Sunday, 16 September 2012

Review of Cursed by Jennifer L Armentrout

Expected Publication Date: September 18th 2012
Source: Book bought by myself

"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 Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*

I must admit, I probably heard about Jennifer L. Armentrout's books long after everyone else. But as soon as I did, I bought Daimon and Half Blood from her Covenant series. I adored them! So when I heard she had a new book coming out, I had to see what all the hype was about. At which point, I must admit, I jumped straight on the bandwagon and waited impatiently for it to be released. 
As many of you know by now, I am on morphine tablets, so it takes me a lot of concentration to read at the moment. But this book managed to suck me in, chew me up, and spit me out a bit more worse for wear in the old emotion department. Why? Read on.....

Ember McWilliams was in a car crash with her family. She should've died right there along with her father. But her 3 year old sister Olivia brought her back to life with a mere touch. How? Well, unbeknownst to them at the time, Olivia is Gifted. She can bring anything back to life if she touches it. But for Ember, being brought back to life has left her Cursed - for she is the opposite of her sister, with one touch, Ember can kill. 

Things are difficult at home at the moment. Olivia keeps bringing things back to life, like her pet hamster. Ember wears long sleeves and gloves. The sleeves are because she is scarred from the accident, the gloves are to stop her killing everything she comes into contact with. Their mother acts like Ember doesn't exist but more than that, she keeps herself shut in her room away from everyone and it's hard for Ember and 5 year old Olivia to survive without their mother's support.
The money from their father's life insurance is dwindling and Ember has to scrimp and spend wisely in order for them to get by. It's made all the harder by their mother's reclusiveness. If only she'd come out of her room and take a good look around her. How does she expect her teenage daughter to provide for her 5 year old sister and go to school and get a good education? 
Ember is doing all she can to be there for Olivia and her mom. She takes Olivia to school, goes to school herself, does the shopping, the cleaning. The only thing she must remember is to never take off those gloves.

Then there's the night of the the parking lot. [Spoilers Not Included]. Dustin really shouldn't have done what he did. He and Ember used to date before the accident. But since, he has been nothing if not a bully. He taunts her, thinking that she's a freak with her long sleeves hiding scars. Little does he know what her touch can do. 

After that night, Ember and Olivia are whisked away to the middle of nowhere. When Ember wakes up, all she can see is that they are surrounded by trees and rocks. Great. What's she supposed to do now?!

The stranger that took them away introduces himself as Jonathon Cromwell. He says that he's taken them away for their own good and after the night of the parking lot, it's something that's very much needed. But that doesn't mean that Ember doesn't rebel. She does. In a big way. 
But the point is, her mother and her sister are safe where they are. It's only Ember that feels like she doesn't fit in. Boy oh boy is she right.

The Cromwell family are all Gifted. Ember is Cursed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see she's the odd-shaped piece that will never fit in with the jigsaw. But she can't leave. Her family is here. Even though her mother still acts like she doesn't exist, at least she's safe. Then there's Olivia. They have a bond that only siblings can have. She loves her fiercely and would do anything that means Olivia is safe, protected, loved. 
Beyond that, there's Hayden, this inexplicably alluring boy. It doesn't make any sense. She saw him a couple of times in the past. But now with longer periods in his presence... 

Hayden Cromwell has been watching Ember for the last two years. He doesn't know why but he can't stop. The family were supposed to keep an eye on the girls. But when the rest of the family withdraw to a distance, Hayden can't go with them. No matter what, he's drawn to Ember. He can't do anything to draw attention to himself but he just won't go until he knows Ember is safe. So when his father, Jonathon, decides to bring the McWilliams family into their home, Hayden has the perfect opportunity to get to know Ember. The real girl inside. Not just the one he watched from a distance. 

Hayden knows what Ember can do. He knows not to touch her. But it doesn't stop him wanting to get close to her. 

Ember hates being stuck in the middle of nowhere. Stupid Cromwell family. Stupid hick town. Stupid new high school. The only things she doesn't think are stupid are Olivia, Hayden and her new teacher Mr Theo. He's been kind to Ember, she feels she can trust him. To a point.

When bad things start happening at school, awful things appear in Ember's locker, she can't help but wonder who would be targeting her. She's new in town so it could be just a few pranks against the 'new girl' - but the things that happen are far too specific. Who would want to hurt Ember this way? Could it be one of the Cromwell's? They've taken her in but they sure as Hell don't want her there. They wanted Olivia, but Ember had to come as part of the package. 

Ember's life pretty much sucks right now. She's in a place she doesn't want to be and she can never go home. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't take Olivia and her mom away from the Cromwell's. After all, they seem to be doing a god job of looking after them. 
So she can't go home, awful tricks are being played on her, she's stuck in the middle of nowhere and oh yeah, she CAN'T TOUCH ANYONE. But there is one ray of hope and his name is Hayden. 

Hayden wants to get close to Ember. What she can do doesn't seem to bother him. Ember wants to get close to Hayden but knows that she can't touch him. So what are they supposed to do? 

There's so much more to this book than first meets the eye. I could go on forever about it, I really could. But then you'd have nothing left to read for yourself.
I often ask myself what I really bring to a review and I can't give any answer except for, my voice. My opinion. With that in mind I can only tell you that this book took me on an emotional roller coaster and stole my breath away. 
I was sucked in from the first word and the story is the kind that will stick with me for a long time. There were total laugh out loud moments but I can admit I also cried a couple of times. 

Warning: Beware of twists and turns that you won't see coming!! 

That's one of the things I liked best about this book actually. The fact that you couldn't see what was coming until it happened. Jennifer L. Armentrout has a unique writing style that can't be matched. I have a few favourite authors and it is clear that Jennifer belongs on that list. 

It's been said that every book is like taking a vacation. Well this is one of the most momentous vacations I have taken to date!

Thank you all for coming by to read my review. I hope you haven't fallen asleep by the end ;) I also hope that you will go and buy a copy of Cursed for yourself. If you want to, it couldn't be easier because here's the links:


  1. Sounds really good. I should stop buying books, but I'm still gonna head over to amazon lol

  2. Yay! A fellow book blogger! (very good review) ::high five:: :)


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