Can we take a moment to be shocked at the number of contemporary books I’ve read in the past couple of months? What happened to the fantasy? What happened to the thrillers and mysteries? I’m terrified, y’all. Is this what growing up feels like? Anyways, dramatic introductions aside, let’s talk about the latest in my slew of contemporary reads!
rep: Mexican-American main characters (OV). TW: grief, car crash, loss of family
🇲🇽 Mexican-American rep
🧁 Lots of baking!
✨ A beautiful romantic story
A huge thank you to the publisher for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Flirting With Fate reminds me of the magic that I feel watching Sleepless in Seattle. The whole “we are meant to be together” concept sounds cheesy on paper but when it’s done well? I think it can make anyone believe in love.
We follow Ava Granado, a sister of three, whose family has a secret: right before their death, every woman in the Granado family has the power to pass on a blessing. In the middle of a freak hurricane, Ava gets the call that her grandmother is about to pass away. Unfortunately, due to the storm, she crashes her car into another guy’s on the way there and the blessing is then transferred to him. Now, Ava only has a few weeks to figure out to take her blessing back, so her grandmother can pass on peacefully.
“On July 7 at precisely 9:01 p.m., a boundless, unforeseen storm claimed one life, two hearts, and six destinies.”
I am absolutely floored by how much I enjoyed this story. Usually, I just sort of write my thoughts without any coherent outline (bad idea never do that) but I have no idea where to even start with this one. First of all, can we just please promote more and more diverse stories from diverse authors? J.C. Cervantes’s Mexican-American background shone so brightly through all the Spanish words, the food, and the culture. I also loved that they were just casually Catholic? It felt so well-integrated into the plot. I loved it.
AND THE SISTER SOLIDARITY! Ava has a beautiful relationship with both of her older sisters that isn’t, you know, full of drama just for the sake of drama*. Their little sister chats and inside jokes made me so happy! And each one has a unique personality. Also, this is irrelevant (I’m telling you, my reviews are just rambles) but Ava loves to bake and now I’m feeling inspired to bake??? Please pray for everyone who is at the mercy of this newfound whirlwind urge of mine.
*i just had a flashback to that terrible, unspeakably bad book called that summer. I’m going to rant again if i don’t stop now
And the romance was very slow-burn! The love interest (no spoilers) was complimentary to Ava in all the best ways. Ava is very facts-based, while he is not. And honestly? I adored their dynamic.
While some of the writing and dialogue are cheesy and even slightly cringey at times, I found myself smiling and even laughing at times. On the other hand, I also cried at certain points. There is just something special about a story with small moments that lead up to a beautiful, grand moment that can be cliche but is also heartwarming. When I finished this story, I felt like I had just watched a favorite comfort movie. I don’t know, this book just really clicked for me.
So that’s it! This book isn’t going to work for everyone, depending on how you feel about the (perfectly) cliche plot and certainly the writing style. For me? It was just right for the mood I was in. So I’m giving this 4.25/5 stars! Tell me: are you excited for this one? How do you feel about speculative fiction contemporaries? You can preorder this one or add it to Goodreads and Storygraph! It comes out April 19th.