From the author of The Heir and the Spare comes another lively but thoughtful novel of modern love writ large against the backdrop of popular culture--this time, Hollywood behind the scenes. Maggie wants to be a designer, but her father, an A-list director on the downward slide, brushes her hopes aside, insisting that she become an entertainment lawyer and work for him. And then he ups the pressure, literally blackmailing Maggie to date Ben, the hot young actor starring in his new movie--even though Maggie loves Preston. But Maggie sleuths out the reason why her father seems ready to sell her to the highest bidder, and breaks away. Designing a stunning red carpet gown for a hip young duchess, she implores Preston to give them another chance in an all-out bid to go her own way.
‘Everyday Magic’ is a companion book to Albright’s first book, ‘The Heir and the Spare’. ‘Everyday Magic’ features Preston, one of the background characters from ‘THATS’. I did not realize this until I was already finished with ‘Everyday Magic.’ You do not necessarily need to read “THATS’ to understand the events in ‘Everyday Magic’. With that being said, there were elements in the story that left me with questions. For example, how did Evie (an American) become a Duchess Suo Juro (in her own right) and why is a British prince living in a flat with friends.
The character of Maggie was sweet. I found myself rooting for her. She did seem to be very naïve though. For example I found it difficult to believe that someone who was so talented and such a good student in school was so gullible. It didn’t make a lot of sense that her father could blackmail her when it was apparent that he was not going to keep his end of the bargain. I did like the character of Preston. He as really charming (if not a little too good to be true).
My main issue with the believability of the storyline was fictional British royalty.This made the story seem more of a fairytale than a YA contemporary (I think we all know who the first few people in line to the British throne are).
I did love the fashion elements of the book. This made the story different and gave it a ‘Project Runway’ type of feel.
I loved this book as a fun fairytale type read but I would recommend reading ‘The Heir and the Spare’ first.
While this novel has some dark undertones, Maggie’s luck otherwise is too good to be true. For instance, she gets accepted into a great school for fashion design. There, her sketch wins a fashion competition for a British duchess. She, then, ultimately becomes a personal stylist to members of the British royalty and is able to launch her own clothing line, all by the age of twenty. At the same time, she meets the love of her life after a typical Boy-Meets-Girl, Boy-Loses-Girl, Boy-Gets-Girl-Back situation. With that being said, knowing the bare bones of the plot does not take away from the purpose or journey of this book. It is a feel good story, meant primarily for entertainment and fun, and additionally, can inspire young girls out there to go for their dreams regardless of their circumstances. Conversely, those looking for a novel leveled more in reality and deep humanity should search elsewhere.
As someone who works in the film industry myself, I related in many ways to this novel, knowing that the reality behind closed doors can be quite different than what is presented to the public. However, Albright does a good job of showing the duality of the situation, which is what keeps the story from becoming too stereotypical. Additionally, the characters are so full of personality and spunk that it is easy to forgive the stock plot.
Overall, EVERYDAY MAGIC is great if you are craving a light read that is both heartwarming and enjoyable. It is perfect for curling up with during the holiday season!