ARC Review: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg


I have another review for you guys today! I was looking at the website Netgalley the other day because used to use the website a fair bit until a few months ago. At that time I’d requested and received a couple books I ended up not finishing cause I didn’t really like them. Since I didn’t finish them, I also didn’t review them. Which if you’ve ever used Netgalley, you know is a bad thing. The whole point is to receive advanced copies of books in exchange for reviews. So, I haven’t shown my face around that website in awhile. 😉 But decided to go back, because I really likd it! I thought I’d try to make myself seem like less of a schmuck by downloading a couple “read now” books (these are books you don’t need the publisher’s approval to receive. They are there for the downloading if you have an account with Netgalley) and review those, so publishers know I’m back in the game.

Anyway, long story short, the first book I chose was Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg, the same author who write the Paper Magicians trilogy. I really want to read those books too, but that’s another topic.  This book  was listed as an adult fantasy novel, which seemed interesting, and I also love the cover. The description made this book sound whimsical and magical. Sort of a fun fairytale type of story. It’s about a woman who has no memory of her past or heritage, but can bake emotions into her pastries. She can make you feel strong, loved, happy, hopefully, and lots of other things by infusing her magic into your morning muffin. Now, I’m a small-time baker, so I loved this concept from the beginning. If you’d like to read the entire book synopsis, click here for the Goodreads page.

So, let’s get down to my thoughts. I didn’t have many expectations. I thought this would be a short, magical read. It actually ended up surprising me! This book had a lot more  depth than I had imagined. It was not very fast-paced, but it kept me reading quickly because I cared about the characters, and I felt invested in the story. This book also had a lot more darkness in it than I had expected. But I think it needed that to make the ending what it was. It sort of grew into light, and made the ending more satisfying. I thought I would be getting a fairytale out of this book, but it actually felt like the origin of a few fairytales. The behind-the-scenes. If you think about, who created the cake that made Alice change size? How did a house made of gingerbread get in the forest, to pull in Hansel and Gretle? Maybe now I know.

All in all, this books wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. But I really enjoyed it! If you’ve read Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, then you’ll understand what I mean when I say the plot was similar in its twists and unexpectedness, and maybe a little of the same strangeness that made it magical. I thought that book was a little bit of a mind-bender (in a good way) and this one was too. If you enjoyed that book, I think you’ll like this one as well!

I’ll give this book 3.5 stars for my enjoyment and .5 for originality. I’d definitely not read another book like this one.

So, 4/5 stars in total! 🌟🌟🌟🌟

As this book is available to receive right away from Netgalley if you have an account, you can go read it now! Just don’t forget to review it. Or wait until it is officially released June 28th.

Thanks for reading and happy Sunday!

Cheers! ☕️

2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

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