Honesty Disclosure: I started this book in JULY and finished October 5th. As my brother (who gave me the book for my birthday) said "What's with your slow reading lately?"
It's just been that kind of year lately. We were on vacation the second 1/2 of July through the first 1/2 of August, then I started the new job the day after we got home, and since then, I've had 174 students to keep track of. Needless to say, my reading time is limited from what it was.
However, this book is an absolute gem, and I'm really excited to share it.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
This book is for all of the Harry Potter fans who are now "grown ups." Let me reiterate that: this book is NOT appropriate (in any way) for children. This is Harry Potter with adult content and situations. The book is about a loner and somewhat social outcast, Quentin Coldwater, who is accepted to a college for real magic. After spending most of his life obsessed with a children's fantasy novel about a magical world (like Narnia), Quentin feels like Brakebills Academy has offered him the "out" he has always dreamed of. At school, Quentin does all the things a normal teenager would do: his education in magic is mixed with one in sex, drinking, and navigating relationships. However, unlike Harry Potter (which is delightfully referenced), Grossman's book offers us insight into not just the physical dangers of magic, but the practical ones as well. If everything is so easy (and here there are no rules about not using magic in the "real world,") where does life's purpose come from? After school, Quentin and his friends find themselves in New York City, where they struggle to make meaning of their existence. Unfortunately, the ultimate "purpose" they find leads them to much despair, but the Magicians is a joy ride for the reader. It is fitting that it took me nearly 3 months to read this book, because the novel takes place over a period of years and years. Parts of it are "slow," but the whole read is totally enjoyable. I might even pick up the sequel (or maybe wait for Graham to get it for me for Christmas?)
I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it for any adults looking for a book that is fantastical and fun, while still maintaining much "at stake." The characters feel very real, and it's easy to both love and loathe them at different points. Graham, who has also read and enjoyed the book, definitely picked a winner for me.
Happy page turning!
<3 S, B, L&Z