Mermaids, Matchmakers, and College - The Sweetest Kind of Fate by Crystal Cestari Review

Sunday, March 4, 2018
The Sweetest Kind of Fate Review

I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks Disney-Hyperion!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

*dusts off blog* I can't believe how long it's been since I've written a review-only post. I've just been so focused on my new "book essays" format recently, and school has also been a lot more intensive this year. Last time I posted one I was still on summer break (how I miss summer break...). But that's enough of my complaining, let the reviewing commence.

Synopsis & Details:

Amber Sand, legendary matchmaker, couldn’t be more surprised when her arch nemesis, Ivy, comes asking for her help. Ivy’s sister, Iris, is getting married, and Ivy wants to prove her sister is making a huge mistake. But as Amber looks into Iris's eyes, there doesn’t seem to be a problem— read more... Iris has clearly found her match.

It seems happily ever after is in the cards, but when Iris seeks out a dangerous, life-altering spell, it’s up to Amber and Ivy to set aside their rivalry and save the day.

While Iris is willing to put everything on the line for love, Amber continues to wrestle with her own romantic future. Her boyfriend, Charlie, is still destined for another, and no matter how hard she clings to him, fear over their inevitable breakup shakes her belief system to the core.

Because the Fates are never wrong—right?

Title: The Sweetest Kind of Fate
Series: Windy City Magic #2
Author: Crystal Cestari
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

I read and loved The Sweetest Kind of Fate's predecessor, The Best Kind of Magic,

when I was still an itty bitty freshman, so I thought it'd be interesting to revisit the series and its world a year later as a sophomore and see if my opinions of it have changed, and they have a bit.

I'm not sure if it's me or Amber who's changed, but in The Sweetest Kind of Fate, I felt like her voice was a tad childish.

In the novel, she's supposed to be a high school senior about to graduate, but to me, she sounded more like an eighth grader or freshman, so everytime college applications were brought up, I experienced a little jolt of: "oh yeah, she's a senior".

What remained the same though, was my adoration of Crystal Cestari's romantic plotlines.

Romantic conflict is usually the bane of my reading experience, as it can be so dreadfully formulaic and frustrating. But Cestari takes full advantages of her main character's matchmaking abilities to create a unique romantic problem: Amber is sure she and her boyfriend, Charlie, are meant to be, but everytime she looks into his eyes, she is reminded that she is not his one true match. Adding this matchmaking element to the mix removes the predictableness that can be seen in a lot of fictional romantic relationships, a trait I am more than happy to see absent.

Speaking of fictional tropes, the quintessential queen bee mean girl, Ivy, returns once again in The Sweetest Kind of Fate,

and thankfully, this time she receives some much needed character development. In the first novel, Ivy is basically a carbon copy of that typical mean girl archetype that annoyingly claws its way into all media about high school these days. But, in the second installment, her shiny exterior is peeled back a bit to reveal a more sympathetic and arguably more realistic interior.

One character that assists in Ivy's humanizing, is her newly introduced sister, Iris. Iris's romantic troubles with her girlfriend, Brooke, are originally presented as the main conflict of the story, but the The Sweetest Kind of Fate ends up spending very little time on their actual issues, so when their problems are resolved, the resolution feels a bit rushed and anticlimactic.

All in all, The Sweetest Kind of Fate is a cohesive and capable sequel to its predecessor, but I did end up enjoying it a little less, whether that be the fault of the novel or my changes in taste.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Have you ever returned to a series to find that you no longer love it as much as you once did?
About the Author
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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