Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: 09/18/12
Synopsis from goodreads.com:
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.
My thoughts on the book:
Cursed is amazing. By the end of the first paragraph, I was hooked. Between the fast-paced, suspenseful plot and complex characters, I could not put this book down. Armentrout kept me guessing the entire time, and that doesn't happen often. I love the fact that nothing about this book is predictable. Be prepared to lose some sleep with this one.
Ember, which sounds a lot like Amber, so I felt an instant kinship with her, is a unique and likable character. She's incredibly strong and independent, and even though she's jaded from the life she's lived, she's not whiny. She's a fighter, and she's incredibly loyal to those she loves. Armentrout has a talent for creating inspiring YA female leads, and Ember is no exception. She's very different from Katy and Bethany in the Lux series and Alex in the Covenant series, but she's awesome in her own right. I also am impressed by the fact that Armentrout can create so many unique female leads with individual voices. That's difficult to do, especially when you're writing as many series as she is.
Hayden, while a bit creepy, is really kind of swoon-worthy. He knows he's a creeper, Ember knows he's a creeper, but he means well... or so it seems. In their situations, I don't really know how I would have reacted, had I been Ember. I also don't know if Hayden knows what normal conduct is and is not. That being said, I pretty much adored him, creeper or not. He's not the typical YA hero-type, and I love him even more for that.
The plot is fast-moving, and while it's not completely action-packed, it's still intense and suspenseful. I could not figure out what was going on, and every time I learned one thing, ten more things would appear that I needed to figure out. There's a mysterious element to the plot that I enjoyed, and I had no idea who the bad guy was until it was revealed. I was a bit shocked. Armentrout had me totally convinced it was someone else. The pacing was spot on, and nothing felt rushed or too slow. The world-building was done well, and everything made sense. I got a good handle on the world Armentrout created. The ending tied things up nicely, but left room for a sequel. One question went unanswered.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries, sweet paranormal romances, and well, just good books in general. Cursed has a different feel than the Covenant series and the Lux series, and it's impossible to compare it to those to series. However, I enjoyed it in its own right, and I know this is a book I'll read and re-read about a billion times. Give Cursed a try. You won't be disappointed.
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