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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 288
Genre: Paranormal, Romance

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.
*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by Spencer Hill Press for an honest review*

This being my first book by Jennifer L. Armentrout I can definitely say that I will be reading more books by her in the future. 

Cursed had me feeling for Ember  McWilliams, bring brought back from the dead after a car accident and burdened with a killer touch. She's a strong character even through the constant bullying by her classmates and the lingering remains of an accident that plagues her. Out of the whole novel, I enjoyed Ember's character the most. She's a gentle heart trapped within the confines of a mangled and disastrous past, and the way she stands tall and keeps walking forward with her eyes straight ahead gives her my respect.

From time to time when Ember and her sister, Olivia, are forced to move in with the Cromwell's and the assortment of Gifted teenagers, I had moments where I connected the novel to Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning. The force that really ties the two together is that teenagers are gathered in a home under the guidance of adult figures, and the teens harbor powers of a supernatural kind. I also found it easy to weed out the antagonistic characters and predictable as some instances were, it didn't really ruin the ending for me. I just wished I could have been surprised, is all. Besides that, Cursed was well executed and kept me entertained.

As the story progresses and the more Hayden comes into her life, I found that I couldn't really connect with him or dubbed him a strong male lead. He seemed really bland to me and I couldn't picture him like I could Ember. In the beginning he's extremely captivating and mysterious, making me want to know more about him. But the more he and Ember meet and talk, he just became another pretty face that I really couldn't find redeeming qualities in. Whenever he came into play and tried to help Ember control her deadly touch or explained his feelings towards her, I found myself rolling my eyes at his whole "From the moment I first laid eye on you," spiel. I found Adam a much more fitting character and possible love interest and he was in and out of the book like wind. I felt more connection from the scenes with Ember and Adam than all the Ember and Hayden scenes combined. If there was more character development and back story to Hayden and less love at first sight syndrome, I probably would have liked him a lot better.

Final Summation: An enjoyable read that didn't have me lose interest. By the end I was left wanting more back story as to why in the first place these gifts are subjected upon these teenagers. I hope there is another installment to this novel explaining some of the gifts and their history as well as witness what really goes on in the Facility. That would be interesting. A very good read, I do recommend purchasing, snuggling up with the novel, and rooting for Ember, because with a past and life like hers, she needs a few friends on the side to cheer her on.

First Line: Something soft and warm—definitely hand-sized—settled on my chest, and then moved to the right, headed uphill.
Story: A
Cover: A