Book Review: Revelle by Lyssa Mia Smith

About the Book:

Title: Revelle

Author: Lyssa Mia Smith

Page Length: 464

Publication Date: Feb. 14, 2023

Publisher: Harperteen

Synopsis: Inspired by Moulin Rouge! and set on an island in a magical version of Prohibition-era New York, Revelle is a breathtaking YA stand-alone fantasy full of dazzling magic, romance, and mystery from debut author Lyssa Mia Smith.

On the island of Charmant, magic flows like bootlegged champagne, and fantasies can be bought for the price of a gemstone.

Luxe Revelle, star of her family’s fantastical show, knows the splendor is just an illusion. With Prohibition threatening their livelihood, her family struggles to make a living, watering down champagne and patching holes in their sequined costumes. So when the son of Charmant’s wealthiest family makes her an offer—everything the Revelles need to stay in business, in exchange for posing as his girl and helping him become mayor—she can’t refuse.

The moment Jamison Port sets foot in Charmant, he can’t shake the feeling of familiarity. An orphan with as few memories as gemstones, he’s desperate to learn what happened to his parents. But as he delves into the island’s secrets, he risks angering the wrong person and discovering a truth that just might break his heart.

When Luxe and Jamison accidentally meet, the sparks that fly are more than her magical enchantments. But keeping secrets from powerful people is a dangerous game . . . one that could destroy them both. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

My Review:

A new YA fantasy by debut author Lyssa Mia Smith, Revelle takes place in the 1920s during the Prohibition Era, and it has major Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet, and Gatsby vibes with a little Caraval mixed in. I loved it! It’s an immersive and entertaining read, with strong world-building and a unique magic system. The island of Charmant is feeling the strain of the Prohibition movement, and Luxe, the protagonist and star of her family’s show, feels the burden of keeping the family business afloat with her unique and powerful magic and skill. So, when Dewey, a member of the wealthiest (and super powerful) family offers her a preposition – taking care of her family’s financial woes in exchange for pretending to be his fiancée during an election – Luxe can’t refuse. However, secrets and danger, as well as feelings for the mysterious Jamison Port, threaten to destroy everything Luxe holds dear.

Revelle is told from Luxe and Jamison’s perspectives. I love both of these characters and that we get the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of each. Luxe is so burdened by familial expectations and pressures, and I felt so bad for her. She feels so trapped, but duty constricts her, and she has secrets that have forced her to push others away even though she doesn’t want to. On top of that, she’s dating a man she begins to suspect has nefarious goals, and her feelings about the family, the business, Charmant, and more are conflicted.

Jamison reminds me so much of Christian from Moulin Rouge. He is so sweet and kind and lovely. Jamison is new to the island, much like Christian is new to Moulin Rouge, but Jamison feels like he’s been to Charmant before. With only snippets of memory and a few clues, he is determined to learn more about his parents and his origins. It’s interesting to see him unravel the secrets of his past and his connection to the island and its people. Their stories and the problems they face are compelling, complex, and intriguing.

There is a bit of a love triangle reminiscent of the Christian/Satine/Duke love triangle in Moulin Rouge. In Revelle, Luxe must face her ever-growing feelings for Jamison while balancing a superficial relationship with Dewey. It’s clear who Luxe cares for (and who truly cares for her), but their happy ever after seems impossible, especially as Dewey becomes more protective, secretive, and territorial.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The characters are great (shout out to some of the amazing secondary characters – Millie, Collette, Roger, Trys, Nana, and so many others!! Loved them!), the magic and setting are vivid and immersive, and the story is engaging and suspenseful. I look forward to reading more by this debut author and am thankful to NetGalley and Harperteen for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The magic.
  • The setting.

Favorite Lines:

For all that was holy. If she asked me to sell my soul to the devil, I’d ask where to sign.

They’d grown wings and seen the world. Meanwhile, I was a firefly circling a jar. Entertaining to watch, but slowly suffocating.

Love, I’d learned, is its own sort of magic, an elixir powerful enough to soothe event he deepest of wounds.


  • forbidden romance
  • love triangle
  • rival magical families
  • 1920s
  • insta-love

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Revelle by Lyssa Mia Smith

    1. It’s such an interesting story. There were a couple parts of the magic that confused me, but overall, I really enjoyed it! I hope you do too if you get a chance to read it!

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