Category Archives: Paranormal

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s The Best Kind of Magic blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Read my review for this awesome book and check out the giveaway! 🙂

Title: The Best Kind of Magic (Windy City Magic #1)

Author: Crystal Cestari

Published: May 16th, 2017

Length: 328 pages (eBook)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

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.
 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The last few books I have read have just been “okay, whatever, let’s move onto the next one.” But I had a feeling about this one. When I saw the cover, I just knew. I was like, “Ooohhh, pretty. I must have it.” This is not news. I often judge books by their cover. And in this case, I’m glad I did!

WHAT I LIKED

The writing. O.M.G. Okay, I don’t even know how to put this into words, but here is my attempt. Sometimes you just know from the first page of a book whether an author has IT or not, IT meaning a natural born talent to write. I knew instantly that this author does. I remember reading the first page and being blown away. It had nothing to do with the plot. It was just the writing. So creative yet professional yet simplistic. I was beyond impressed. And I stayed impressed for the entire book. It wasn’t one of those start strong and finish weak kind of books, which I have noticed a lot of. It started strong and finished strong, maybe even stronger. I absolutely loved it. Crystal Cestari just might be my new favorite author.

The concept. It’s no secret that I’m a hopeless romantic. The tattoo on my wrist is of the Chinese symbols for “true love.” So, as I was reading the story, I kept thinking, “This book was made for me.” Amber can see everyone’s true love. How badass is that?! And of course, you can only imagine the complications that could arise with this type of gift as well. But I LOVED IT. It is such a unique ability to have. I was so intrigued, and I couldn’t wait to see how everything turned out.

The characters. Amber made the book for me. She had this sarcastic, snarky side to her that I loved. I got the feeling that she didn’t give a crap about what people thought of her, which is admirable. I just kept thinking, “I wish this girl was real. We’d be best friends.” And her soft side came out too, especially when she began falling for Charlie. Speaking of Charlie, he was swoon worthy! I couldn’t get enough of him. He was a trooper. He was thrown into this supernatural world and just kind of learned to accept it without freaking out or judging. And he’s a hot guy…with glasses. How often do we see this in books? Not very often. I love it! Then there’s Amani, Amber’s best friend. I really liked her. I could see her story developing further. That would be awesome.

Amber and Charlie’s relationship. This was perfect, in my opinion. It started with Charlie needing Amber’s help. It was nothing more than that. Acquaintances, if anything. Then, they gradually became friends. And from there, feelings started to grow. Such perfect pacing. Again, the author’s talent truly showed here.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Nothing! There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like. This book was so good!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

What a perfect blend of love and magic, of contemporary and paranormal. And what brilliant writing. I can’t say enough about the writing. It was incredible. I fell in love with the author and these characters, and I really hope there’s more to Amber’s story. This could potentially be an amazing series. I already am looking into buying a physical copy of this book. I must have it on my bookshelf so I can stare at its beautiful cover, especially now that I know that the story is equally beautiful! More please!

5 out of 5 Hearts!


It was hard to narrow it down, but here are some of my favorite quotes:

“I know love is real—I KNOW IT—but that doesn’t keep it from being an evasive little bastard that works in mind-boggling ways.” (Ain’t that the truth!)

“…all I can think is, damn, the heart is a hell of a machine. Even when it’s broken, it still finds a way to carry on.” (More truth!)

“You never know what you’re getting into when you fall in love, but that doesn’t mean you avoid the jump.” (I absolutely love this one.)

“Appreciate the journey, because when you get to the end, you’ll only be able to look back, and hope you don’t regret what you see.” (Yes, more wisdom. Love it.)

“Just because you’re having some sort of emotional breakdown doesn’t mean you can’t have cute toes. Rainbow or gold?” (This is why I love Amani. What are best friends for?)

