The Charmed List by Julie Abe ~ 304 pages ~ to be published July 5, 2022 by Wednesday Books
After spending most of high school as the quiet girl, Ellie Kobata is ready to take some risks and have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower List—thirteen items she’s going to check off one by one. She’s looking forward to riding rollercoasters, making her art Instagram public (maybe), and going on an epic road-trip with her best friend Lia.
But when number four on Ellie’s list goes horribly wrong—revenge on Jack Yasuda—she’s certain her summer has gone from charmed to cursed. Instead of a road trip with Lia, Ellie finds herself stuck in a car with Jack driving to a magical convention. But as Ellie and Jack travel down the coast of California, number thirteen on her list—fall in love—may be happening without her realizing it.
What I Thought:
*I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this ARC!*
This was such a fun, sweet and moving little book! I feel like it really packed in a bunch of different elements that all worked so well together. It is a contemporary romance, but also fantasy, as the main characters are “magic-aware.” It is an enemies to lovers romance, but also a road trip romance. It is about friendship, but also about finding your own independence.
I really loved the romantic leads. Ellie and Jack were such fun characters to get to know. They each had very evident flaws, but were both kind hearted and lovable at the same time. I loved seeing their relationship evolve over the course of the book, as well as getting to look back on their past relationship before the big “friendship breakup” happened.
Speaking of friendship breakups, the scenes between Ellie and Lia really killed me. Having a friend who you consider to be your best friend not want to talk to you is a special kind of hurt. This part hit very close to home for me.
I really loved the world building in this book. The idea that there are “magic-aware” people and people who are unaware was such a fun spin on the sorcery theme. I liked that the magic was limited and that there were parts of the world where it was more evident than others. It was such a fun way to show how much Jack and Ellie’s lives would change if their powers were taken away.
All in all, this was such a fun book! I loved the messaging about being brave and stepping out of your comfort zone. I also loved that it was also about loving yourself, even if you might be a bit of a wallflower.
I gave The Charmed List 4.5 Stars!
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Love and happy reading,