The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Release Date: May 16th, 2017
*e-ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review – thanks so much for sending me over a copy!*
DNF @ 40% (look! I actually remembered to check!)
Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.
Amber works at her 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.
Honestly, I think I would have loved this story, like, 9 years ago. It has all the makings of a book back in that book era: blonde bimbo/evil promiscuous girl, the popular boy that every girl wants but really has a heart of gold, supernatural heroine who is SO different from everyone else with a wicked sense of humor and snark, and her sassy best friend who is obsessed with boys or thinking about them (well, one in this case). Doesn’t this sound like quite a few books that you read a couple of years ago? I can totally think of a couple right off the top of my head that fit this exact description. And truthfully, back when my book tastes didn’t quite realize there was a super big formula and not much substance, I totally ate them up.
However, having much more book knowledge, this novel seemed to just be following a schedule and formula. I could seriously pinpoint when things were going to happen and what was going to happen because it followed so closely to that formula from a few years ago. I just kept thinking, why couldn’t this book have come out years ago, because I seriously would have loved it?
That’s not say that there weren’t parts I enjoyed. I mean, I did stick with it for forty percent, which, you all know, is a pretty big feat for me if I’m going to DNF something. It was engaging, and it was funny. I loved the world that was created with magic on the Navy Pier, and Amber did have a good sense of humor. Those beginning chapters had me cracking up. The magic realism aspect was done brilliantly as well.
It’s just the other parts floundered for me. I couldn’t get into the story, because I felt that I had read it already. I wanted more from the book, and I just couldn’t disconnect. At around 40%, there was supposed to be an important part to it, but I literally just looked at my Kindle app and went, nope, I really don’t care. And I realized I had a feeling of not caring for it for a while, and if I wasn’t invested, what was the point?
This novel has the makings of a good story. There were a lot of elements that I did like, but the other elements were too overwhelming for this Book Princess. I couldn’t get past them, and I think if Cestari had pushed it a bit more, this would have been a story that I would have loved.
A Snow White rating and no stars since I didn’t make it to 50%!
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