Book review: The Beautiful and the Cursed

The Beautiful and the Cursed
The Beautiful and the Cursed
By: Page Morgan
Published by: Delacorte Press
Release date: May 14, 2013
Genre: YA paranormal
400 pages
Source: Reviewer won ARC on Twitter 


One of my trusted friends steered me toward The Beautiful and the Cursed, and this tells me that she knows me well- because she knows exactly how to pick out a read I will like.

This story is part historical fantasy, part murder mystery, and all page-turning action. Though there is an element of romance, this is not, as the boy in the Princess Bride would say, a Kissing Book. Gargoyle mythology is the basis for the world-building. The premise is that there is a horrifyingly awful paranormal creature plotting to kidnap a lovely young lady, whose paranormal protector will go to extremes to defend her. These characters, however, are much more complex and wonderfully human than that. There is quite a large cast of characters for a YA novel, but the author manages to write them so distinctly that I had no trouble tracking which character was which; I had clear visual pictures of each, and their behavior was quite indicative of the character. I hope that most of these characters return for a sequel, because I want to spend more time with them! I didn't get quite as much development in their relationships as I'd like to see here in book 1; most of the pages were devoted to the action-packed plot.

I love that this is great storytelling. I love that these characters knocked my socks off. But my favorite thing about this book is the rich texture of the writing. Page Morgan isn't just another great storyteller; she's demonstrating some serious writing skill, and as a reader, I was willing to follow the story where ever she wanted to take it because I wanted to keep reading what she was saying in that voice.

If you're looking for a fast-paced, well-written adventure that's based in some mythology that is less commonly explored, this should be on your pre-order list.

Summary from Goodreads:
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.


  1. Gah, I am sooo excited about this book! Gargoyles!!! Glad to hear it didn't disappoint! :)

  2. I just picked this up at a conference. The cover is so pretty I just couldn't help myself. I've heard some fabulous things so I can't wait to read :). Awesome review!


  3. I cannot wait to read this one, gargoyles are so interesting. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  4. I MUST read this now! Great review!


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