review by Alicia Zhang, age 13
The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
In the novel The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari, teenager Amber Sand is overwhelmed by the intensity of the two worlds she straddles—one of magic, which is not as glorified as one may think—and the other regular high school, which comes with the struggles of fitting in. Her statuses in the magicians’ caste system (extremely low, as a matchmaker) and High School (even lower) don’t do anything to ease her insecurities and uncertainty, along with the fact that she can picture the perfect match for everyone… and the match of her crush, Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son, isn’t herself. But, when Charlie’s stepmother disappears and his father comes to Amber’s mother for help, they become dangerously close. Amber’s morals and emotions conflict as readers are constantly wondering how things will play out.
I enjoyed this book a lot as a light and fun read. Though there aren’t many deep subjects, the plot is intricately woven and the characters feel very realistic. Amber’s immature recklessness and impulsivity, along with her casual sarcasm and wit, are refreshing to read about in a society which has many main characters who feel like adults in the way they talk, act, and think. Amber and Charlie are clearly teenagers trying to work out their place and become accepted in their worlds, and though one’s the popular, suave kid, and the other is less “popular,” they’ve become associated with each other realistically. The suspense and emotions in this story are well-built, and the interactions and dialogues are age-appropriate and realistic for the two teenagers.
Whereas some magic may get unrealistic and overpowered, resolving all solutions, this story’s magic definitely isn’t, and that’s one of the reasons I loved it. There are different levels of magic, and powerful magic is frowned upon and has consequences as well. Magic as a concept is pretty well-represented, along with other magical beings, and Cestari’s world-building, which incorporates magical beings, is fantastic.
In conclusion, though the book may get shallow for those who prefer deep reading or angsty romance, it’s a great read if you need a refreshing book. It brightened up my day and I would recommend this story for anyone looking for a light read! 3.5/5 stars.
Find this book in our catalog: The Best Kind of Magic
Catalog Number: YA FIC CESTARI,C