Just Like Magic, Sarah Hogle

This is a peach colored cover with the title in gold. There is a small, illustrated and silhouetted couple skating to the left of the word "like". There are 3 green pine trees towards the top.

“I’ve always known Mariah Carey was powerful, so her ability to summon the personification of festive cheer honestly tracks.”

Okay, so even though I was initially annoyed with Bettie, that quote made me like her because I didn’t have to spend endless chapters of her in denial. It also made me like Hogle even more than I already did because she didn’t put us through said denial.

Once upon a time, I dubbed Hogle the queen of unlikable characters that turn lovable through amazing character development. That is especially true in Just Like Magic, where I wanted to set down the book and thrash Bettie around, just a bit. (Okay, a lot). But then Hogle introduced Hall, and I knew I was gone for, and probably, so was Bettie.

“The best revenge is making peace with a past you can’t change and figuring out how to make the future a happier place for yourself to live in.”

The spirit of Christmas, literally and figuratively, is so wholly and magically encapsulated in Hall’s personality. I love the light and the love that he brings to everyone he meets. If ever there were a person that could help Bettie become a better version of herself, it’s Hall, because, let’s face it, she is a hot mess.

I love Bettie’s chaotic family and would love to see Kaia get her own book. And while I’m not hugely a fan of holiday centered books, I could see her life centered around Valentine’s day. This was such a fun read, the characters are seriously flawed but multi-dimensional, and there is some serious character growth going on. Such a fun story! Thank you, Penguin Group Putnam, for sending this along!

Book Links (releasing October 4th)


About the Book

The holidays were never her thing, until she accidentally conjures the Holiday Spirit…before her very eyes.

Bettie Hughes once knew the comfort of luxury, flaunting a collection of designer purses and an enviable dream home in Hawaii. That was before she lost all her money. Long obsessed with her public image, Bettie boasts an extravagant lifestyle on social media. But the reality is Bettie is broke and squatting in Colorado, and her family has no idea.
Christmas, with its pressure to meet familial expectations, is looming when Bettie plays a vinyl record of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” backward and accidentally conjures up Hall, the Holiday Spirit, in the form of a charming and handsome (if offbeat) man. Once the shock wears off, Bettie knows she’s stumbled upon the greatest gift: a chance to make all her holiday wishes come true, plus a ready-made fiancé.
But as some of Bettie’s wishes lose their charm, she finds herself thrown off-kilter by Hall’s sweet nature. Suddenly, grumpy Bettie is finding her heart merry and light. But the happier she gets, the shorter Hall’s time on earth grows. Can Bettie channel the Christmas spirit and learn to live with goodwill toward all men? Or will her selfish ways return as soon as the holidays are over?

Read this review on Goodreads and Bookbub.


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