Three Kisses, One Midnight

Wednesday Bks. Aug. 2022. 288p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250797230.
Gr 7 Up–Best friends Onny, Ash, and True, affectionately known as The Coven, are looking forward to a magical Halloween; what better time to try out a love potion than the night when legend says the Lady of Moon Ridge leaves the sky and visits the town that bears her name? In three distinct but connected tales, Onny, Ash, and True each have until midnight to find romance. Filipina American Onny’s romantic tale of unexpectedly falling for an adversary while pursuing someone else is an auspicious beginning; lush descriptions and atmospheric settings are the perfect backdrop for the magic of falling in love. Ash, presumed to be of Taiwanese descent, stars in the second tale. His opposites-attract romance with a neighbor adds a fair amount of humor and shows that there is someone for everyone. Science buff True, who is biracial white and Indian, isn’t looking for love at all; after being hurt by a past relationship, she has no interest in the love potion Onny provides. A chance encounter with an actual ghost hunter, though, causes a shift in beliefs. Although each story stands on its own, Onny, Ash, and True’s friendship is a consistent thread tying everything together, and the setting of Moon Ridge is charming from start to finish. Supernatural elements are often mentioned, but this is an atmospheric rom-com about the magic of love rather than a fantasy.
VERDICT Hand this to anyone who loves tarot, astrology, and witchy things; enthusiasts of short story collections like Meet Cute or Hungry Hearts; and fans of Ashley Elston and Jenny Han.

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