A review by _emma_rose_
A Girl's Guide to Love & Magic, by Debbie Rigaud

lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I was really, really disappointed in this book. It's clearly a love letter to Caribbean culture, so I first want to make it clear that those aspects of the story were the best part: it radiated the joy and pride so many people feel towards their roots.
However, pretty much everything else was a bust. The writing would slap you across the face with meaning rather than let you understand the themes on your own. The use of slang felt too diluted to be genuine, like an adult is trying to sprinkle in just enough to make the kids happy without actually sounding like a kid. The characters were flat and one-dimensional. The plot was contrived at many points-- characters would storm off or get angry, then be back a page later without any resolution. Several scenes were clearly shoehorned in just to briefly lecture on privilege or history without feeling sincere or contributing to the plot/character development.
In conclusion, what was a fascinating idea about a beautiful culture ended up missing the mark in so many ways.