“Amber, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but I want you to know: every time I’m around you, I feel like a non-fatal firework is lit inside me. It’s magic—actual magic—and you’ll have to forgive the pun, but I don’t want to be under anyone else’s spell.” (Oh, Charlie. I love you. Marry me.)


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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.

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Each blog in the tour gets to give away ONE FINISHED COPY OF THE BOOK (US/CANADA ONLY). So be sure to enter!

Also, a person may only win ONE book throughout the entire tour.  It’s okay to enter more than one giveaway, but if you win in another giveaway, you need to be honest and decline it.  All the winners will be collected on one form.

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 Reading Challenges Met

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Full House Reading Challenge

Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge

Book Review: Aftermath by Sandy Goldsworthy

23941559Title: Aftermath (Book 1 in the Afterworld Saga)

Author: Sandy Goldsworthy

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Length: 393 Pages

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

My Review:

Ever wonder about the possibility of past lives and soul mates who find each other in each life? In Aftermath, the first book in the Afterworld series, by Sandy Goldsworthy, Ben, an undercover agent for the Afterworld’s Bureau of Investigation, has been waiting for his soul mate for what seems like forever. He soon finds her in Emma, a senior in high school. After she suddenly loses her father and is forced to move into her aunt’s house, she finds comfort in new friends, including Ben, but he seems distant and preoccupied, so she finds herself turning to Lucas, the boy other people are warning her about. Instead of being able to focus on the love of his life, Ben has duties and responsibilities that he needs to take care of. In order to keep her safe, he may lose her in the process.

What a unique plot! I really like the idea of an afterworld agency where you work after you die until you get a new life contract. While it sounds nice to know that you still exist in some form after your death, it gets complicated when you miss your loved ones who are still in your former life or who have whole new lives. Even though the story was a bit longer than it should have been and I wasn’t a fan of the end, the book as a whole kept me interested and wanting to finish it to see what happens to the characters I grew to care for. I also really liked the alternating points of view. It was nice to see two different perspectives. Being equally suspenseful, romantic, and eerily magical, Aftermath is an enjoyable read that I would recommend to fans of young adult and paranormal fiction. Sandy Goldsworthy is a great storyteller with a vivid imagination that is clearly reflected in her writing. Looking forward to the rest of the series!

Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite

Book Review: The Demon Inside by M.L. Sparrow

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Title: The Demon Inside

Author: M.L. Sparrow

Length: 299 Pages

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

 

My Review:

Eighteen-year-old Darcy had her whole life ahead of her. She had her loving family, the grades she needed to get into the university she wanted, and Alec, her devoted boyfriend who she saw her future with. Then, things drastically changed. In The Demon Inside by M.L. Sparrow, creatures begin possessing humans, turning them into soulless cannibals that will attack and kill without hesitation. Suddenly, Darcy loses her parents, her home, and the world she once knew. She and Alec must now learn to survive and keep their loved ones safe. Even after finding what seems like a secure place to live, they struggle to adapt to their new life. And are things as safe as they seem? Can they survive in this world that is rapidly filling with dangerous monsters?

This book had me hooked from the very beginning. It started out as almost a young adult romance novel. I was so immersed in Darcy and Alec’s new relationship that I forgot what the book was really about and was so surprised when people began transforming into crazy monsters. I absolutely loved that because it wasn’t your typical zombie book that jumped right into blood and gore and carnage. We got to know and care about these characters first, and we were completely taken by surprise right along with them when the world took a turn for the worse. I’ll be the first to admit that I cried a few times along the way, which isn’t usual for me in an apocalypse-type book because I don’t usually care about the characters as much as I did with this story, so I give M.L. Sparrow credit for doing such a fantastic job of bring the characters to life. Yes, there was action and violence, but the focus wasn’t on that. It was on this group of survivors trying to live in this new world, which makes this book stand out. With unforgettable characters and an imaginative plot, The Demon Inside is a must-read. I can’t wait to read more from this fantastic storyteller.

Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite