Monday, September 3, 2012

ARC Review: Cursed

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout, September 18, 2012. 312 pages. Published by Spencer Hill Press. Source: publisher.
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 whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've 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 Sentence (ARC):
Something soft and warm-definitely hand-sized-settled on my chest, and then moved to the right, headed uphill.
As y'all probably know, I am a huge fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout's Covenant series. So when the opportunity to read and review her newest book not associated with that series came along I totally jumped on it.

Now for the big question, was Cursed good? Why, yes, yes it was. 
While vastly different from the Covenant series, I felt that Cursed was another strong book by the excellent Ms Armentrout. Even though it was the same genre as her other books, I liked that this one  had a slightly smaller cast of characters and that story focused more on the main character and her past. 

What really captured my attention in Cursed would have to be the writing and the plot line. Let's be honest, who does not like a book were the main character has some strong ability that they cannot control which therefore makes life tough for them. Now throw in a sister that can bring back the dead and a mysterious guy that shows up out of nowhere claiming that he can help you and you got yourself one completed book. But Ms Armentrout does a great job of weaving all of these elements together to make one story that is both captivating and filled with that will leave you breathless. 

Personally, I found it to be creepy how much Hayden and his father knew about Ember and Olivia, as well, as their situation. Add to the fact that they abducted them and its no wonder that ember was none too thrilled about the new living arrangements. Creepiness aside, it was definitely interesting to see how things would unfold and how each of the characters handled the changes-let's just say that some of them did not handle it well at all. 

Personally, I thought that Ember was a really great character. What made her such a great character to read about was that even with her curse she did all she could care for her little sister, Olivia, and to keep what was left of their family together.  Just knowing the difficulty that went in to keeping Olivia and her gift in line, while not being able to really get close, I couldn't help but like Ember because that was not an easy scenario. 
Hmm, Hayden, well let's just say my feelings for him are neither here nor there. I just could not get behind him as a character, let alone a love interest. While I liked how protective he was of his adoptive family, I thought he had the tendency to be a little thickheaded when it came to what was plainly obvious-that they didn't like Ember. 

What I liked best about Cursed, besides that writing, would have to be that this was perhaps the was most suspenseful book that JLA has written to date. I was literally glued to the pages because I wanted to know who had caused the accident that changed Ember's life and whether she would survive  new the threats against her life. 

The only thing I didn't like about Cursed the end. I'm not saying that the end was bad or anything, but it felt like it was left a little open. Like maybe Ember's story is not finished yet. 

Content (there will be spoilers; highlight to see):
This will actually be short because the only two notable things content-wise would be that there is some swearing and maybe a couple of instances were the characters take the Lord's name in vain (shame on them). 
The other thing I would like to point out to potential readers would be that Cursed is at times slightly violent and a little morbid. So, the violence that is in store for you, Ember is shot with a cross bow, kidnapped and nearly murdered by a psycho. The cross bow scene happens more off page; while the kidnapping/near death is a little more in your face. 

Final Verdict: Cursed is well written little gem that knocked my socks off. 

Cursed earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

More Jennifer L. Armentrout on the blog:


  1. I love the Covenant series and I have been dying to read this one for quite some time. It's on my TBR for this month and after reading your review it's just been moved up. I could use a suspenseful book right about now. Great review!

  2. I have not read a book by this author and Cursed is the first one I am reading. My only problem I have with it right now and I am only 17% into it, is it reminds me a lot of Touch by Jus Accardo, except in the book it was a boy who couldn't touch people because he would kill them. I am sure this has a great plot, that is just the first vibe I have gotten of of it so far. :)

    1. Ah, I had know idea that was what Touch was about...

      I hope that you'll still be able to enjoy the book even with the similarity. =)


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