Book Review : Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

September 3, 2014 Book review 11 ★★★

Cursed is an entertaining book.  It grabs your attention with a great lead character and holds you there with a touching romance and a cast with some pretty interesting supernatural powers.

Book Review : Cursed by Jennifer L. ArmentroutCursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 17th July 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 309
Format: Paperback
Source: Bookbridgr

Dying sucks - and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things - including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children with abilities even weirder than hers.

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

First Line of Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

“Something soft and warm – definitely hand-sized – settled on my chest, and then moved to the right, headed uphill.”

My thoughts on Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

I enjoyed this one.  It is very character driven, has an engaging plot that is a little bit twisty and you are never quite sure what direction it will sprout off in.  The main character Ember (love that name, it’s so distinctive) died two years ago but was brought back to life by her gifted sister Olivia.  Unfortunately since then, she has a touch of death and anything she touches with her bare hands dies within seconds.

It is easy to feel empathy for Ember and to admire her in her struggle to parent her 5-year-old sister.  Her feisty ways, her impulsiveness and her self doubts all combine to make her an interesting and well-developed character.  Her sister Olivia though I believed less in.  Ember thought she was perfection; I was more inclined to think she was spoilt and very quick to forget about her sister when their circumstances changed.  She slipped in to the background of the book very quickly and I didn’t really believe that part.

The writing really impressed me though.  Jennifer L Armentrout knows how to stage a setting, her descriptions of the locations were great.  And she also did a great job of drawing out the chemistry between Ember and Hayden.  Their romance thankfully isn’t insta-love but instead it steadily builds momentum and even though I was never 100% sure if I trusted Hayden, I wanted them to find a way to make their unique relationship work.

The characters and the romance and the interesting world-building were all high points for me.  However I did find there were a few disappointing clichés (absent parents, a family set up that felt a little bit like Twilight, and a girl walking about in the woods alone at night despite knowing someone is trying to kill her) which irked me a little. I did like though that Ember didn’t get all fluffy headed by her feelings for Hayden, she kept her guard up and maintained what were reasonable suspicions.

The pace of the book makes this a quick read and while I did guess the ending which was somewhat predictable, I did find that I was second guessing myself a lot as I was reading and I appreciated that.

Overall this was a fun read and I’m glad it’s one I got the chance to experience.  I’m still not in that camp of readers that worship JLA but I did get flashes every now and again in this book as to why so many do.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout?

If you are looking for a book with an easy to read style, an interesting storyline about supernatural powers, a cute romance and a well-developed main character; then I’d recommend this one to you.  I also think it would be a good book for younger teens.

Thanks to BookBridgr and Hodder Paperbacks for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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11 Responses to “Book Review : Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout”

  1. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    As much as I love Armentrout’s Lux series, I think I’m going to pass on this one. I was always kinda iffy about it, it just sounds like so many others I’ve read. I just have way too many books on my TBR to be considering ones I’m not super stoked about, u know? But it sounds like it was a light read and enjoyable despite some issues you had. I can’t help but feel you’d like her Lux series better 😉 lol
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Book review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

    • trish

      I feel the same, I want to get the books that other people are loving and not those they just liked. And I think her Lux series sounds so much better that her true fans might feel a bit let down. But still an interesting, entertaining read. Some year now I’ll have time for Lux!!

    • trish

      The characters were good Alma so if you enjoy character driven then you might enjoy it. I would have loved it more if there weren’t so many YA cliches in it.

    • trish

      I did enjoy it. And I plan to read the Lux series soon as *everyone* seems to love those. And I enjoy JLA’s writing style so I want to try more.

    • trish

      I agree JLA has a distinct writing voice and I like the way she uses words. I look forward to reading her Lux series sometime soonish!

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