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Just Like Magic: A Book Review

“He twists a lock of my hair around his finger, wistful. ‘A beautiful girl who makes me laugh. Who, the longer I’m with her, the more unbearable it feels that I must ever stop.”

Thank you Putnam for the gifted copy.

Wow! What a ride this book was. I went in knowing there was magical realism within it so I was expecting magical elements. What I got at the beginning was trippy, but I hung on and was transported to a whimsical, festive, crazy but very beautiful world that Hall conjured up for the angsty and revengeful Bettie. In a way, this was the best retelling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas I have ever come across. Sarah Hogle’s writing always seems to have me swooning with the feels and furiously scribbling down book quotes so that I can capture the enchanting writing she invokes in this story. Be prepared for the outrageously charming Christmas book that will enrapture you with its brilliant writing and of course, magic.

Thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.


Book Description

Bettie Hughes once knew the comfort of luxury, flaunting a ridiculous collection of designer shoes and a stealthy addiction to CBD oils. That is, until her parents snipped her purse strings. 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 a drunk Bettie plays a vinyl record of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” backwards and accidentally conjures Hall, an unexpectedly charming Holiday Spirit in the form of a 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 the wiles of magic lose their charm, Bettie finds herself set off-kilter by Hall’s sweet gestures. Suddenly, 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 come back as soon as the holidays are over?

From the author of Twice Shy comes a sprightly Christmas novel, a rollicking romp through the absurdity of family holidays and the hope of new love.

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