Charming and Magical | Our Cursed Love by Julie Abe

Saturday, December 23, 2023

 Our Cursed Love by Julie Abe

Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date:  12/12/23
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley/ from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (thank you, Wednesday Books!)
Julie Abe's OUR CURSED LOVE is a magical 50 FIRST DATES meets LOVE AND GELATO set in Tokyo, Japan―about destiny, the impact of the choices we make, and the magic of true love. Six days to remember. Love or lose him forever. Remy Kobata has always wished she was destined to be with her best friend, Cam Yasuda. All the way from being neighbors from birth to mixing up magical prank potions together to their “just friends” homecoming date during their senior year in high school, nothing’s a secret between Remy and Cam―except for how much she is in love with him. Remy is trying to work up the courage to confess her feelings during their winter break trip to Japan, when she gets selected for a mystical tea leaves reading and it reveals that they’re not meant to be together. After they stumble upon a secret magical apothecary in the back alleys of Tokyo, Remy and Cam are offered an ancient soulmate elixir, created before all love potions were banned by the magical government. They each have their reasons for wanting to take it, but what could go wrong with finding your soulmate a little earlier? Except, after they drink up, their senior year trip flips into the worst vacation Cam has forgotten who Remy is. If she can't help Cam remember her by midnight New Year’s Eve, they’ll both be cursed to forget each other. To unravel their past and rewrite the future, Remy and Cam must travel through Tokyo to rediscover Cam’s memories and make new ones―and maybe even fall in love all over again.
  •  I read The Charmed List last year and found it enchanting, nostalgic, and heartwarming. It was easily one of my favorite books of last year. It introduced a gorgeous, low scale magic system that was both cozy and charming. 
  • When I first heard about Our Cursed Love, I was elated to be getting a companion novel to The Charmed List. I expected the same charm that Abe's magic brought in the first one to be carried on into its companion. And I was not disappointed. 
  • Our Cursed Love is set in gorgeous Tokyo as Cam and Remy take one last vacation together before parting ways for college. The setting feels as alive as the characters do, immersing the readers into the magical story.
  • I adore the friends to lovers trope. It makes a story become familiar and heartwarming. Cam and Remy have been friends forever. And what makes this tale so special is that readers get both of their perspectives. Thus, the slow burn of their friendship to something more is realized throughout each chapter. 
  • The only thing I didn't love was the memory loss element. If I had read the synopsis of the book before reading, I would have realized that after Cam and Remy take a restricted love potion, it backfires and Cam forgets his best friend. The second half of the book is a whirlwind of Cam’s memories of Remy. It changes the initial tone of the book that was once a friends to lovers now turned almost-strangers to lovers, I suppose. The use of memory loss in any story is not my favorite, but I do think Abe uses it well to show the depth of Cam and Remy’s relationship.
  • While it is certainly not necessary to read The Charmed List before diving into this one, the main characters from the book do make an appearance in Our Cursed Love. Ellie and Jack's sweet cameos put a smile on my face. Our Cursed Love follows Ellie's younger sister, Remy, and Jack's younger brother, Cam. Chronologically, the events of The Charmed List happen first. However, it would be fine to read the two in any order. 
Our Cursed Love is as enchanting as The Charmed List. With a cozy romance at its core and the most charming magic ever, this book envelopes readers into a warm hug. You definitely don't want to miss it!

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