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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Sunday, October 28, 2012

ARC Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What if you literally have the power over life and death in your hands? In Jennifer L. Armentrout's new book, having this much power proves to be difficult for one girl. A freak of nature, a monster, a time bomb. Ember had a lot of problems to deal with because of her "curse".

Title: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pages: 288
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Source: Publisher (Thanks Kate!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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 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.

It felt a little like X-Men, except Ember's powers were volatile and deadly in the truest sense of the word. She was supposed to be dead, but when her sister brought her back to life, Ember gained an ability that isolated her from the rest of her peers. She cannot touch anyone, and that means boys and dating are out of the question. Hiding scars and staying away from people ended up with her being labeled like a freak, and she felt like one. Then someone took her sister, taking Ember with them and opening her world into that of people who had the same ability as her. But their motivations are suspicious, and Ember will be sent away if she doesn't follow the rules. As if that wasn't enough, someone wants her dead again and this time, they might succeed.

 In a sense, Ember was isolated in a world of her own, her ability to kill with a single touch puts everyone around her at a great risk. It was enough reason to make me feel sympathetic of her. What I didn't really like was how Ember felt overly dramatic. It's either she cries and spends her time convincing herself that she's a monster, or she gets angry that she can't do what she wants. She always seems like a brat to me during those times and it gets harder to like her.

On the other hand, what made up for Ember's erratic character is the story. It's heart breaking to see Ember struggle through her life, feeling unwanted, only able to stay by her sister's side because she was special and being judged for looking so different. At one point it felt like everyone was treating her unfairly, and instead of helping her come into terms with her power, they were treating her as someone so undesirable. At that point I was confused with what Hayden's father wants to do with Ember. It was hard to decide if he really was an enemy or someone to be trusted.

Though the plot is somewhat predictable and the story similar to other books I've read before, I liked this for making me respond to the characters a lot, whether with negative or positive reactions for what they do. Despite possessing powers that is supposed to make them feel inhuman to others, at least the emotions placed on the characters were enough to make the readers responsive to these characters, giving them a feel that despite the powers they possess, they're still human after all. The romance between Ember and Hayden felt so confusing and unstable at times but it's one of the bright spots readers will look forward to especially with the state of Ember's life in this book. There is no love triangle, mind you, and even though Hayden can behave as irritatingly as Ember, he's a nice boy that gives the story more appeal.

Overall, Cursed is a different, okay read for me. It has a whole new different feel than the rest of Jennifer L. Armentrout's stories, and even though I'm a bit skeptical on how the story will progress as it sounds like there's a possibility of this being a part of a series, it's still an enjoyable start to something new from a favorite author of mine. I think Jennifer Armentrout perfected writing a hot tempered, spunky heroine as evident with Ember and her other female leads, and that makes Cursed interesting. Let's see if the good start in Cursed paves an awesome way to a continuation of the story, if this is not a stand alone book. I for one would love to find out as well.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):
If you want to read about emotional, catty characters, Cursed has a ton of them, and they're fun to read. I loved Ember's younger sister, who is just adorable, even with her frightening powers.
Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:


  1. Feels like "Shatter Me" to me. But I always like to read books with the same concept of the "deadly touch" yet in a different approach, character, and story.

    1. Hey Von! I did feel the 'Shatter Me' vibe a bit, but Ember's character is totally different from Juliette. In all honesty, I find Ember really annoying at times, while I find Juliette's really intriguing. I guess it just depends on the way their characters were built, and I don't really want to compare :D

  2. Oh no! After loving the Lux series so much and the CRAZY amount of love for the Half-Blood series, I'm sorry this one wasn't as wonderful for you, Kai! It TOTALLY sounds X-men.

    Huh. I was intrigued, but never crazy about this one. You're doing me a favor encouraging me to bump it down the list a little, seriously. SO MANY BOOKS :D

    1. There were times when I want to throw this book out the window, but I had faith in JLA's writing, and it turned out okay in the end, though it's not really a favorite of mine. Haha, thanks for finding my review useful, Saz! :D

  3. O my...

    Good thing I haven't ordered this yet. haha!


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