Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
There are some authors who take the risk of always trying something new. Sarah Hogle is one of them. Some of you will really enjoy Hogle’s latest release Just Like Magic. Others of you might be like nope.
Where was I? In the former camp. This is a really fun, supremely strange, marvel-filled, very funny book. I’ll be honest: I was a bit worried about where the plot would go, but in the end Hogle handled it really well & my final feeling was of being entertained, relieved, & warm & fuzzy instead of majorly annoyed .
Bettie Hughes undergoes quite the transformation throughout Just Like Magic that’s facilitated by Hall, an embodied Holiday Spirit that she ends up meeting because of how she plays her Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You” album one lonely night.
If just that sentence is too much this book may not be for you ;) .
Bettie is spoiled, her family is sometimes not the nicest to each other & often distant, & Bettie herself is on a mission of revenge that’s somewhat unlocked when she realizes Hall can make her wishes come true *Alexa, cue Mariah Carey holiday music.* Even if he sometimes messes her wishes up a tad .
Imagine the movie Elf but darker, & those are Hall & Bettie’s opposites attract vibes. Hall is warmth & happiness & love & understanding & vulnerability & being around him helps bloom in ways she never anticipated.
There are some truly hilarious lines in here, a fake dating situation, & some moments of defending each other to various members of her family. Plus lots of magic. All big wins on my end!
But Hall comes across a bit flat at times, as others have said, one-note, especially at the beginning.
Be advised that this book is closed door, which actually made it work better for me. Turning unexpectedly steamy wouldn’t have worked for this book’s dynamic at all.
Overall I just leaned into this book & had a really good time. I’m here for the bizarre, hilarious holiday romances .
4.5 ⭐️. Out now!
CWs: Former emotional abuse.
📖 Q: what’s been one of your fave reads of the year so far? This is one of mine! 👆🏻
I feel like I’m still unpacking some of the things I was explicitly & implicitly taught about how young girls & women should act & books like Emily Henry’s Book Lovers, where the heroine, Nora, is often referred to as a shark, freaking delight me.
She loves high heels, she is a devotee of her phone, contracts, & NYC, she is shamelessly devoted to pros & cons lists, & the hero, Charlie Lastra (*swoon*) tells her YOU DON’T NEED TO CHANGE (that might be an exact quote from the book FYI), you are a terrifying force of nature & I worship the ground you conquer.
Book Lovers is a dream book to me, one that I’ll be thinking about for a long time. It’s dislike to love and fish out of water with two uptight, big city leads who move temporarily to a small town, & it’s peppered with references to Jane Austen, the Dewey Decimal system, & Rebekah Weatherspoon. I wanted two Epilogues.
It’s also about the relationship between sisters & how that can be affected by feelings of responsibility & protectiveness—how hard it can be to throw those things off & chase something for yourself.
This book had me smiling & thinking how funny it was, it had me swooning for both leads, it had my heart twisting…it’s sooo good!!
5 ⭐️. Out today!
Give me that HEA, please.
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