Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius

Love Charms and Other Catastrophes (Grimbaud, #2)Title: Love Charms and Other Catastrophes
Author: Kimberly Karalius
Source/Format: Purchased; Paperback
More Details: Young Adult
Publisher/Publication Date: Swoon Reads; May 17, 2016

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Sometimes love comes gift-wrapped…literally...

Aspiring love-charm maker Hijiri Kitamura was excited to come back to Grimbaud for her sophomore year—until she learned about the upcoming charm-making competition. She, along with her friends and fellow rebels, had worked too hard to free the town from Zita’s tyrannical love fortunes to allow some other charm maker to move in and take over. The only solution is for Hijiri 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 its favorite charm maker has given up on finding a love of her own, Love delivers a very special gift—the perfect boyfriend, specially crafted just for her...
Last year, Love Fortunes and Other Disasters was one of my favorite books. So, it’s easy to see why I was so excited for the sequel, Love Charms and Other Catastrophes. I was ready to go back to Grimbaud and see where my favorite characters ended up. Plus, I also wanted to see what happened to the town now that it was free from Zita’s tyrannical monopoly on love.

So, over 4th of July weekend, I stopped by Barnes & Noble and finally picked up a copy. Needless to say, Love Charms and Other Catastrophes was a spectacular follow-up. It was just as charming and entertaining as the first in the series. However, rather than a rebellion against Zita, there’s a new danger present in Grimbaud: love charm makers and shady business practices. Plus, Love was back and meddling again, only this time the focus was on Hijiri’s love life.

I was really glad that Karalius decided to tell Hijiri’s story since her perspective was so interesting. I was rooting for Hijiri to get a happy ending since she played such a fundamental role in both books. It was also great to see Fallon, Sebastian, and the rest of the club members again. There was a lot of character development going on since the characters were getting older, and for some, their time in high school was coming to an end. So, despite the magic of the story, there were moments when ordinary troubles were addressed.

Love Fortunes and Other Disasters was a strong opening for the series. The groundwork was all there—characters, setting, and convincing conflict and themes that could and were carried over to the sequel. Love Charms and Other Catastrophes had good plot and pacing. From page one I was hooked. Karalius’ writing was fantastic, and captured the charming atmosphere of the setting. The extra details only added to the pre-established world, and fleshed-out secondary characters both new and old.

So, while it might have taken me a while to get my copy, Love Charms and Other Catastrophes was well-worth the wait. It was a delightful novel with a satisfying ending, and deserved its place as the sequel to one of my all-time favorite books. Now, I’m just curious to see what Karalius writes next.

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