Oct 20, 2017

Review--The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

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.

If you’re looking for a cute, quirky, and magical read then you will find just that in Crystal Cestari’s The Best Kind of Magic! I wasn’t too sure of this read at first, it didn’t exactly scream paranormal despite being filled with more than a few paranormal characters. I was really taken by surprise how much I was enjoying it! It’s a bit cheesy in some aspects, but come on, who doesn’t love cheese?!

Amber is the daughter of a very powerful witch, but sadly, magic seems to have skipped a generation. Instead of being a witch, Amber is a matchmaker, which is basically considered the bottom of the totem pole in the magical realm. By looking into your eyes, Amber is able to see who your true love is. She doesn’t generally know their names and whatnot, just sees their image. And of course, she’s not able to see her own future love.

Then one day, Charlie, the son of the mayor of Chicago comes to Amber with a problem. His father’s girlfriend and possibly-soon-to-be fiancée is missing. While he was never very fond of her himself, he mostly wants Amber to help him find her and get her to stay away from his dad. He thinks she’s just a gold-digger and doesn’t really love his father. Naturally, when Amber sees the mayor—who also happens to be her mother’s childhood friend—she sees who he’s meant to be with and when she sees a picture of Cassandra (the missing girlfriend) she knows it’s not her.

Soon the two begin the search for Cassandra, though Charlie would rather she stay gone. And all the while, a friendship starts to form between Amber and Charlie. They didn’t really grow up together beyond the early years despite their parents’ friendship. And naturally, soon something more begins to develop. Though Amber has seen who Charlie will end up with, and it’s not her. She isn’t sure if she should let herself feel for Charlie because she knows it won’t end happily ever after for them. She’s never been wrong before with her matchmaking skills, but she wishes she could be just once.

This was such a cute little read! I can’t believe I’m calling it cute even. I truly thought I wouldn’t like this one as much as I did! When people categorize a book as “magical realism” I always get conflicting thoughts, wondering if it will be more magical or more contemporary like. It’s a phrase that truly confuses me to say the least! Lol! I mean, it is pretty contradictory! But Chicago is like any other version of Chicago I’ve read, there are supernatural beings living among us, we just don’t realize it! So naturally, in this world, the supernaturals haven’t quite come out of the closet yet, but there’s possible stirrings of more things to come…unless I’m totally making something from nothing!

The mystery wasn’t as strong in this one as I would’ve thought. When you learn that “the missing” isn’t really the best of people, you start to make some theories on that and when you’re proven somewhat right, it becomes obvious why this wasn’t as drawn out. Cassandra wasn’t really much of a player in this story for that matter either. I mean we get some details on her and whatnot, but I feel like she’s just a fleeting character at this point!

The other characters though were far more intriguing! There’s Amani, who is Amber’s best friend and a precog, meaning she can see the future. She’s truly the best of friends too, for there are students who are just downright snotty to her and Amber, and Amani lets them verbally have it! I love this girl! Then of course we have Charlie, who’s just plain old human without any powers and he gets introduced to the magical world living right beside him. It was kind of amazing how open he was. I liked that he was the boy the next door type of sweetness!

The romance was a little hard for me to get into. I understood Amber’s struggles. She knows who Charlie is meant to be with and pursuing a relationship is bound to end in heartbreak. Her powers don’t let her know exactly when Charlie will meet his One True Love, she just sees their Happily Ever After. But yet at the same time, I can’t help but root for Amber to go for it! She deserves happiness as well as all her clients.

The Best Kind of Magic was a sweet and magical read! The added embellishments of supernatural beings in the story were a most divine addition! Things end with a kind of calm and you think there just might be some happy endings all around. But Crystal has added in some little hints to bigger question, bigger possibilities that haven’t quite been addressed yet. I cannot wait to see what the next installment will entail for this is a series I will definitely be sticking with!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars



  1. Awesome review Jessica! I have this one on my wish list and I think I should be moving it up ;)

  2. Thank you for such a great review. I think I must add this book to my already-too-long wishlist. Your review just made me love everything about it.

    Happy readings!
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

  3. I love that a cute little book can be a wonderful surprise. Have a great weekend.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. Sounds interesting! I'll have to tell my daughter about this one. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Every review I see for this book, makes me more interested in reading it. Sweet and magical with PNR embellishments sounds pretty good to me. I just have to be hopeful the romance works for me, because you know, I am all about the romance.

  6. I had not even heard of this book before visiting your blog, but I have added it to my tbr pile. I do love the premise.

    Great review.


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