‘Just Like Magic’

A holiday magical romance story

By Stefanie Davis

“Just Like Magic” by Sarah Hogle is a magical realism romance story about Bettie Hughes and her family. Bettie was a wealthy social media influencer, who much like her family was all about herself and name brands and expensive items. After her finance collapses, Bettie still has her pride but is a bit lost with the direction of her life. Then one day, she’s at home listening to Mariah Carey on her record player when the lights pop and suddenly there’s a man standing in her living room. The man is the “Holiday Spirit,” and he decides to go by the name Hall. Bettie is down about spending the holiday with her family who does not know that she has no money and is squatting in her grandmother’s house. Hall’s main purpose is to bring up her holiday spirit which he does with his magic. However, he disappears just before Christmas leaving Bettie sad and gloomy. Following Hall’s departure, Bettie begins to appreciate the simpler things in life. Then, Hall suddenly returns as a human with no special superpowers, only old-fashioned magic tricks. The story is a bit far-fetched and cheesy, but if you’re into magical realism and willing to let your imagination go, you will enjoy this book. For fans of Christina Lauren’s “In a Holidaze,” Sophie Kinsella’s “I Owe You One” and Amy Reichert’s “Once Upon a December.”


“Home Sweet Christmas” by Susan Mallery

“The Matzah Ball” by Jean Meltzer

“Alaska for Christmas” by Jennifer Snow

“An Irish Country Yuletide” by Patrick Taylor

Young Adult:

“Eight Nights of Flirting” by Hannah Reynolds

“Holiday Princess” by Meg Cabot

“Whiteout” by Tiffany D. Jackson

“So, This is Christmas” by Tracy Andreen


“The Christmas Book Flood” by Emily Kilgore

“Celebrating Hanukkah” by Trudi Strain Trueit

“Kwanzaa” by Artika Tyner

“Krampus Confidential” by Kyle Sullivan