The Best Kind of Magic
by Crystal Cestari
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Amber works ather mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?
The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.
I am obsessed with anything related to witches, and The Best Kind of Magic is one of my best “witchy” books I have read in a long time. As a first-person narrative story, told through the eyes of Amber Sand, I was fully wrapped in the thoughts of a teenage protagonist entwined with the realities of high school and the consequences of magic. Even though, at first, I thought Amber was going to come off too angst-y for my liking, I really liked that she matured as the book progressed.
Although Amber does not have the powers of a typical witch, she does have the gift of “matchmaking,” in which she is able confirm with couples if they are perfect for each other. In The Best Kind of Magic, matchmaking is on the lowest step of the magical realm ladder, but Amber still takes pride in her magical ability. I liked Amber as a storyteller and being in her head throughout the story. She is funny, smart, rational, and has a cautious nature in her reactions to most situations. Amber often questions why people get mad when she tells them that they are not with their soulmate, but as the story unfolds, she starts to empathize with these people and understand heartache more.
I was also a big fan of Amber’s friends, Amani and Charlie. Amani is a great best friend, and as the series continues, I look forward to reading more about her pre-cog gift and how her life unfolds, especially in the romance realm…EEEK. I also liked Charlie because he is classy and mature, and I think he has a good head on his shoulders. I really liked that he doesn’t runaway from his problems or conflicts–instead he faces them with open communication and an open mind.
The Best Kind of Magic leaves room for all the characters to grow and understand life’s ability to throw you into loops. This story is quick-paced, lighthearted, and often times hilarious, but the book also focuses on serious matters. I enjoyed that the novel does not set up a heroine on her way to a happily ever after ending. Instead, reality is complicated and through Amber’s eyes we see her ponder real life complexities and worries. Amber faces difficulties in a story that questions fate and predestination. Do the “powers-that-be” control our lives or do we in fact have choice to control our own lives? Are there truly soulmates or do we control our own destiny with love? As these themes and questions are explored, the story unfolds in some unexpected turns.
Overall, The Best Kind of Magic is a great introduction into a series that I know I will continue to read. The book has a lot of sassy and sarcastic banter, which I love in young adult novels. There is also mystery, great friendship dynamics, and a slow burn of swoons *sigh*. I cannot wait for book two to come out; I’m not a big fan of book twists but I’m excited to see how the series continues.
With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.
My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.
Disclaimer: Open to only USA/CANADA.
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