Series: Grimbaud #2
Published by Macmillan on May 17th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy
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Also by this author: Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, First Kisses and Other Misfortunes
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.
Love, Charms & Other Catastrophes is Kimberly Karalius’s third Grimbaud-set novel following Love, Fortunes & Other Disasters and First Kisses & Other Misfortunes although the latter is a novella. It features the same cast of characters as the first two books, but this time the focus is on the absolutely love Hijiri, and her charm-boy, gifted to her from Love, Ken. I’m also 100000000% sure that Ken is called Ken because he came out of a box, like Barbie’s boyfriend. And I will eat my hat if I’m wrong.
I thoroughly enjoyed Love, Charms & Other Catastrophes, it’s so good to be back with the kids of Grimbaud, to see Fallon, Nico, Sebastian, Anais, Martin, Femke, Mirthe, and everyone else again, and SO good to see Hijiri get her own story because I’ve loved her in the previous two instalments. I love that she’s a charm-maker and wants to make charms for good, rather than bad like Zita in Love, Fortunes & Other Disasters. And the whole competition idea to crown Grimbaud’s best love-charm maker was fabulous! I loved seeing all the new love-charm makers go head to head, although duh, I wanted the charm theory club to win.
Hijiri is one of those characters you might struggle to love. She’s very focused on her work, on her love-charm making, and doesn’t really have time for friends or boyfriends, but all of a sudden she has friends! She has Ken, who wants to be her boyfriend, who loves her, but Hijiri is so skittish when it comes to feelings of any kind, she shuns him and is determined to prove he’s nothing but a charm-boy brought to life by Love, that he’s not real – it’s all very Pinnochio. But Hijiri is a lovely person, I really connected with her, and I wanted nothing more than for her to have happy-ever-after, because literally no one deserves it more (except maybe Ms. Ward, but we’ll get to her before this review is done).
One of the best aspects of these Love books is the fact the team all band together to take down someone (Zita) or win something, and they’re such an amazing group of friends. This series could run and run. I desperately want books for Mirthe and Femke, the twins, and Ms Ward deserves a book. I thought we were SO CLOSE to getting her some romance and it still didn’t happen! I was so frustrated on her behalf.
This was yet another fun read. I would love if the town of Grimbaud was real because it sounds utterly magical. If a little prone to people wanting to take over, and with nefarious schemes, but with the charm theory club there to thwart anyone that tries, it’s a win-win, really. I really hope this isn’t the last Love book because I enjoy them so much, the three I’ve read so far have been so much fun, with lots of hi-jinks, romance, drama, laughs, it has it all really, and I loved this outing most of all.