I didn’t think cozy soft-magic romance was my thing…but this magical YA road trip romance/coming-of-age has me second-guessing that.
In Abe’s world the magic community exists in secret alongside the regular world. Ellie and Jack are former childhood best friends who grew up in their family’s magic-infused retail shops. Jack’s mother’s death pushed them apart and they’ve been making life hard for each other ever since. The last thing they want to do is embark on a road trip to a magical retailer convention together.
Did someone say enemies-to-lover second chance romance with the only one-bed trope ?
I enjoyed the simple mythology of magic in this world. Magic is a resource that the magic-aware can use to create small charms or enhance a food item. Magic does little things like boost confidence or fix a cracked phone case. Abe goes out of her way to make sure the magical system has rules and she even crafts a bit of magical history.
This book is called The Charmed List because Ellie also has this list of things she wants to do to make herself less of a wallflower. I’ll admit I’m getting a wee bit tired of the female main character who always feels ignored and has to learn to shine.
Jack and Ellie’s adventures down the California coast was the best part of this book. I felt like the ‘charmed list’ plot point didn’t really gel with the story and could have been left out.
This was an ideal blend of contemporary and fantasy!