Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Page count: 304 pages
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Format: E-book
Who I'd Recommend it To: Fans of other Jennifer L. Armentrout books & Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.
Rating: ★★ 1/2

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.


I bought this one as soon as I knew it was out, seeing as I'm a fan of the author's Lux series. Unfortunately, I was not as taken with this one as I was with that series. This one failed to meet my expectations, for a load of various reasons.

In the beginning of the book, we get to see a glimpse of what Ember's life is like after she's had the accident she died in -- she has to take care of her 5-year-old sister (who just happens to be able to bring things back to life), her mother thinks she's dead and she's constantly bullied and ridiculed by the kids at her school -- it's pretty damn crappy. Then, a boy called Hayden comes along (shocking, I know..) , some crazy stuff happens, and the next thing Ember knows, she's being relocated to Hayden's fathers house (unwillingly, might I add) and has to learn to control her power.

I think that the main problem I had with this one was the characters, and I found this strange because I usually adore Jennifer's characterization--it's one of the things I loved the most about Obsidian and Onyx. I liked the main character Ember well enough, but she got on my nerves constantly. I just felt like I couldn't connect with her and most of the time she just came off as the helpless victim. Hayden and all the other males in there book always seemed to saving her. Frankly, I missed the spunk that Katy has and the will to be able to defend herself.

The other characters seemed to be all undeveloped, and most of the were quite cliche, also. I couldn't seem to understand why some of the characters did what the things they did, and found it hard to comprehend their reasoning behind things. I didn't buy the Ember/Hayden romance either, to be honest. It felt forced and I particularly didn't like the dialogue between them. It was cheesy most of the time. Another thing I like about her Lux series is that it's full of witty dialogue and it never seems to take itself too seriously, which is a factor that I think Cursed seriously lacked.

With all that said, I did enjoy the book whilst reading it. I devoured it in under 24 hours, and I really did want to know what would happen next. It was interesting take on the whole kids-with-powers thing, but I felt like I had seen most of it before.

In short: Cursed failed to meet my expectations, unfortunately. Uninteresting, undeveloped characters and full of cliches. Cursed is a fast-paced easy read, although unsatisfying.

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