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Book Review: Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon and Evelyn Skye

Book Review: Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon and Evelyn Skye

Halloween is a time of year that’s typically associated with all things spooky, scary and supernatural, but rarely is it known as a time for falling in love. While the potential for romance, meet-cutes and magical connections in books and movies tend to favour the snowy, fairy light-strewn backdrops of Christmas and the festive season, new YA romance novel Three Kisses, One Midnight is here to prove that there’s magic in falling in love on Halloween too.

With this novel, New York Times bestselling authors Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon and Evelyn Skye bring together three heartwarming, joyous and slightly otherworldly romance stories that all just so happen to take place on the scariest night of the year. Set in the small town of Moon Ridge as it prepares to celebrate the 400th anniversary of its founding on October 31st, best friends Ash, Onny and True – known to their peers as The Coven – are keeping busy with a few preparations of their own. According to local legend, every 100 years the spirit of a young woman who died at the stroke of midnight on the day the town was founded, tragically separating her from her true love, returns to the town in the form of the Lady of Moon Ridge, a spirit who seeks to help those willing to follow their hearts’ desires.

This year, Onny is determined to channel the magic of the night to bring a bit of romance into her life and those of her friends – with a little help from her late grandmother’s love potion too, naturally. Over the course of the night, Onny, Ash and True will weave art, science and magic together during a masquerade ball like no other. But as the night continues and the midnight deadline approaches, The Coven all soon come to learn that it’ll take more than a spell to recognise those who offer their love and embrace all the magic that follows.

The world seemed to sparkle with enchantments. … It was the kind of magic that promised alchemy and wonder, where a kiss by midnight really could melt into true love.”

In a word, Three Kisses, One Midnight can be simply described as charming. With its small town setting and clear autumnal allegiance, this novel quickly comes to feel like a cosy cross between Gilmore Girls and Hocus Pocus. All the hallmarks of both come together to create something lighthearted, fun, sweet and just spooky enough – and with a hearty dose of romance too. Each character is given their own chance to shine, with each story being told in sequence and largely independent of what’s going on in the other stories. While this can make for a slower paced narrative and more of an anthology feel than a particularly interconnected story, it does allow readers to really get to know these characters.

Apollonia ‘Onny’ Diamante is the focus of our first story, and she’s such a brilliantly spiritual character that she serves as a wonderful introduction to the world of Moon Ridge and its very unique magic. As the most mystical of The Coven, Onny is the most open to the town’s magic and legends, and she becomes the entire driving force of the premise. Her appreciation for all things tarot, astrology and witchy make it completely believable that she would also put her faith in her beloved lola’s love potion, particularly as she’s still grieving the loss of her just a few months earlier. Compared to Onny, sensitive artist Ash and logical, sceptical True are less inclined to believe in magic, but willing to go along with Onny’s hopes that they can use the potion to all find true love by midnight out of love and support for her.

What follows is three utterly adorable love stories, playing with some familiar plot lines including academic rivals harbouring a secret crush, sunshine x sunshine with a crush on the girl next door, and a chance meeting with a stranger that has the potential to be something special. Beyond the romantic elements, however, Three Kisses, One Midnight also allows its three main characters to find the healing, affection and acceptance they need before they enter into any new relationships and although it’s very clear that romance is a major factor in these stories, it helps ensure that it is not the sole goal, which only makes these stories all the more endearing.

In terms of cosy, seasonal reads, there’s no denying that Three Kisses, One Midnight absolutely captures the autumnal spirit. There are quiet hints of magic and the supernatural that build throughout and three love stories to invest in that all hold an equal weight in the novel too, though the romance does come at the expense of demonstrating the friendship between The Coven, who don’t have as many scenes together as you’d maybe like or expect.

Nevertheless, Three Kisses, One Midnight is a sweet, untaxing read that’s best enjoyed curled up in an oversized armchair with a mug of something warm firmly in hand. This a fun, lighthearted story that’s packed with friendship, romance and magic – and it’s such a warm, autumnal read that I hope Chokshi, Menon and Skye’s new novel will go on to become a future fall classic that’s rediscovered by young readers year after year.


Three Kisses, One Midnight was published by Hodder Paperbacks on 1 September 2022

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