Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: September 18, 2012 by Spencer Hill Press
Source: Gifted. Thanks, Mom!
Dying sucksMy Review: I'm really torn about this book. This is the first novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout that I'm not completely in love with. Normally, I fall right into line with her characters, get swept away by her story, and adore her writing style and humor. That, unfortunately, was not the case with this book. While I didn't mind it overall, I felt unattached to any of the characters and found myself putting it down for long periods of times without getting that all-too-familiar itch to pick it back up again.
...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 think what really made me meh about this book was our protagonist, Ember. She came off as unbearably moody, whiny, and dramatic to me. And while I get that she totally had a right to feel this way at times given the problem she's faced with (touch of death), she was like this all the time. She was quick to point the blame at everyone else and was overly suspicious of everyone. She kept up bringing up the same problems and issues and whining about them when people didn't see eye-to-eye with her. We didn't see many positive moments with her so I had nothing to really grasp on to besides the negative characteristics. Because of that, I just really didn't like her much at all.
The other characters were slightly better. I enjoyed Hayden though not nearly as much as JLA's other boys. I thought his faith in Ember (while, in my opinion, undeserved), was admirable. And I liked seeing the way he interacted with her and the other characters in the story. He definitely made reading a lot better and I was glad when he came into the story. Ember's younger sister, Olivia, was fun to read about, as well. She was sweet and spunky and, though difficult at times (but really, she's five so it's understandable), I thoroughly enjoyed her as a character. I liked her love for Ember and the way she opened up to other people. I would have liked to seen more of her in the novel.
The plot, while fairly fast paced, felt repetitive and dry at times for me. There were multiple spots (especially near the end) when I was just skimming and skipping pages. There was an air of mystery around everything but I was able to easily guess who the villain was and how the story would unfold.
Unfortunately, this was not a favorite of mine. Cursed lacked the trademark humor, three dimensional characters, and heart racing plot and romance that all other JLA novels have. I still love Jen's writing and books but this is one that I won't be going back to.