Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.
As far back as he can remember, Chance has been “caught between genders.” (It’s quite a touchy subject; so don’t ask him about it.) However, he does not question his sexual orientation. Chance has no doubt about his gayness—he is very much out of the closet at his rural New Hampshire high school, where the other students avoid the kid they refer to as “girl-boy.”
But at the local Harvest Moon Festival, when Chance, the Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue, the Pumpkin Carving King, sparks fly. So Chance sets out, with the help of his BFF, Emily, to make “Jazz” Donahue his man.
An article in an online women’s magazine, Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You (with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure), becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.
Quirky, comical, definitely flamboyant, and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen.
There are so many things to love about Love Spell, but Chance César wasn’t one of them. At least not for me. The story follows Chance as he meets and then falls for Jasper Donahue, who Chance immediately starts calling Jazz. He and his best friend, Emmy, put together a plan for Chance to win Jazz’s heart. And that pretty much sums up my issues with Chance. He doesn’t know Jasper and decides not only to call him Jazz, whether or not Jasper likes it, but to pursue him without even knowing if Jazz is into guys. Plus, Chance constantly talks about his own awesomeness.
Aside from not liking Chance, I got a kick out of the story. It’s filled with quirky characters, witty banter, and real issues faced by teens, including gender identity, bullying, and falling in love. All of it is approached with heart and humor, making it impossible not to love the story despite not loving the main character. But then that was how A Confederacy of Dunces played out for me, too.
The plot centers around the romance between Chance and Jazz and the plan that Chance and Emmy come up with to get Jazz to fall for him. It’s hysterical as Chance tries to take the advice from a woman’s magazine on winning the heart of a guy and apply it to his situation. There are many laugh-out-loud moments involving scents and flavored lip gloss. The entire time, we’re left guessing whether or not Jasper is even interested in boys, right along with Chance.
The characters are what really make this story work. Even though Chance is abrasive, I cannot deny that he’s interesting. Emmy, his best friend, has her own language and is constantly making up new catchphrases, like pie stroll, which is doing something even easier than a cakewalk. Jasper is equally interesting as the potential love interest who doesn’t know what to make of Chance.
The brightly colored world that Chance and his friends inhabit feels like something straight out of a Bryan Fuller television series — I half expected Lee Pace to make a cameo. Although the book is light-hearted, author Mia Kerick does a great job of handling the more serious subjects, like bullying.
Top Five Things I enjoyed about Love Spell:
1. Emmy’s catchphrases. Everything from dooza-palooza to sick- awesome made this such a fun read.
2. The plan. Watching Chance trying to implement the plan was absolutely hilarious.
3. Jasper. I love him. Everything from how great he is with his little sister to how he treats Chance makes him one of the best characters in the book.
4. Emmy. She can be annoying at times, but you never doubt her loyalty to her BFF, Chance (aka Channy).
5. Chance’s sense of style. I may not like his personality, but I have to admit, the dude’s got style!
Love Spell is a romantic comedy with a hilarious cast of characters and colorful dialogue that made me laugh out loud.
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: Love Spell
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.