Autumn's Kiss by Bella Thorne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I enjoyed Bella Thorne's debut novel, which deftly handled issues of learning disabilities, navigating school, and dealing with the loss of a loved one while having an interesting, consequential magical element that tied a lot of it together.
Autumn's Kiss takes all the good stuff out and instead provides us with a surface-level romance that barely matters and isn't all that compelling.
The book that granted wishes still exists, but the emblem on the cover is gone and it doesn't seem to grant wishes anymore. Autumn can't figure it out, and the love triangle that she's kind of fallen into is taking up a lot of her headspace. Plus, her friends are being weird, her family situation is still difficult, and nothing seems right. Exploring the book further, however, unveils a map on the cover, and she can write in where she wants to go and be instantly transported. This is a game-changer for her, and she starts to get a lot of answers to some questions, including answers she doesn't really want.
The whole thing is just kind of dumb and ridiculous, especially given the qualities of the first book. Everything feels surface-level, there's no real stakes, nothing to set things apart. It's all just very straightforward, and, frankly, not great. If you loved Autumn in book one, you'll likely hate her in book two. If you thought her love interests were weird in the first book, just wait until this one comes along. Everyone is forgettable, no one improves, and it's just rough.
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