Review: Twist My Charm: Love Potion #11 by Toni Gallagher

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Twist My Charm: Love Potion #11 by Toni GallagherTwist My Charm: Love Potion #11 by Toni Gallagher
Series: Twist My Charm #2
Published by Random House on May 24, 2016
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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Middle school crushes are WAY more complicated when you have a love potion.

Everyone knows love potions don’t really work. But Cleo got one as a gift. And it would be crazy not to at least try it . . . right? The plan is simple: make Cleo’s ex–best friend Samantha and her (secret) crush Larry fall in love. If it works, Sam will be so happy, she’ll want to be Cleo’s friend again! But when Sam gets suspicious, only Larry drinks the love potion. And now suddenly Larry is in love with . . . Cleo?

And then it gets worse. Cleo’s dad drank the other glass of punch, and suddenly he’s in love with Samantha’s mom. Which would have been really cool when Cleo and Sam were still friends . . . but now that they’re frenemies? Disaster! Is there a potion to make everything go back to normal?

Fans of Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Wendy Mass will love this fresh contemporary story with just a touch of magic.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Twist My Charm: The Popularity Spell. So, of course, I jumped at the chance to read the second book. Sadly, it didn’t strike me the way the first one did. The plot wasn’t as interesting, the characters fell a little flat and I found myself struggling to get through it once I hit the half-way mark.

I’ll start with some positives: I loved the friendships in this book. For the most part, they’re sweet and innocent friendships, the kind we all remember having and wish we still had. They’re not without their issues, but really, are there any friendships that are perfect? (Answer: Nope).

I also loved the subtle life lessons that were taught and learned in this book – stuff about making mistakes, trying to fix them and asking for help when it’s needed (also, knowing when to ask for help). Finally, miscommunication and the consequences of it.

Overall, I really liked Cleo and Madison – both as individual characters and as friends. My heart broke for them and the miscommunications they suffered throughout the book, but I was satisfied with the way things ended.

On the flip side, I was very frustrated with Cleo’s interactions with Sam, given what Sam did to her in book one. But I guess in some ways, it does makes sense… I remember being in elementary school and fighting with someone, then making up with them – or even pretending nothing ever happened. Maybe I’m just looking at this from the eyes of someone who’s outside the age range and who has been burned by friends one too many times. I don’t know, but that’s how I felt while reading, so…

I really liked Cleo’s dad and Terri together and I’m VERY satisfied with the direction their story went in. I’d really love a third book, just so I can find out what happens next for them.

Now for the negatives: I didn’t enjoy the plot of this book nearly as much as I enjoyed the plot of the first book. I’m honestly not sure why. It just didn’t pull me in and it dragged a little bit. I’d still really love a book three to see where things will go and how things will end for all the characters.

So… Short review is short. But… I just don’t really have much to say about this one. I enjoyed it well enough but I wanted MORE. And I don’t know exactly what the MORE entails but.. I just wanted more. The characters weren’t as dynamic and I would have liked a more satisfying ending. But the whole “treasure chest” thing has me intrigued – so we DO need a book three!

Overall, this was a quick, fun read. I wanted MORE from it, but it was still enjoyable and I’m really crossing my fingers for book three! I recommend this to those who loved book one!


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