August 12, 2022

REVIEW Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes

Flirting with Fate (Flirting with Fate #1) by J.C. Cervantes 
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: April 19, 2022
Format: eBook + Audiobook (Personal Library)
Publisher: Razorbill 

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“But that’s the problem with fate, Ava. Sometimes there is interference that no one is expecting.”

J.C. Cervantes’ first young adult novel, Flirting with Fate, is a cute and heartwarming read filled with lessons about magic, family, and fate. All the women in the Granados family have the ability to pass on ‘blessings’ to their descendants when they die. The catch is that the descendants must be present at the elder’s death. Ava’s nana is declining and has had multiple close calls. When the time finally comes, Ava is a couple of minutes late thanks to a freak storm and a minor car accident. She initially thinks she missed the chance to receive her nana’s blessing, but after Nana’s ghost comes for a visit Ava learns her blessing has been accidentally given to someone else. Will she be able to get the blessing back in time, or will the family bear the consequences of the mistake for the rest of eternity?

Ava is not a big believer in fate. As she explains in the book, “I think we make our own decisions. That destiny isn’t real, and there is no meant to be.” Fate has other plans for her though, and is determined to make her a believer. In addition to exploring the idea of fate, J.C. Cervantes also tackles the larger theme of grief. Ava and the family have already lost Nana once, and if they don’t set things right it will be like losing her all over again. The bonding moments between Nana and Ava during the quest to reclaim the blessing were quite poignant, and I felt it was like the universe giving Ava the chance to say a proper goodbye (that she almost missed at the beginning of the story). Of course, fate would not be what it was without throwing some unexpected hijinks into the mix…

There are a lot of caveats and rules to getting back a misplaced blessing, and Ava only has a limited amount of time to get it back from the person she ran into the night of her Nana’s death. First step; she has to find them! Once she crosses that off her list, I was surprised to learn of the connection between Rion and Achilles - it was definitely one of the most humorous plot twists in the story. I was also quite pleased to learn which twin ended up being the love interest in the story; Ava definitely got the better twin out of the deal. Rion, as opposed to Ava, is a big believer in fate and is a firm believer that things happen for a reason. The opposing viewpoints make for some cute interactions over the course of the story - I think you’ll enjoy said interactions if you’re a fan of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

While the romance in the book is cute, the family aspect of this book and the bond between Ava and her sisters are what sold me on the story. After the blessing goes awry, Ava’s sisters Carmen and Vivian are determined to help her set things right. I loved how focused they are, and how despite it being Ava’s mission all three sisters grow over the course of the story. I especially connected to their bond, given my own relationship with my sister (and it was cute to see the author’s nod to her own daughters in the acknowledgments section at the end of the book). 

Overall, Flirting with Fate is another fantastic story from J.C. Cervantes. The audiobook narrator Victoria Villareal did a great job bringing the humor and magic of this story to life. According to Goodreads, this story should be the first installment in a series so I’m excited to see what’s next. If a sweet contemporary romance complete with a ‘meet-cute’ moment and a little bit of magic sounds like your cup of tea, then Flirting with Fate should definitely be the next book on your TBR list! 

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Car Accident, Death of a Grandparent, Mention of Parental Abandonment (Historical)

About J. C. Cervantes:

J. C. Cervantes ( is the New York Times best-selling author of The Storm Runner, which Booklist called "a rip-roaring adventure" in a starred review. Her first novel, Tortilla Sun, was a 2010 New Voices pick by the American Booksellers Association and was named to Bank Street's 2011 Best Book List. Jen grew up in San Diego and was fascinated by stories about Maya gods and magic. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter: @jencerv, and Instagram: #authorjcervantes.

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