Friday, July 22, 2016

Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius {review+giveaway}

Love Charms and Other Catastrophes
by Kim Karalius
♦publisher: Swoon Reads
♦release date: May 17th, 2016
♦paperback, 384 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Grimbaud, book 2
  review of book 1: Love Fortunes and Other Disasters
♦source: ARC from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: After venturing into the world of Grimbaud for the first time in Love Fortunes and Other Disasters last year, I must say I couldn't wait for a return visit.  I missed all of these characters and this incredibly quirky town. I don't think they're any better word for it. The world building is thorough and impeccable, but absolutely kooky and quirky in the best way.  

This time around, the focus is on the shy and quiet Hijiri. She's a love charm maker whose never been in love. She suffers from social anxiety and absentee parents, so I really felt for her when she has to really put herself out there for very public scrutiny and also when Love throws her a very bizarre curveball to put her to the test. The really slow-building romance in this one is, without a doubt, like nothing I've ever read before. It's odd and unsure and she is very rightfully hesitant to fall for Ken's adoration of her, considering the bizarre way he pops into her life. He's still quite the awkward charmer though, so it was fun to see it all unfold, but also frustrating that no matter how he tried to prove himself, she held him at arm's length with her need to "solve" him.  His bit of backstory also took me quite by surprise! I also loved how Hijiri's relationship with her parents and her need for something solid and reliable affected her ability to really let herself love. 

The competition added a fun spin to the story and I loved the magic and how each charm was created. It added a whole slew of new and interesting players to the story! It's a very twisty plot, as much as if not more so that the first book.  Karalius definitely loves to throw in those really crazy plot turns that take the story in a whole new direction. There were definitely some moments that I felt were a bit draggy and I felt like other than Fallon and the twins, we don't get quite enough of the rest of the wonderful characters (please can we have a Nico-centric book?? LOL), but overall, the story is great fun, shot through with some really heart-tugging surprises.  I'm not sure if there will be more, but if there is, I'm definitely there for them!

Lastly, I have to mention this quote! This was the first time in a long time that a book quote made me stop and read it again and again before my heart would let me go on! :D
To change lives and get to the root of love, there must be tears. There must be anger, jealousy, and hopelessness, she thought. Use them sparingly, but use them. Those are the feelings that invite change, whether we like them or not. 


Kimberly Karalius is the author of "Love Fortunes and Other Disasters" and its sequel, "Love Charms and Other Catastrophes". She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of South Florida and has been sharing stories on with a strong following of enthusiastic readers since the site s inception. 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. 
Kimberly holds an MFA in fiction from the University of South Florida. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Luna Station Quarterly, The Medulla Review, andHogglepot. Her chapbook, Pocket Forest, was published by Deathless Press in August 2013.


Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

I want to spread the love!!
Guys these fun books are all about love, in all it's crazy shapes and forms. So I want to give one person out there a copy of both books in this series! One winner will get a finished copies of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters and Love Charms and Other Catastrophes!
Open internationally! :)
Enter below by August 5th, 2016

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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