Book Review // The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

Book Review // The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal CestariThe Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Series: Windy City Magic #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 16th 2017
Rating: three-half-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic, Social Themes, Dating & Relationships
Pages: 336
Buy: Hardback/Paperback
Find on Goodreads

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.

The Best Kind of Magic was a book I was really excited about when I saw it on NetGalley – magic? A matchmaker? Vampires, werewolves, goblins? I was all in! Plus a contemporary Chicago setting? Well, I was happy as Larry (who is Larry, though? AND HOW DO WE KNOW HE WAS HAPPY?). I’ve never visited Chicago in my life (or any of the United States, except for Florida) but I love novels set there for some reason. It just sounds like a wonderful city to visit, with amazing views. It’s also home to three (possibly four!) of my favourite TV shows. So there’s that. Yeah, I was pretty pumped for this book. Did it live up to the hype, for me? No, but it was still an enjoyable read.

My problem with The Best Kind of Magic was the pacing of the plot, and the fact it could have been so much more. The plot was very tame, in the end. The whole trying to find Cassandra thing wasn’t the thrilling plot I thought it could be. I think it spent more time building up to finding Cassandra than it did when they actually were going to find her, if that makes sense. For ages, I thought this was a Middle Grade book, but the swearing proved it most definitely isn’t, because in all other parts, it actually could have passed for a Middle Grade read. (I was actually baffled when Amber swore, I was like, “This passes for Middle Grade now?” but I was obviously mistaken, and this is clearly YA).

On the flipside, I loved Amber and even more than that, I loved Charlie. Charlie reminded me of Xander from All The Feels, in that he dressed the way he dressed and you had to just accept it, and I loved his tie pins. I don’t even know what a tie pin is, but I loved it. Amber was also adorable. I loved that she was a match-maker, and it’s kind of cool to be able to see someone’s soulmate, but I liked, also, that the whole Amani/Vincent thing wasn’t so cut and dry. Does it *really* work like that? Can a vision change? Why can’t Amber just look in the mirror to see her soulmate? It wasn’t a completely black or white thing. And that’s a good thing, because Amber does not see herself in Charlie’s future, which is actually terrifying to me, as a reader, because you ship these people, but then it seems like it might be okay AND THEN IT ISN’T OKAY and that is why I will absolutely, definitely, be checking out the second book, because we had the rug pulled from under our feet so swiftly there at the end. I NEED ANSWERS.

The Best Kind of Magic wasn’t the book I thought it would be, but it wasn’t a bad book at all. Yes, the plot didn’t go where I was expecting it to. Or, rather, it did go where I was expecting it to, but it wasn’t as exciting as I wanted it to be, but it wasn’t a bad read at all. I loved Amber and Charlie and Amani and Windy City Magic seems like such a cool shop, I could properly imagine it, and there are so, so many questions that I have, to be answered in book two!


1 Comment

  1. May 21, 2017 / 2:34 am

    This sounds so interesting! I’m so into witches and magic so I’ll have to keep my eye out for this one! Plus matchmaking? That’s something you don’t see a lot of in books which makes a nice chance! Great review 💖

    kirsty @ kirstychronicles

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