Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Pre-Order here)
Release Date: September 18th/12.
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: ARC from Publisher
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this book! Warning! I will be gushing from here on out, through the rest of this review, because there was only ONE thing I didn't like about this book and that was that it ENDED :(
Armentrout has made quite a name for herself in the book blogsphere in the past year, or so, and it is well deserved- she manages to write continuously entertaining heroines and steamy chemistry in a continuous manner. We as readers can appreciate the speed with which she writes, because we, than, don't have to wait as long for her next work to come out, right? Haha. Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that while her Lux and Covenant series are great, Cursed is BY FAR, my favourite read of hers, to date. My only hope is that this title gets pushed and approved for a series.
Why do I love Cursed so much, you ask? Well let's start off with the character, Ember McWilliams who, in my humble opinion, is Armentrout's most complex heroine. While Alex and Cat don't lead the easiest of lives, they no nothing of pain and loss like Ember. Imagine living in a world where you're forced to love and experience everything from a distance at the risk of hurting those near and dear to you. Ember's touch is lethal, literally. Now imagine being a high school senior and being the prime care-giver of a little sister, you can't hug, and a mother who doesn't even acknowledge your existence. This is a lot of baggage for anyone to take, let alone a teenager, but the heat-break doesn't stop there. Now imagine COMPLETE STRANGERS kidnapping said family you've been caring and providing for for the past year, and telling you "It's ok, we've got if from here. You're no longer needed, nor wanted." I'm completely paraphrasing, but I'm sure you get the gist.
Ember is so incredibly strong, she loses everything and everyone, but she doesn't give up on herself and the hope that she can control this "Curse" she's been dealt. I think one difference to note between Ember and Alex/Cat, is that Ember is a bigger sister, so she has a maternal instinct and compassion that is missing from both Alex and Cat. There is one scene in this book that had me bawling and running for kleenex. I actually stopped reading to tweet Jennifer, commending her on this scene. I can't make the guarantee that everyone is going to have the same reaction as me, but I truly felt for Ember in that moment when she had truly lost EVERYTHING she knew and loved. I'm almost tearing up thinking about it right now- Gosh, I'm a suck haha.
But don't fear too much for Ember, because she does have one stepping stone through all of this, Hayden. While I'm not thrilled that his name is so close to my own (:)) I did still fall hard for him. He's not arrogant or mean, he's thoughtful and compassionate, and completely crazy for Ember. But he to, has some skeletons in his closet that he needs to deal with. I loved the interaction, steamy chemistry and sexual tension between him and Ember- knowing that Ember can kill with one touch, makes kissing and such a little more of a battle. I really hope that I get to read more of these two in the near future.
The plot was great! It had an X-Men feel to it, but the writing is definitely more targeted to fans of Armentrout's previous works. If you like a little supernatural and a sweet romance in your YA, read Cursed and than go and tell Armentrout to continue writing more installments for this series haha!