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 giftwrapped box…literally.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
Okay, so let’s be honest here. All three covers of Kim’s books are adorable! Like we all know, I only read this book because I loved the cover so much. (If you don’t, you should check my review for Love Charms and Other Disasters – Love Fortunes and Other Disaster, Kimberly Kiralius – Book Review. And now that that shameless part of self promotion is done, we can move on!)
I absolutely loved this book! It is so adorable. And it’s filled with the cutesy, adorable, smitten feeling all through the story. It starts with Hijiri, the heroine, finding a huge gift box on her doorstep. And, her gift is a boy. A live, breathing boy. Tailor made for her by Love himself. One who loves Hijiri so much already!
Hijiri, like any sane person, is befuddled and shocked at this. She can’t stomach the fact that this boy is in fact a charm. And so starts her mission to solve him, like he’s a puzzle and to prove to Love that she can solve him without falling for him.
“I don’t know what to do with you.”
“That’s okay, I’ll be here when you do.”
It doesn’t help that Ken is all sorts of charming and perfectly right for Hijiri. Of course he is. Love made him just for her. He’s smart and cute. He’s so sweet and caring and loving and I just ADORE HIM SO MUCH!!!! ❤
I just really, really, really adore him! Ken is like the perfect boy. *sighs*
He’s always there for Hijiri whenever she needs a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, a believer, anything. He can be anything and everything she needs and that just makes my heart melt. Like, he’s not perfect, of course. But he might as well be. For Hijiri, he is. And that is all that matters.
We must look like two halves of a heart.
The character development for Hijiri is definitely super outstanding. I love how she comes into her own as a person and as a character through the course of the story. She was a timid, shy girl who didn’t really talk much in book one. Then, she made some friends and she spearheaded her friends to victory in the charm making competition and she fell in love. She’s absolutely brilliant. Really. I identify with her a lot in the sense that I am always looking for Happily Ever Afters for others but I don’t really believe that I have one out there. Just like Hijiri. But, her story gets a Happily Ever After and that makes me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could to. (I’m not really holding my breath for that one. Because I’m not convinced still. Not really.) But, she did find hers and that is what is important.
It makes me believe that our hearts can be tangled and tied to each other no matter how far away we are or how much time passes between.
The setting of the story is absolutely awesome. Grimbaud is facing an identity crisis after Zita’s fall and the town is desperate for another love charm maker to take over. So, of course, there’s a competition to chose who can take over. And, obviously, Hijiri and the charm theory club are participating. There was such a competitive edge in the story. I loved it. All the tests and the quizzes and competitions were amazing. Of course, I absolutely loved Hijiri’s take on all the tasks, how she went about them, what questions she asked, what charms she made, they were truly unique and breathtaking. I loved them all. It shows us just how much Hijiri understands love and what is important when it comes to love.
To keep holding his hand. To feel his arms around her. To laugh at his dorky sweaters and bulky backpack. To know what kissing Ken would feel like. Loving Ken was like dreaming.
The development of the other characters was also done really beautifully in the story. I loved the homey edge that surrounded Fallon and Sebastian. After everything they’d been through, those two deserved it more than anyone else. And, I loved seeing them that way. All loved up and in bliss. ❤
Nico and Martin are taking there relationship forward and those two are just totally remarkably adorable. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for them, but they’re working through their issues and seeing them so devoted to each other is really heartwarming.
And then, there’s the twins. For the first time, they’re stepping in uncharted territory. They’re having differences of opinion and fighting. That was really refreshing to read. It was also very uncomfortable and daunting. I was just wishing wishing wishing for them to get past their differences and be the sisters I knew them to be. Of course they did that, but it took sometime before their issues were resolved and seeing them that way was sort of eye opening.
“What does our home look like?”
“It’s made of charms. Not very sturdy.”
“Ah! So we are building one together. And here I thought I was the only one working on this relationship.”
All in all, Love Charms is an amazing read and definitely lives up to the expectations I’d set after reading the first one. It’s love and happiness and struggling and finding each other despite all the differences in the world and just being there for your friends and your family and always, always, always opening your heart to love. It’s believing that there is someone in this world, who is made just for you, no matter what else you might think, because it’s true.
“You fell in love with me. Twice. How?”
“I don’t think I can put that answer into words.”
I totally suggest all you guys to go grab this book and read it right now because it is so effing amazing!
“My heart blushes whenever I’m around you.”
Love is real in the town of Grimbaud, and Fallon Dupree has dreamed of attending high school there for years. After all, generations of Duprees have successfully followed the (100% accurate!) love fortunes from Zita’s famous Love Charms Shop to happily marry their high school sweethearts. It’s a tradition. So she is both stunned and devastated when her fortune states that she will NEVER find love.
Fortunately, Fallon isn’t the only student with a terrible love fortune, and a rebellion is brewing. Fallon is determined to take control of her own fate—even if it means working with a notorious heartbreaker like Sebastian.
Will Fallon and Sebastian be able to overthrow Zita’s tyranny and fall in love?
In Kimberly Karalius’s First Kisses and Other Misfortunes, two boys discover that true love is harder than it looks, even in the charming town of Grimbaud, in this lovely novella from the author of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters.
Nico is worried. Again. After freeing Martin from the illegal love charms of his evil ex-girlfriend, Nico was sure that their love would be the perfect romance he’d been waiting for. But it’s been months and Nico’s still waiting for his first kiss. Between Martin’s dedication to student government and Nico’s responsibilities at his family’s tourism business, there’s been no time for romance or kisses. Fortunately, the Canal Festival is coming up and like all Grimbaud events, it will be filled with romance…especially the Water Parade, Nico’s favorite part. And this year, Nico will be the captain of his own small boat! It’s the perfect opportunity for a romantic (and hopefully kiss-filled) date with his boyfriend. There’s just one small problem: Martin is afraid of drowning. Will Nico’s dreams of a romantic first kiss be sunk before they are even launched?
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.LINKS –