Just Add Magic, Reviewed by Anastasia Brown, 13

Book Reviews  /   /  By Anastasia Brown
Stone Soup Magazine
May 2019

Three Friends. One cookbook. A chance to change the world.

“Just Add Magic” is an Amazon Prime Original TV series based on a series of books by the same name by Cindy Callahagan. It focuses on the lives of three best friends- Kelly Quinn, (Olivia Sanabia) Darbie O’Brian, (Abby Donnelly) and Hannah Parker-Kent, (Aubrey Miller)- in the tiny town of Saffron Falls. They’re just your ordinary preteen girls- until the book comes into their lives.

It all starts with an accident. While exploring Kelly’s attic, the three girls find an old cookbook, full of strange recipes like “Bitter Truth Truffles” and “Mind Peering Peppermints.” Believing it to be an old book that Kelly’s grandmother (Dee Wallace) had written as a girl, they decide to try one of the recipes for a birthday present for Grandma Quinn. They whip up a “Shut ‘Em Up” Shortcake, only to discover that the book might be more than just a little girl’s afternoon project. The cake has literally “shut up” both Hannah and Kelly’s brother Buddy, who are both unable to talk after eating it. Even worse, when Grandma Quinn sees the book, she seems terrified, and tries to warn Kelly of a possible danger, but is unable to explain herself, which helps Kelly realize that Buddy and Hannah aren’t the only ones under some strange spell- Grandma Quinn is, too. But who spelled her? Who else in Saffron Falls knows about this strange book? And will they stop at her Grandma?

“Just Add Magic” is really an incredible show. It’s intriguing plot and relatable characters make it a show that kids of any age-and maybe their parents, too- can enjoy. But it is more than just enjoyable entertainment. Woven throughout the story are many thought-provoking ideas- like the need for respecting as well as loving your friends and family. For example, to break one spell, Kelly has to apologize to her younger brother for insulting him. Like everyone, the characters aren’t perfect, but they are willing to realize when they make a mistake and try to fix it. They love each other and work to cooperate, knowing that, at the end of the day, teamwork is what is going to help them save Grandma Quinn- and, ultimately, all of Saffron Falls.

Have you watched this show? Or do you plan on watching it? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

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  1. Maeve July 18, 2018 at 10:17 am Reply

    Sounds good. Planning to watch it. Can you find it on Netflix?

  2. William Rubel July 20, 2018 at 9:54 pm Reply

    I don’t think you can watch it on Netflix. As Anastasia mentions in the first line, this is an Amazon show — a Prime Original — so we need to get it through Amazon.com.

  3. Abhi Sukhdial August 10, 2018 at 9:48 pm Reply

    I liked how you told the story of Just Add Magic in a very nice way. You told almost the entire story spoiler free. Good job reviewing Just Add Magic. Keep writing!

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