Book Review: The Sisters of Luna Island

The Sisters of Luna Island by Stacy Hackney

The Sisters of Luna Island
by Stacy Hackney (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars

Marigold is the youngest of three sisters in the magical Lafleur family. They are aromages, brewing up charms using aromas. But all magic has a price, and sometimes their magic has severe consequences if they try to change fate. Ever since a terrible accident, Marigold and her sisters have given up aromagic, and their family seems to be falling apart. Marigold discovers that all their bad luck could be because of an ancient curse, and she is determined to find a way to break the curse and save her sisters!

I loved this book so much! The plot is really interesting and has many twists and turns. Near the end, I began to see how all these little threads of foreshadowing were coming together and I got all excited! I was not disappointed either! Every element in the story pulled together for a satisfying ending. I really enjoyed the puzzle aspect of Marigold’s investigation into the curse. She has to do some serious research to figure out what caused the curse and how to break it.

I loved the world-building of the little island town on Luna Island. Marigold has difficult relationships with her neighbors and classmates at school. She worries that the whole town hates her family because of their magic. We see the complexity of small town relationships where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Such a brilliant setting! The descriptions of the town, the lighthouse, the ocean, and the ferry made me feel like I was really there, smelling the briny ocean salt in the breeze.

I love the magic system and all the rules about how to blend different scents for magical charms. There are dozens of charms for all kinds of things like protection, courage, love, and clarity. It was so interesting to see how a simple charm is harmless because it doesn’t change anyone’s fate, but the wrong charm for the wrong person could have horrible results. It’s a balancing game. A little nudge to help someone feel more confident is okay, but not too much or you are cheating fate, and fate will exact a price.

There are so many deep themes in this book! Grief and loss, and love and sisterhood, and families, and loneliness, and friendship, and wanting to be popular. There are hateful people and good people that Marigold has to deal with. There are good people who are acting hateful because they are just having a hard time right now. Marigold has to choose to love people anyway, even when they are being difficult. And she has to have the wisdom to know what boundaries she needs to place in her relationship with some people so that she doesn’t get sucked into their toxic chaos. Marigold must find balance in her relationships with family and friends, just as she must find balance in her aromagic. The way these themes are reflected in so many areas of the story is absolutely brilliant!

The writing style is complete magic! There are so many complex emotions and plot twists and heavy things happening, but it never feels like it’s dragging or like it’s too much. Every scene is balanced and the pacing is excellent, pulling you forward into the next chapter.

The best thing about this book is the constant descriptions of smells and aromas. Every smell takes on a deeper meaning. Marigold is always noticing the smells around her and connecting them with feelings. She smells peanut butter and pencil shavings at school, and it makes her feel safe because it is so familiar. She notices the wafting steam of mint tea, the scent of sage (for wisdom) that lingers around her grandmother, and the smell of oranges and fir that tells her that her father must be home. Every scent means something and is an additional clue to what is happening in the story.

Marigold is such a wonderful main character! I was right there with her, inside her head, feeling her heartache every step of the way through this story. She is a very deep and complex person, and it was so engaging to follow her character development through this story. She is terrified that she will lose her sisters, lose her father, and the whole family will scatter, leaving for college or moving away. She begins to realize that she can’t hold on so tightly, and she has to show them true acceptance and love. As Marigold investigates the origins of her family curse, she begins to understand her heritage. She starts to know her mother and her sisters a little better, and she finds the wisdom to know herself better too.

I love stories about siblings! This book really tugged at my heartstrings, and gave me such a warm fuzzy feeling for my own siblings!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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