Series: Windy City Magic #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 16th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: Blog Tour, NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
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 needed this book in my life right now. I was sort of feeling like I was in a reading slump, partially because I’ve just been busy and tired, and I really needed the sort of book that hooked me in and didn’t let go. This book kept me guessing about where exactly it was going and how things were going to work out, and that was perfect. I was wrapped up in Amber’s life and I loved every minute of it!
What Fed My Addiction:
- Expectations. Amber feels like a disappointment to her mom and the rest of the magical community because she’s just a matchmaker—she feels like she constantly has to compensate for her lack of “real” magic and she struggles to prove herself to the magical community. Her mom holds coven meetings at their family magic shop, and while everyone is welcoming to her, she’s not allowed in on any sort of magical business. She’s always left on the sidelines. But the nice thing about this book is that Amber doesn’t wallow in self-pity. Sure, she sometimes wishes she had magic or that she wasn’t seen as a second-class magical citizen, but for the most part, she’s made the best of her lot in life and she’s happy with it. Amber’s real because she isn’t all sunshine and rainbows but she’s not a whiner or a quitter either. I really loved that about her.
- Family relationships. I adored the relationship between Amber and her mom. They certainly aren’t perfect, but they have an obvious love for each other and it was nice to see a YA mom who’s involved and caring—and also a little flawed. It felt like real parenting to me. (And as the mom of a teenager, I can say it’s not always easy!)
- BFFs. The friendship between Amber and Amani is also a bright spot in the book. These best friends know each other incredibly well and they’re always there for each other, no matter what. It was nice to see a friendship that never wavered, even when they disagreed on something.
- Hooked on the romance. From the start, we know that Charlie and Amber are not meant to be—she’s seen his true love and it isn’t her. Amber has a hard time doing anything more than the most casual of dating because every time she looks into the boy’s eyes, she sees scenes of his soulmate flashing before her. You have to admit, that would be hard to get past. Still, as the book went on, I found myself wishing that maybe Amber could be wrong. And throughout the book, the idea is thrown out there—what if Amber’s magic isn’t as reliable as she always imagined? She feels torn over that idea because that would mean that she’s possibly been leading people astray. But it also might mean that she has a chance for happiness even without seeing herself as someone’s match. I spent the entire book wondering how it would all play out. Would Amber and Charlie get a happily ever after? Some elements of the romance played out in ways that I was expecting, but there were a few surprises as well …
- The Chicago setting. As a Chicago native (well, I’m from the suburbs), I loved the setting, especially since Amber’s shop is on Navy Pier!
- FOOD! Amber is a baker and she makes the most scrumpdillyicious sounding desserts! I want them all!!!
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- Not much. The very beginning of the book was a bit of a slower read for me, but as I mentioned, I’ve been exhausted lately and I think that affected my reading. Other than that, the only reason this book doesn’t get a full 5 stars is because it just isn’t any sort of life-changing book that’s going to make you see life differently. It was sweet and perfect and gave me the feels, though!
This is the type of book that makes you fall in love with love and just makes you plain happy. I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book! This one earns 4.5/5 stars from me.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via The Fantastic Flying Book Club and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Take a look at Cestari’s Top Ten Addictions!
Anyone who’s a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is awesome, in my book. Oh, and I was a theatre major in college, so I just know we’d be fast friends! 🙂
About the Author
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.