The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Windy City Magic #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 16 2017
Genres: Fantasy, young adult, romance
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 was kindly sent an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
The Best Kind of Magic is an enticing urban fantasy novel with a humorous and headstrong female protagonist and an atmosphere of bewitching magic and mythical creatures.
Set in modern-day Chicago, The Best Kind of Magic is an urban fantasy where witches, sirens, vampires and other mythical creatures roam the streets, only they look fairly like your average human being. Therefore, regular humans are mostly oblivious that they exist. I found this concept to be intriguing as these supernatural beings were essentially descendants of their original ancestors, only they are more like “watered down” versions. Although I found this to be an intriguing premise, I wished we were provided with more of a back story to this world and how it came about. Although the main character, Amber, is a matchmaker the novel felt similar to a contemporary novel at times, which I think is good for people just starting to get into fantasy. Due to this, I found the book to be a fast-paced, lighter fantasy read. I enjoyed the air of whimsicalness and enchantment.
The Best Kind of Magic surrounds amusing and striking characters, who brought the story to life. Amber, the protagonist, was fierce and funny, I love how she never let anyone bring her down. Also being a matchmaker and seeing her do her job was very intriguing, I don’t think I’ve ever read another novel where the protagonist is a matchmaker. Her best friend Amani (a precog) was equally as humorous and the bond that they share together is so precious. Charlie brought something different to the mix, being an ordinary human being Amber had to help him understand the world with all its creatures. Charlie was endearing and a gentleman, however I would’ve liked to see him a bit more fleshed out. What were some of his interests? What did he do in his spare time? The relationship between Amber and Charlie was cute, if not doomed, and although I wasn’t 100% crazy about the pairing, it was adorable nonetheless. There was also some diversity present within the novel with some LGBTQ+ characters and one of Amani’s brothers being deaf, so both Amber and Amani knew sign language and they used it a couple of times to communicate throughout the book.
Overall, The Best Kind of Magic is a delightful urban fantasy novel that intertwines mythical creatures with our modern world, complete with interesting and vibrant characters.