Sep 10, 2012

ARC Review--Cursed by Jennifer Armentrout

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.

I received this ARC from the publishers for review, I was in no way compensated for the review

Jennifer Armentrout's Cursed was far different from her other novels, and yet it was still marvelous storytelling! 

Two years ago, a car accident took her father's life and hers, but her younger sister magically brought her back to life. Since then Ember has changed, and not just in the I died and came back way. She now has a talent, a touch that kills. Literally. Her life hasn't been the same since, she has taken to raising her sister herself since her mother has been in a depressive state since the accident.

Then one day everything changes, Ember and her family are taken by strange people, the Cromwells. Ember soon learns that there are other teenagers out there with special powers, only theirs are for good. They don't kill people by using their talents. Now she and her sister are apart of their misfit family. But Ember knows that they really wanted Olivia more and only took her to help appease Olivia--since having the touch of death makes everyone uneasy and hostile towards her.

Except for Hayden of course. He shows Ember kindness and understanding. Yet Ember struggles to deal with everything going on around her. I found this refreshing, she was demanding of answers after awakening to find herself in a stranger's home. More so, she wanted to do everything she could to escape the house she was being forced to live in for the rest of her life. Her world was turned upside down.

I felt bad for Ember for the first part of the book, she was an outcast at her old school after the accident, only having one true friend. Then after an "incident" she and her family are essentially kidnapped and taken hostage to live a better life in a mansion far away. The Cromwells weren't very nice to her either, they threatened that if she stepped out of line she would be sent to the Facility--a medical type place for children with special talents. It's not a good place because they run all sorts of tests there. It's enough to scare Ember into being good.

But Ember's problems are only beginning! Someone is stuffing dead animals and other horrid things in her locker at school. And there have been other dangerous occurrences where Ember is fatally injured. She is positive that it's one of the Cromwells, since they are the only ones who have been openly hostile to her.

Hayden, however is different from the rest of his family. He is kind to Ember and even helps her try to harness her power, control it. Soon Ember begins to develop feelings for Hayden, but she can't shake the feeling that one of his family members wants to hurt her.

There was a nice mystery element running through the plot! It was done very well, as I didn't really see part of the answer coming! I totally nailed the second part though! The mystery comes from who is leaving dead things in Ember's locker and the other dangerous occurrences that proved to be life threatening, which then leads Ember to start doing some investigating of her own.

The romance element between Ember and Hayden, for me, ran hot and cold. There were times it was building into something really nice, then something would happen that put distance between them. Of course then they are back at it, before something, again, comes between them. But the times when things were good between them, it was sweet. Ember hadn't felt loved in a long time, since before the accident that stole her father's life.

As for the getting answers at the end of the novel, I am left wondering if Jennifer plans on making this a series, or if it's a standalone. Most of the issues were resolved, yet there were still a few left hanging. One tiny little thing that might mean nothing, but I do have a theory on it! And there were a few issues concerning Ember's family that are kind of left hanging. But when it came down to the end the end, I am left wondering what's going to happen for us readers?

Overall, Cursed was a highly enjoyable story! It's not quite a superhero type of novel, just teens with powerful abilities trying to live a somewhat normal life. Ember has her own self-discovery going on throughout as she deals with her own "curse", hence the title! Even though magic isn't really a theme in the novel, Cursed was simply magical! 

Overall rating 4/5 stars

Cursed releases September 18, 2012


  1. I really liked this one, I just happened to read it a little while after Pushing the Limits and the scar aspect was similar. Even though I know this book was written in 2007. I wish this were a series, way more of the story to tell.

  2. Great review! I also really enjoyed Cursed :)


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