Book Spotlight: The Charmed List by Julie Abe

Welcome to book spotlight where instead of giving you another book review, I’m just going to talk about books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Prepare yourself for the fangirl gushing.

Sometimes you read a book synopsis and you have to put it on your list to read because it includes so many elements that you adore. The Charmed List by Julie Abe was this kind of book for me because it includes so many elements I love such ex-friends to lovers trope, road trip plot, bucket lists, modern magic, and great sibling relationships. It’s a super fun and adorable contemporary fantasy romance and I need more stories like this in my life.

I adore the take on magic in the modern world. It was a super simple and easy concept to follow and was a lot of fun to imagine magic-y aspects in the modern world. I also love that the author focused heavily on supporting small and local businesses using the magic world as a background. I laughed at the Magizon reference.

The banter between Ellie and Jack is fantastic, and it has just the right balance of romantic tension to carry their relationship throughout the book. I also love how Jack helps Ellie complete so many of her bucket list items while on the road trip.

The two aspects that tripped me up while reading is the common miscommunication trope that I loathe. It just annoys me when characters refuse to just talk to each other about whatever problem has divided them. I get it. It’s an easy way to create conflict when characters finally get together. I’m just tired of it. It pops up in a lot of recent YA contemporary.

I also thought it was kind of odd that the author put in modern-day book references. It seemed like she was trying a bit too hard to be relevant, but that just made her book easily dated by referencing books and authors that are recently popular but probably won’t have much traction in a few years. It just was weird and I don’t think it worked or helped the story in any way.

But if you like these types of tropes with a whole lot of adorable banter and the “just kiss already” kind of tension, read this book.

~Thank you to the publisher for providing an early digital copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.~

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