Love Charms and Other Catastrophes
By: Kimberly Karalius
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Aspiring love charm maker Hijiri Kitamura was excited to come back to Grimbaud for her sophomore year-until she learns about the upcoming charm making competition. Grimbaud has just started to recover from the tyranny of Zita’s love fortunes and it would be too easy for the winning charm maker to take Zita’s place. The only solution is for Hijiri, with the support of her friends and fellow rebels, to win the contest herself.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, especially when Love itself has decided to meddle in Hijiri’s life. Concerned that it’s favorite charm maker has given up on finding a boyfriend of her own, Love takes matters into its own hands and delivers the perfect boyfriend to her in a giftwrapped box…literally.
By the time the party ended, the sun hung low in the sky. The pink of a blooming sunset crept on the edges of the horizon. Sebastian and Fallon walked ahead of her, holding hands, while Hijiri wrestled with her thoughts. During the group hug that ensued after Hijiri had agreed to join the competition, her hairband had snapped. Without the weather charm’s breeze, her long, inkblack hair stuck to her spine.
“We’ll check out the competition tomorrow, okay?” Fallon said as they reached the wooden gate of the complex. “You’ll feel better when we see them. I’m curious about these new love charmmakers too.”
Hijiri nodded and wished her and Sebastian good night. She couldn’t imagine sleeping.
She fished her key out of her pocket—and nearly bumped into a giant present sitting outside her apartment door. The present was a cardboard box wrapped in iridescent white paper with a red ribbon around it.
What was it doing there? Who did it belong to? It couldn’t possibly be for her. Her parents didn’t surprise her with gifts. She hadn’t ordered any new charmmaking supplies either. Despite that, the box was perfectly lined up with Hijiri’s door. And when she checked again, leaning in close, she saw her name printed on a tag hanging from the ribbon.
“Are you Hijiri Kitamura?” said a muffled voice from inside the box.
A squeak escaped Hijiri’s mouth as she jumped away from the box. Her heart beat
“That sounded like a question,” the voice said, amused. “Can I come out now?”
She wasn’t sure if she wanted a talking thing in a box to ever come out. She couldn’t say anything, but her sharp intake of breath must have been enough.
The box trembled as the something in the inside pushed. The ribbon fell away. The top flaps opened with a loud tear of tape and wrapping paper.
A boy stepped out of the box.
KIMBERLY KARALIUS holds an MFA in fiction from the University of South Florida, and has been sharing stories on Figment.com with a strong following of enthusiastic readers since the site’s conception. Although Kimberly lives in sunny Florida, she prefers to stay indoors and sometimes buys a scarf in the hopes of snow. She loves watching really old cartoons and silent films. Being in Florida certainly has one big perk: going to Disney World. Which she does. Frequently. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters is her debut novel.
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