There will be spoilers for the novel or novel series Hello, I am a Witch and my Crush Wants me to Make a Love Potion!.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to prejudice, drugs, home invasions, and threatened rape as it appears in the novel or novel series.
Rose is a witch – a being that lives outside of the laws of any country, government, or man. Since she is a being separate from humans, she has lived in isolation on the city's outskirts her entire life. As a result, Rose isn't the most socialized person in the world. To make matters worse, the only reason witches can use magic is due to the singular rule they can never break: they can never tell a lie. This leads to almost all of Rose's conversations being vague responses, riddles, or just non-responses. This has never been an issue, though, since she lives alone, and the only people she interacts with are her guardian, Tien, and the occasional customer seeking out her potions.
Her peaceful existence is rocked, though, when a man she happened to fall in love with four years prior suddenly arrives on her hermitage's doorstep. He is part of the royal guard and is a nobleman in his own right by the name of Harij. Rose encountered him once in the market after her grandmother and caretaker passed, where she was subjected to people celebrating her grandmother's, the witch of the lake's, death. Harij was the only one who defended her grandmother and, by extension, Rose herself, and Rose never forgot him. Unfortunately, though, Harij isn't there for just any reason. He is seeking a love potion.
Rose's pride as a witch won't allow her to deny the man she loves such a potion, but that doesn't mean she won't take advantage of the situation. She draws out the time it takes to make the potion, sending Harij out on errands to procure the ingredients needed, and as time goes on, Rose's love for Harij only grows. Meanwhile, his affection toward the witch grows, too, or is that just Rose's imagination? Even if Harij did fall in love with her, how could a witch fall in love with a human?
Our main character, Rose, is cringy. I have to go ahead and say that because it is something you will have to trudge through this entire series. It makes sense why she is cringy as she is a witch raised in almost total isolation for her whole life. If you can't handle socially inept characters or have trouble with cringe, you will probably hate this. Unfortunately, I can't handle the cringe, so I had to put this one down multiple times to take a break because I couldn't handle it. You will probably find yourself constantly begging Rose just to read the room or something. It is nearly unbearable. Particularly the segments involving food. Rose is absolutely obsessed with sweets, and her obsession with food is so uncomfortable to me.
Thankfully, though, there is plenty of fluff around all of the cringe. Both Harij and Rose are a bit socially awkward, though they are awkward in vastly different ways. Rose doesn't know how to interact with people, period, while Harij doesn't know how to interact with a woman like Rose, much less a woman like Rose, whom he also has feelings for. Unfortunately, though, because they are so awkward with each other, misunderstandings are all over the place in this. So if you aren't a fan of tension that hinges on misunderstandings, then this one is a major pass because that is the majority of the trouble with this couple getting together.
The misunderstandings are only made worse because of the rules witches must live by. Witches cannot speak lies because the only lies they can spin are through magic, which is a pretty interesting concept. It isn't used strictly for the gimmick of making Rose awkward and does have some significant implications on the plot, particularly in the second volume, which is good. However, it can be beyond frustrating because she often will not say anything to avoid answering truthfully. If I were to ask her something and she didn't respond, that would indicate to me that her answer would be negative to whatever my inquiry is, but sometimes it isn't even that what she wants to say is terrible, but that she just doesn't want to say it. It is beyond frustrating and causes tons of needless misunderstandings.
It's worth mentioning that Rose doesn't grow much, even from volume to volume. She is super awkward and very blunt, no matter how long she's around other people. I found that to be pretty frustrating. So, if you're hoping that she grows and becomes better with her social life, I'll go ahead and tell you what changes there are are minor. Don't get me wrong, though; I don't think it is out of left field or anything. Rose was raised exclusively as a witch, which we are told repeatedly is a different creature from normal humans. They aren't governed by anyone and are completely independent beings, and in Rose's case, that is taken to the extreme due to her isolated upbringing. I am not deluded enough to think that she would suddenly be a socialite by getting a boyfriend and moving in with him. Still, I do want to warn those who may be expecting significant character growth that they may be severely disappointed with this one.
Overall, this is a super cute light novel. The art panels are beautiful. Harij is precious, and Rose should worship the ground he walks on for putting up with some of the silliness she starts. There's no love triangle or anything like that, which is a nice reprieve from some of the other romance things I am reading at the moment, where most of the drama comes from love rivals. If you're looking for something quick and fluffy, I don't think you can really go wrong with this one.
Have you read Hello, I am a Witch and my Crush Wants me to Make a Love Potion!? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!