Now, to the book itself. The characters in this book are wellwritten. They each have their own part to play and they play it well. Chance, or Channy, as Emily calls him, is funny and sweet. He starts out slightly self-centered, and I was gearing up to not like him, but as the story unfolds I found hidden depths to his character that made me fall in love with him. He’s a do it big or go home kinda guy, and he does it huge! He meets a guy who sparks his interest and he goes home to plot how to make Jazz his. When I say plot, that is exactly what I mean. I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I will need to be careful here, but let’s just say he did some crazy things in the name of finding love. He and his BFF make a plan on how to get Jazz to fall in love with him, and it is a hilarious road to watch him go down. I laughed and sighed and wondered “is he for real?” through the whole book. There are times I wanted to slap him just to get him to stop and look at what he was doing! I could see the train wreck from miles away, but I had to just sit there and watch it happen. Sigh… Characters in books never listen to me when I try to warn them. But here’s the thing I loved most about Chance. Though he was outgoing and funny, he had a major problem with understanding who he was. This undertone in the book brought such depth to it that I couldn’t put it down. I read this book straight through, and again, because it was that good.
Quick run-through of the other characters. Emily, Chance’s BFF, reminded me so much of my sister that I just wanted to grab her up and give her the biggest hug! She is funny and quirky. She makes up new slang words constantly. Though I had some trouble following all her new words, it didn’t detract from the story, it just added layers to it. My sister loves to make up words. She has a dictionary that she writes them in just so she can prove they are real words. LOL! I could so see Em do that!
Jasper, or Jazz as Chance calls him, is a strong quiet guy. He is way more than what you would expect from the initial intro in the book. He is a great guy who loves his family dearly, and does all he can to help his mother raise JoJo, his little sister. However, because he has so much going on in his life, it’s hard for him to take the outgoing Chance seriously. Jazz, like Chance, has hidden depths that really made this book come alive for me.
Underneath all the funny and sweet lines in this book, is a serious issue. One that tells me this book is about way more than just a funny story. I don’t know if this was the purpose of the story or just something that was added as part of Chance’s character, but it is the reason this book is 5 marbles instead of 4. I reserve all my 5 Marble ratings for books that give hope. It’s so important to me that a YA book helps young adults learn to grow, teaches us something, or gives us hope. Chance has a gender issue. The ISSUE is he can’t or won’t label himself. He doesn’t know where he fits in. This part of the story was the most important. I love that Mia Kerick added it, because I know this is a problem for some kids, and it’s not often addressed in books they would enjoy reading. It adds character to the book without dragging it down to emo levels. You did an awesome job with this book, Mia, and I can’t wait to read more of your writing! I would LOVE (beg) you to write a sequel. Chance’s story is not over, there is so much more to his story that you could write.~Timmy
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About Love Spell
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.
About Mia Kerick
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-two 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 young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy 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, Harmony Ink Press, CoolDudes Publishing, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially 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.
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