was intentionally trying to make the characters unlikable. I do really like stories where protagonists become antagonists and the bad guys win. They're so fun and interesting! Arguably, that's what this book does, but I didn't have fun. Sophie and Annie try to pass their behavior near the end off as feminist and empowering, but I found it to just be mean for the sake of being mean without a greater purpose. I love sinister villains with a morally grey reason for their behavior... but Sophie and Annie were petty and took things too far. Maybe if they actually got to know the townspeople instead of (view spoiler)[bending them to their wills with magic (hide spoiler)] they'd all get along. Sure, you can stand up for yourself and take what you want out of life, but you don't have to ostracize yourself in the process. I liked the themes of this book, but I couldn't quite tell how far the reader was supposed to go with them. Should we root for Sophie and Annie? Are we supposed to dislike them and view Sophie as the traditional mean witch living in a forest out of a fairytale? I dunno, but I didn't have a good time. 2 stars. I do see how some people might like this-- it's unique and liking Annie might give you a different perspective than I had. I'm very curious to see more reviews of this one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linden

    Annie’s boyfriend of 10 years just dumped her. She can’t afford to live in Manhattan on her salary, so she takes a teaching job in upstate NY. The other teachers are standoffish, but Sophie, a town resident, is really kind, and reaches out to Annie. She knows there’s something different about Sophie; why does everyone in town seem to fear her? When an obnoxious student becomes horribly ill in class after Sophie offers to curse him, Annie really starts to wonder. What was in that nasty tea Sophie Annie’s boyfriend of 10 years just dumped her. She can’t afford to live in Manhattan on her salary, so she takes a teaching job in upstate NY. The other teachers are standoffish, but Sophie, a town resident, is really kind, and reaches out to Annie. She knows there’s something different about Sophie; why does everyone in town seem to fear her? When an obnoxious student becomes horribly ill in class after Sophie offers to curse him, Annie really starts to wonder. What was in that nasty tea Sophie gave her to drink? And is Sophie’s beautiful home haunted? But Sophie is so kind and encouraging, always helping to build Annie’s confidence. I enjoyed this unique, well written novel, with humor, great characters, and a bit of magic. I look forward to reading more by this author. Four and a half stars. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review an ARC.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Mixed feelings on this one. So unique but that ending was not expected. Kind of mean. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you are looking for a trippy book, this is one you want to grab. Categorized by the publisher as gothic/horror, I was a bit nervous about reading it. However, thankfully, it really isn’t scary or horror based. This is a slightly dark but rather humorous story that leaves you wondering a bit. Harrison pulls out the stops with her imaginative storytelling in this story crafted just in time for Al Mixed feelings on this one. So unique but that ending was not expected. Kind of mean. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you are looking for a trippy book, this is one you want to grab. Categorized by the publisher as gothic/horror, I was a bit nervous about reading it. However, thankfully, it really isn’t scary or horror based. This is a slightly dark but rather humorous story that leaves you wondering a bit. Harrison pulls out the stops with her imaginative storytelling in this story crafted just in time for All Hallows Eve. Subtle tells lead you down the garden path of oblivion until you suddenly realize what is happening. Drips of change start occurring. Weird happenings; strange things in town. Fingers point but Annie takes her friend to heart and starts to make changes in her own life. The ending is so not what I expected but the story is a page turner that grabs your attention while the uneasiness creeps over you. Scary it is not but a perfect example of a witchy woman in action! * copy received for review consideration full review - https://amidlifewife.com/cackle-by-ra...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dutchie( turkey slowed my reading down)

    3.5 Stars I found this to be a nice lighthearted, slightly spooky read. Perfect for this time of year! Not at all what I was expecting but enjoyed it nonetheless. Annie has just broken up with her boyfriend of 10 years and moves to a quaint town in upstate NY. She's completely lacking any self esteem when she meets Sophie. We then explore the relationship between the two and how Sophie's relationship with Annie helps build up her self esteem and stand up for herself. The underlying question is w 3.5 Stars I found this to be a nice lighthearted, slightly spooky read. Perfect for this time of year! Not at all what I was expecting but enjoyed it nonetheless. Annie has just broken up with her boyfriend of 10 years and moves to a quaint town in upstate NY. She's completely lacking any self esteem when she meets Sophie. We then explore the relationship between the two and how Sophie's relationship with Annie helps build up her self esteem and stand up for herself. The underlying question is who or what is Sophie. For those of you wanting a more traditional horror novel, this is not it. It is however a very light/quick read with a little eeriness thrown in. This was so much different then The Return. Spiders ---totally can't stand them. But Ralph won me over...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie (That's What She Read)

    If you've ever watched a Hallmark movie and wished that the main heroine would have not ended up with the lumberjack/baker/Christmas tree farm owner, but instead would just get herself a witchy gal pal then this book is for you! If you've ever watched a Hallmark movie and wished that the main heroine would have not ended up with the lumberjack/baker/Christmas tree farm owner, but instead would just get herself a witchy gal pal then this book is for you!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    LOVED LOVED LOVED. 🕷💚 Full review to follow but this book hit me in so many ways I didn't see coming. Perfect for this time of year/just perfect. I thought it was going to be witchy-vibe read but there was so much more to this book and I'm so freaking happy I read it! My copy is dogeared to the high heavens. The entire book is basically one folded page! Don't sleep on this book. I'm for sure going to pick up The Return! LOVED LOVED LOVED. 🕷💚 Full review to follow but this book hit me in so many ways I didn't see coming. Perfect for this time of year/just perfect. I thought it was going to be witchy-vibe read but there was so much more to this book and I'm so freaking happy I read it! My copy is dogeared to the high heavens. The entire book is basically one folded page! Don't sleep on this book. I'm for sure going to pick up The Return!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin A. Craig

    Fast paced and wonderfully witty!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    I mean, it's not horror. It's chick-lit at best, but it's still entertaining and it's got witchy vibes in a quaint town to enjoy. I mean, it's not horror. It's chick-lit at best, but it's still entertaining and it's got witchy vibes in a quaint town to enjoy.

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