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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Love Spell is a young adult coming of age novel written by Mia Kerick. Chance Cesar knows he's fabulous. He's had a keen sense of fashion, impeccable taste and an appreciation for design since he was a child, but it's hard being the only openly gay, and sparkly, kid in his small town high school. He held his head high as he accepted the crown of Miss Harvest Moon and thought his orange tuxedo and four-inch heels worked marvelously as he made the best of what was supposed to be a prank. He was ironically prepared to also be crowned the Beans and Greens Pumpkin Carving King as well. After all, he had won that title for several years now, and his Mona Lisa was splendid. When he and Emmy, his BFF, strolled past the pumpkin displays, however, he knew instantly that there was another King. The pumpkin was cunningly carved into the likeness of a carousel, complete with horses, poles and an ornate canopy. The suave and debonair Chance is even more bowled over when the carver, Jasper Donahue, introduces himself. He's got a sweet and husky voice, and a body and face to die for. Now Chance just has to figure out how to woo him.
Mia Kerick's young adult coming of age novel, Love Spell, is Chance Cesar's story, and what a story it is. While his parents have no problem with his being gay and having gender issues, his life in the small and conservative New England town is anything but easy. His best and only friend, Emmy, is his lifeline, and watching the two of them as they plot the right way for him to attract Jazz, based on love tips from a magazine article, is funny and endearing all at once. Kerick's story is beautifully written, and the author's intuitive understanding of the isolation and confusion that young adults who don't fit into traditional gender or sexual orientation roles have to deal with -- in addition to the usual turmoil of coming of age -- gives the story an authentic and believable feel. I loved getting to know Chance, Jasper and Emmy. They're marvelous characters who soon began to feel like friends. Love Spell is most highly recommended.