So recently I read Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, the debut novel by Kimberly Karalius. When I first heard about the book I was drawn by the cover, but was hesitant to read it. The synopsis didn’t really intrigue me, oddly enough, even though it was a new YA and had lots of buzz. But once I began to read it… I was addicted. The beautiful cover and the wonderful writing was just the perfect combination, and together they made my reading experience all the more amazing!
This story takes place in the wonderful town of Grimbaud, where protagonist Fallon Dupree is there attending high school. She is extremely excited because the town is home to Zita’s shop, home to the famous 100% ACCURATE love fortunes. It is tradition that high school students receive their fortunes before each school year starts, so that they know what to fully expect for their love life that upcoming year. Fallon naturally is both ecstatic and nervous when it is her turn to get her love fortune, especially when the generations of Duprees before her have gotten ones that helped them marry their high school sweethearts. So when Fallon’s fortune tells her that her love will never be requited, she is heartbroken. When she is recruited by twins Mirthe and Femke, she is joining the rebellion to fight Zita and her tyranny on the town, supporting all those who have been told they will never find love. Along the way she gets closer to Sebastian, the supposedly “notorious heartbreaker”, and finds out that despite Zita’s fortunes, it is possible to fight their fates and follow their hearts.
This book was beautiful. The writing style was incredibly progressive and gripping, and there were rarely any parts where I felt like I could doze off. Each chapter said what needed to be said without overwhelming it with words, but still descriptive and sweet. I dreaded for the book to end, glad to see that Phew, I still have ten chapters to go, and Thank goodness there’s still sixty pages left, oh my. It was a story and a setting I didn’t want to leave, and with every page I rooted for Fallon and the twins’ rebellion.
I have no bad things to say about this book. My only complaint was that I wanted more. It was such a cute, light read, yet also something that has been different from a lot of books I’ve read lately. I wouldn’t call it a realistic fiction, just because the town of Grimbaud had a little sprinkling of magic throughout it, such as the love fortunes and charms. But I loved that about it, and how the people of the town were so dependent of these fortunes that they couldn’t believe it was possible to find love all by themselves. While some people could protest that it was too predictable, aren’t all romances? When you pick them up, you expect for a happy ending, and would be disappointed if it was any other way. I knew what I was getting into when I first started this book, and was left emotionally satisfied when I closed it.
And now for a Fangirl Moment… (Skip if you please)
I can’t close off this review without once again mentioning HOW CUTE THIS COVER IS. While I know that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, it’s what most readers do. And as a reader of YA, I have noticed that so many of the genre’s covers are just so beautiful. This book’s was no exception. I love how we can see all the cute elements of the town, such as the footbridges and the Tunnel of Love, as well as Zita’s shop and the cobblestone paths. There’s the canal with the booth that has the mermaid statue, and of course, Grimbaud High. We have the quaint little shops and cafes that are frequently mentioned, and all the important characters of the novel that are also featured. As someone who dreams of becoming an author and writing a novel someday, I could only hope for such an adorable cover!
I’m so happy to say that there will be a sequel to this book, called Love Charms and Other Catastrophes! The difference with this novel is that it will not be about Fallon but about another character Hijiri Katamura. I’m excited to see how it will turn out, because Hijiri was a person in this book who interested me greatly, and I just can’t wait to hear her story, as well as more great writing by Kim!
So if you haven’t gotten the message already, it was that I completely fell in love with this book. I recommend it to any YA lovers out there, or fans of romantic sweet reads! Pick this book up, and while you’re at it, come by the blog tomorrow for a very special interview with author Kimberly Karalius, as we get a glimpse into her writer’s life!
Keep on reading!