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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


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

by Breanne Randall

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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, Foodie


  • Illustrated icon, Witchy


  • Illustrated icon, Siblings


  • Illustrated icon, Second_Chance_Romance

    Second Chance Romance


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?

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


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.

Member ratings (5,425)

  • Sabrina S.

    Arden, NC

    I loved this book and was immediately drawn to the many colorful and interesting characters. A dash of life lessons, a handful of romance, and a hearty serving of family dysfunction ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • 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

  • Alison B.

    Stevens Point, WI

    What a great fall read! The storytelling and prose were great & made me feel like I was in Sadie's mind, feeling her emotions right alongside her. I'll definitely be trying some of the recipes. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Allison B.

    Smethport, PA

    I loved this book. Beautiful and heartbreaking, but it puts you back together, too. Hold onto hope no matter the cost… Love the recipes at the end of each chapter! Perfect fall read, great debut ☺️

  • Kathy A.

    Cobb, CA

    Like a pair of warm, fuzzy socks… Wonderfully magical with delightful characters. I loved the story and especially liked all the recipes included. love, heartbreak, magic, friendship..wonderful read

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