Thursday, May 28, 2015

Love Spell by Mia Kerick

Please Note: The following review is suitable for adults only.

Love Spell by Mia Kerick

QUILTBAG Content: Well, Love Spell offers us (first and foremost) a gender-fluid young gay man who thinks "Gender Labels Suck Donkey Balls." He’s out (other kids call him girly-boy), he’s proud (a self-professed queen), and he’s infatuated with a boy named Jazz. As for Jazz, he’s friendly and kind of shy, but Chance can’t figure out whether he’ll “desire a sexily feminine Chance, a boyishly charming Chance, or no Chance at all, because he isn't gay.”

Fetish Content: Actually, despite this being YA fiction, there is a bit of a cross-dressing fetish here. It’s not sexual or kinky, but I know some readers will enjoy Chance’s fashion sense, his love of lip gloss, and his experiments with eyeliner.

Literary Quality: This is a hard story to judge. Personally, I didn’t care for the narrative structure. To me, it was often a jumbled mix of styles, with a very teenaged narrator often talking directly to the reader, but it will probably work very well for its intended audience. The dialogue sounded realistic, if a bit exaggerated sometimes, but I’m really the wrong age to say whether the slang rings true (fortunately, there is a glossary at the back). There were some nice descriptive passages, however, and they do well to set the scene.

Spank Bank Rating: Not applicable here.

Overall: Love Spell was a story that has a lot of fun with the material, but which also has a strong heart and a wonderful message. Even if I got lost in some of the slang, the characters were well-developed and the mystery of the core romance was interesting enough to keep me reading right through to the end. He was exasperating at times, but I really did like Chance, and I sympathised with him as often as I emphasized. I hope it finds an audience because it’s a fun, uplifting, gender-affirming story that doesn’t come across as preachy or condescending, and that’s not easy.

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