Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
4 Cursed stars!
“You have a soul. You aren’t evil. There’s nothing you can say that will make me think that.”
Jennifer Armentrout is one of my all time favorite authors. JLA doesn’t write within the typical book formula and marches to the beat of her own drummer, which is refreshing in this day and age of publishing. Whether she is writing young adult, new adult, or thrillers, I have liked or loved everything she’s ever written.Cursed is not exception, coming in at one of her most underrated books, and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
Cursed is the story of teenager Ember. Ember died two years before in a car accident with her dad when her then three year old sister Olivia brought her back from the dead. Olivia wasn’t able to save their father, and their mother seems to have gone into a catatonic shock since then and doesn’t talk to anyone. And the weirdest thing about being brought back from the dead? Any living thing that touches Ember’s skin dies. Plants, animals, and humans. So for two years Ember has lived as the town freak with scars covering her body and doing her best to avoid human interaction.
Suddenly, Ember and her family are abducted by Jonathon Cromwell, a man who claims to have their best interests at heart, and he brings them to a home full of kids with special abilities. It is made clear that Olivia is in fact the only member of the family he wants, and Ember and her mother are expendable. At this house, Ember’s only friend is Hayden, Jonathan’s adopted son. Hayden seems to be the only one on Ember’s team, and she deals daily with the fact that she is in a home where she isn’t wanted.
Reading a JLA book is a comfort thing for me and even though she’s written a shit ton of books, I’m down to like 2 books I haven’t read by her yet. I’d been putting this book off for a while but decided it was time to give it a shot. I went into this book with fairly low expectations since not many people seem to have read it, and the average Goodreads rating is below a 4.0.
While the character of Ember could be a bit whiny and impulsive sometimes, her struggle was very relatable to readers of this book. I think I can speak for everyone and say we’ve all felt like an outcast at some point in our lives, or even like we didn’t belong somewhere, and this was an issue Ember dealt with every day of her life, and everywhere she went. Constantly second guessing herself, wondering if she even had a soul once she was brought back, not able to have the smallest amount of human contact without fear of hurting someone; I got to say, I’m kind of amazed she didn’t have a breakdown holding herself and her feelings together. To me, this made her strong.
Hayden was such a great book boyfriend. He also proves that JLA has been writing great heroes since the beginning of her published writing career. His faith in Ember was amazing and I kind of wish guys like him existed in my real life world.
“My brain must have felt sorry for me, so it’d created the only type of guy I could touch—a fantasy one.”
There were a few inconsistencies which is why I can’t rate this book a 5. For example, Ember’s change in eye color was never fully explained, and I really would have liked an epilogue to see if certain aspects of Ember’s power worked out or not. Plus, the entire book The Facility was a huge motif and we never even saw it as a reader. But these things did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.
So if you are looking for a fun yet deep young adult paranormal book, this one is for you!