Love Charms and Other Catastrophes

Book Information
Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Kimberly Karalius
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781250084040
Pages: 360

After Hijiri and her friends defeat Zara and her imposing love charms, Hiriji turns down Love's offer to be Grimbaud's new love charm maker, but Love isn't giving up on her yet. Love sends Hijiri a gift-wrapped boy that is supposed to be perfect for her, but she has no interest in a boy made out of charms. She is more interested in winning the city's love charm contest to prevent more nefarious charm makers from causing problems in the city. As Hiriji works to protect her friends and city from negative consequences of love spells, she learns to make room in heart to love someone else.

The book has some strong points, including a diverse and inclusive cast of characters, but the plot moves so slowly that many readers are unlikely to get to the final few chapters when it finally becomes sweet and entertaining. The book moves along so slowly that it gets hard to keep track of what is supposed to be happening. The romance isn't as strong as it could be, especially because the reader spends most of the book assuming that Ken isn't real and therefore is unlikely to work out. Hiriji is also hard to understand with her obsession with her small heart and insistence that she cannot fall in love with no clear reason for feeling that way. The ending is very sweet and satisfying, but the problems with the rest of the book make it difficult to enjoy it.

*Contains moderate sexual content (portrayal of same-sex relationships).