Title: Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel
Author: A.W. Jantha
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I started Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel the night before Halloween, and truly, what better timing? Hocus Pocus is one of my favorite Halloween movies, and when I heard way back in July that there was being a book written based on the screenplay, and a bonus surprise: an original, new sequel that continued the story, I ordered it from my library as soon as I had an opening in my library stack. As soon as I was finished with Positively Beautiful for my book club, I dove in, and I really enjoyed the first part, it was what I always wanted when I was younger. But overall, this book was just okay; by the time I realized that I wasn’t really feeling it, I was almost done and was too invested to just drop it. It wasn’t terrible; I really liked the illustrations and the first part of the novel. But the sequel just really fell flat for me; it felt like the original plot was just recycled, though I really liked the characters. I liked it, but it was just meh to me, honestly.
Everyone knows the plot of the movie Hocus Pocus: Three wicked witch sisters, the Sandersons, are hung for the offense of witchcraft. But they cast a spell that will allow them to return to Salem, and three hundred years later, a virgin lights The Black Flame candle and restores them to life. Suddenly Max Dennison, his little sister, Dani, and his beautiful, mysterious classmate, Allison, are facing off against the sisters in a bid to save the whole city of Salem. The sequel of the book takes place twenty-five years after the original, following Max’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, and her two best friends, Isabel and Tucker. Poppy, for her part, hates that her family carries this crazed legacy that she isn’t even sure she believes. But her skepticism is blown to pieces when she and her friends accidentally revive the Sanderson sisters, and soon she is caught in a dangerous game of dark magic, surprising alliances, unexpected romance, and an evil unlike any she’s ever seen before…
This book… I finished it a week and a half ago or so, and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. It wasn’t awful, but it definitely wasn’t spectacular; in fact, I started You May Kill the Bride by R.L. Stine the same night that I finished Hocus Pocus. But I didn’t hate it! Maybe because I loved the movie so much, my expectations were too high? But I really liked the first half, because ever since I first watched the movie, I always wanted a novel to go along with it, because it’s just one of my favorite Halloween stories. The second half of the book; I liked the continuity of the story, and I loved the romance between two of the central characters. But I feel like the attempt to modernize the Sanderson sisters and their quest to kill all of the children of Salem was weak, at best. I really liked the humor and most of the characters, especially Poppy, Isabel, Tucker, and Poppy’s parents and aunt. I have really mixed feelings about it, honestly; it was a good attempt, but the magic of the movie and what was imagined to come after just did not find me. Nonetheless, what better book to start to read on the spookiest night of the year? The bottom line: I was really excited to find out about this book, and I really liked the first part of it, but the sequel really just fell flat. Next on deck: You May Now Kill the Bride by R.L. Stine!