The happiest of Thursdays to all of you!
Today, we're proud to be a part of a Xpresso Book Tours tour - our first one ever! - and proud to also be a part of the Love Charms and Other Catastrophes blog tour!
Read on for our review of this funny, delightful sequel to Love Fortunes and Other Disasters and for your chance to win a book!
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Swoon Reads
Aspiring love charm maker Hijiri Kitamura was excited to come back to Grimbaud for her sophomore year-until she learns about the upcoming charm making competition. Grimbaud has just started to recover from the tyranny of Zita’s love fortunes and it would be too easy for the winning charm maker to take Zita’s place. The only solution is for Hijiri, with the support of her friends and fellow rebels, to win the contest herself.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, especially when Love itself has decided to meddle in Hijiri’s life. Concerned that it’s favorite charm maker has given up on finding a boyfriend of her own, Love takes matters into its own hands and delivers the perfect boyfriend to her in a gift wrapped box…literally.
Get ready to be charmed by this magical, quirky sequel to Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius.
Amazon | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads
Kim takes us back to Grimbaud - I KNEW the flawless world-building was ripe with many other stories! - and introduces us to Hijiri Kitamura, a gifted charm maker who has the capacity to change a still-recovering Grimbaud for the better.
So Hijiri decides to enter an upcoming charm making competition. However, it's not just her practical skills that are put to the text; it's logic and emotions as well. Especially when Love decides to stop in and give her a magically-charmed boyfriend to help her find herself...
There's always a bit of trepidation when starting a sophomore novel, because the possibility of a slump is very, very real. However, this definitely wasn't the case with Love Charms. Karalius brings us back into a familiar setting with several previously-introduced faces, but cleverly focuses on a different aspect of the love magic which drives the lives (and livelihood!) of Grimbaud.
It's that shift which drives the novel forward, as Karalius begins to reinforce Hijir's backgroundi and her studies of charm magic. We see how charm magic doesn't just shape the course of the lives touched by practitioners like Hijiri, but how it's actually interwoven into the fabric of their very existence. Hijiri's acknowledgement of the power of something like hearth magic to shape a potential relationship's mood and consequently, the future, was a nice, thorough touch.
Though its predecessor focused on the idea of coming to terms with how relationships define us both negatively and positively, Love Charms explores what it means to not have certain types of companionship. While Hijiri is convinced that she doesn't seem to need love for herself - she makes mental cracks about having to look for her heart with a telescope - her gradual understanding that it's love that helps an individual grow; just like her acknowledgement that it's bits of anger and emotion (especially bottled tears!) that help her charms grow and work - is a genuine delight to read.
Outside of Hijiri's core journey, I loved the secondary characters. There were several familiar faces, and it was nice to see how they also played a part in helping shape the overall course of the journey as well. I also liked the glimpses we got of Grimbaud; Karalius proves her world-building skills again by showing both the positive and negative aspects of Zita's removal, and it's insightful and thought-provoking.
(Though, I may never look at candy, the same way ever again...)
All in all, a fun read that absolutely lives up to the first book. I only hope there's more to come.
Check out the rest of the tour!
–Quartzfeather >> Review
–Twirling Book Princess >> Review
–Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Excerpt
–The Reading Nook Reviews >> Review <- Hello! :)
But be sure to visit Xpresso Reads for all of the blog tour stops!
About the author:
KIMBERLY KARALIUS holds an MFA in fiction from the University of South Florida, and has been sharing stories on Figment.com with a strong following of enthusiastic readers since the site’s conception. Although Kimberly lives in sunny Florida, she prefers to stay indoors and sometimes buys a scarf in the hopes of snow. She loves watching really old cartoons and silent films. Being in Florida certainly has one big perk: going to Disney World. Which she does. Frequently. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters is her debut novel.