Book Reviews

Review: Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes

I love when authors try different genres and age groups. So when I saw Cervantes’ YA debut, I knew I had to read it. Even though I haven’t read the middle grade novels…..I know! Anyway, I really loved this story about family and magic! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved nana’s deathbed. But due to a flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a mysterious boy, she missed her grandmother’s mystical blessing–one that has been passed between the women of her family upon death for generations.

Then Nana’s ghost appears with a challenge from beyond the grave. As it turns out, Nana did give Ava a blessing, but it missed its target, landing with the boy from the night of the storm instead. Was it fate? Ava refuses to believe so. With the help of her sisters and Nana’s rather bumbling spiritual guide, she’s determined to reclaim her share of the family magic and set Nana free.

For guarded Ava, befriending some random boy is the last thing she wants to do. She’s gotten along just fine protecting her heart–keeping people at a distance is a great way to ensure no one ever hurts you. But as Ava embarks on her mission to retrieve the lost blessing, she starts to wonder if getting close to thunderstorm boy is worth the risk.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

The premise alone would hook me! This misplaced blessing plus a quest from beyond the grave? Hooked! The prologue immediately gives it an omniscient almost fairy tale feeling. Throughout Flirting with Fate, Cervantes plays with this idea of fate. Are we merely all just acting out what fate ordains for us? Or are we free agents? What a universal philosophical dilemma. Within Ava’s story, she will have to explore what fate and choice mean for herself.

Ava’s budding friendship will test the limitations of authenticity and choice. In Flirting with Fate, there are signs and pieces of a broader story which connect like constellations. The action and the mystery of whether Ava would succeed is a huge element which kept me reading. I brought this book on vacation and told people I needed some time alone to finish because I had to know! There are so many clever touches and references. I’m impressed with Cervantes writing and the reflections within the story.

Another element I loved in Flirting with Fate was Ava’s character journey. Of course she has to figure out if she believes in fate, but even more than that, she has to figure out if she can open up her heart. How the world can introduce cynicism into our lives. But that it’s important to not lose our capacity to be vulnerable, to love and to trust. The question is if we can confront our own past and mistakes to succeed?


Are we able to change the endings of our story? Or are we doomed from the beginning? I’ll let you not only decide, but read for yourself. In Flirting with Fate, Cervantes tells a story about how we are made up of stories. Walking through other people’s lives and witnessing stories in the making. As a whole it’s clever, emotional, and will leave you wondering about fate yourself. Find Flirting with Fate on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite magical blessing?

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