Emily Albright’s EVERYDAY MAGIC --- the companion novel to her debut THE HEIR AND THE SPARE --- is a sweet and charming novel that explores the complex relationships between friends, family and everything in between. EVERYDAY MAGIC follows Maggie McKendrick, daughter of a famous hollywood director, who is spending her summer in Scotland where her parents are working. There she meets Preston --- a character who is from the companion novel --- who she develops a relationship with, but her summer ends with a lot more drama pertaining to her family than her romantic entanglements.
"Emily Albright really succeeded in creating a well-rounded story with a character that is multidimensional and extremely relatable."
Despite being a companion novel, you do not have to read the first book in order to understand the character relationships of this one. I did not read the first book, but I am more interested in picking it up after reading EVERYDAY MAGIC. The characters from the other book were weaved in quite well so fans of THE HEIR AND THE SPARE would enjoy seeing the characters they know interact with new characters.
Emily Albright really succeeded in creating a well-rounded story with a character that is multidimensional and extremely relatable. Maggie’s father is emotionally and mentally abusive to her mother as well as Maggie and her brother. Readers will easily connect with this relationship, which is sadly very common. This story could have easily been a straightforward and basic romance novel plot, but the depth of the story’s development with Maggie and really its sole focus on her makes it a lot more than that.
Maggie’s own personal career goals were great to see in the story. Her determination and work ethic were very admirable. One aspect of her character that I greatly appreciated seeing was her honesty in all of her situations. Maggie is coerced into a fake relationship with a hollywood actor by her father. I liked seeing a character that was honest with the people around her rather than keeping this a secret and watching it spiral out of control. I think that plotline is very overdone and it was interesting to see Emily Albright not go down that same path.
One of the areas where this novel fell short for me was in maturity. For about two-thirds of this novel, Maggie is a freshman in college and Preston, her love interest, is a senior in college. I think the fact that this book was categorized as young adult really put a damper on the characters. I don’t think they felt like their appropriate ages. I am close to both of their ages, but felt much older. I would have loved to see this story aged up to be more of a new adult story. The author had a tendency to gloss over timespans and conversations that could have been developed more into other plotlines and made the story more complex and longer.
EVERYDAY MAGIC is a very fun and cute romance novel that did have a bit more depth than most YA stories in the genre have. It was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down and really hooked me. It definitely made me want to go on a trip to Europe. While I would have enjoyed the story to be a bit older, I did enjoy it and plan on picking up THE HEIR AND THE SPARE.
Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado on December 14, 2016