Friday, June 2, 2017

ARC Review: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Published: May 16, 2017
336 (Hardcover)
Windy City Magic #1 
Source: Publisher
My Rating:
3.5 of 5 stars
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.

I really struggled to rate this book and went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars for awhile because I enjoyed the book, but it did have a few things that I didn't really enjoy.

I really liked the idea of the book. There are so many witch books where the main character descends from a long line of powerful witches, but not that many about the main character having that and not being a witch. I don't think I have ever read a book about a matchmaker, so I was instantly intrigued by this and definitely think that the author did a good job at describing Amber's ability and also giving the character dimension with the dilemmas relating to her matchmaking power that she faces. 

For the most part I enjoyed Amber as a character. At first the dialogue of the teenage characters was a little overkill, but that seemed to work itself out as the book progressed. As I mentioned before, Amber is faced with some matchmaking dilemmas throughout the story. I thought they were handled very well and in a believable way, even if it sometimes got a tad bit cheesy. 

I was not fond of how Amber treated her mother. She expected her mother to treat her like an adult and with respect, but she didn't really give her mother any reason to treat her that way. She acted like her mother owed her an explanation for everything that was going on and would get upset if she was left out of matters that really didn't concern her. It's probably a pretty realistic portrayal of a teenager, but I just found it so annoying.

I did enjoy the relationship between Amber and Charlie because it really built up over the book and it seemed to help Amber come to terms with being a matchmaker and a teenager. They were very cute and it was the typical popular guy and loser girl pairing, but I didn't really mind it. I did think that adding in Ivy into the mess was very cliche and was entirely only to create drama where there didn't need to be.

This book would probably appeal more to younger teens, since the characters all seemed to be sophomores in high school (or around there) and it was a light, fun read. 

*I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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