June 14, 2018
Title: Love Spell
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Source: Copy for an honest review via Lola's Blog Tours
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 Cesar, 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.
When I started reading Love Spell, I wasn't a fan of Chance's lingo; however, his manner of speech grew on me. To be fair, I'm not a fan of some of the slang used today though I suspect adults felt the same way about it when I was a teenager.
I really liked that Chance was the main character and not relegated to being somebody's sidekick. He had a lot of exploration ahead of him because not only was he a teenager searching for his identity but also figuring out whether he feels he's male or female. That's a lot to work out, especially during the teenage years which aren't easy to begin with!
I often wondered about the friendship between Chance and his BFF Emily because it seemed to be a one-way street. He didn't always treat her like a best friend should. Sometimes he mentioned things she said that hurt him without her realizing it. I wish he had addressed that more thoroughly with her, but he never did.
Chance had an exceptionally difficult time in high school going through emotional changes and though he made a lot of mistakes, I reminded myself he's a teenager and everyone makes mistakes. That's how you grow and learn.
I was rooting for him to just take the direct approach and ask if Jasper (Jazz) was interested in him. I can completely understand why he wouldn't do that with the risk of getting hurt. Seeing how sharp witted and clever Chance is, I couldn't see why he'd be turned down by Jazz unless Jazz wasn't gay. That's where the internet and love spell come into play.
I took off a star from my rating because I think Chance's parents' lack of concern for him should have been addressed. It's pretty serious if your parents don't care about you, but there wasn't much of a resolution of this by the end of the book. This is what likely makes it a more realistic ending, but I wanted more explanation as to how he felt about it and how he would deal with it.
Overall, Love Spell was a fun story and also included important issues teens face, especially the complicated relationships Chance had with his parents, his friends, and his potential love interest. He's a character you won't forget anytime soon. I read this book a couple of years ago, but I still think of him and his story to this day. Highly recommended!
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