Date of Publication: September 18 2012
...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.
Cursed is my first JLA read, and I was curious to see why everyone adores her books.
What I noticed from the beginning was that the writing was light and playful. There was a lot of dialogue which moved the story very quickly. The one thing I really liked was that Armnentrout wrote in character. Ember's voice existed in every description, and so Cursed became a book truly from Ember's perspective. The writing was fun.
The story itself was easy to get into. It wasn't like everything felt brand new, but the story did interest me to the point where I was curious to see where it went. I'm a little disappointed that I guessed the villain extremely early on. I don't like when the mystery is that obvious. Still, the story was enjoyable enough that I can forgive that.
Frankly, the biggest thing Cursed had going for it was that it's the type of book that you open and get sucked into. I stayed up late reading Cursed, I read during class, and the weird thing is, I don't think the story is really that impressive.
When I look at the individual components, they range from okay to very good. The premise is very good, the setting is good, the plot is okay, the characters are good, the romance is okay (Hayden is objectively perfect, but hasn't captured my heart). Somehow, the sum of Cursed is greater than the parts, and I think that's just because it's interesting to read. That goes a really long way.
In terms of romance, there are a lot of great kisses and adorable lines, but somehow I never really felt that into the romance. I didn't not like it, but it wasn't a big part of the plot to me. The much more fascinating relationship was between Olivia and Ember. I can relate a little because I have a sister much younger than me as well, so I totally understood what Ember was dealing with. Ember herself was a pretty cool person. She was extremely impulsive, and had some spunk which I liked. She didn't take herself too seriously and her love for Olivia was extremely believable.
I'm a little surprised that Cursed is a standalone, but in some way, that makes sense. The premise is cool, but there needs to be more background and story to make the story arc longer. I think Cursed is great for people that are looking for entertainment. In particular, I would recommend it to people that don't read a lot in general. The story draws you in, and it's decent.
I'm ready to read more JLA after Cursed. I like the way the story was executed, and now I would like a better story (or at least a more complex one). Still, I liked this one.