Book Review: Cursed

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: YA paranormal
312 pages 
Buy it on Amazon, IndieBound
 or Barnes and Noble
Source: kindly provided by publisher

My thoughts: 
It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Armentrout's work. I am very excited, therefore, to have a brand new storyline from her to read. My two favorite things about Armentrout's writing are her strong characterization and her plots that contain nonstop action. Those two strengths shine through with Cursed. 

Strong characterization doesn't always mean that the reader will like all the characters. In fact, there are a lot of characters in this book that the reader will not like. They are, however, distinct from one another in motivation and behavior, and they provide the structure for the reader to empathize even more strongly with the main character.

That main character, Ember, is an exceptionally strong female teen. Circumstance has required her to be so; she died in a car accident, only to have her gifted little sister bring her back. She learned quickly that she now brings death to anything she touches. That same car accident left her father dead, and her mother so emotionally damaged that Ember has to take on most of the responsibility for caring for her little sister, Olivia. And she has to do it without touching Olivia; in fact, without the comfort of any human touch whatsoever. Ember is easily one of my favorite YA heroines ever, both for her strength and her selflessness. She refuses to indulge in self-pity, and marches on against the odds. She has an ability that could easily become a weapon, yet she manages to endure the cruelty of others without lashing out. We need more YA heroines like Ember.

This is an action-packed plot that imprisons Ember, and at the same time, frees her. She is forced to question the motivation of every person who is nice to her, and the reader goes through the discovery process right along with her.  There is just enough of a plot twist to make sure that the reader will not be able to guess the ending, yet that ending is still satisfying. 

May I cast the first vote for "more, please?" I am hopeful that Armentrout will choose to continue to tell Ember's tale. She's only begun to explore this world, and I want to take the journey with her.

Summary from GoodReads:

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.


  1. Sold! Is there a good romance in this book, Paula?!

    1. The beginning of one, yes. Her touch brings death- that puts a damper on the romance, but things have a way of working out. ;)

  2. Actually, I can't believe I didn't talk about it in the review! Thanks for the question, Michele!

    1. worries! It's just romance is a biggie for me in my books. ;) Glad to know there is the beginnings of one! But I can see how not being touched puts a damper on!


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