Book Description from the back of the ARC:
ARC, 288 pages
September 18, 2012, Spencer Hill Press
…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 will 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 adoptive 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 of nature may not have 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.
Source: Spencer Hill Press (Thank you!)
The beginning of Cursed was one of the reasons why I like it so much. The novel opened with a creepy scene of Ember waking up to a dirty hamster standing on top of her and then she discovered that her little sister, Olivia, had brought the said hamster back to life. The novel had a mysterious and almost-sinister vibe. It was like a strong current – hard to ignore.
Just like the hamster, Olivia also brought back Ember to life. But Ember wasn’t exactly the same. Her eyes became a freaky super light shade of blue – what I’ve come to know as ‘vampire eyes.’ Aside from that and the bruises zigzagging her body, she had the touch of death. She needed to cover up her scars and keep away from other people. From being the popular, flirty and extrovert girl she drastically changed and became the floor-gazing, constantly teased outcast. Her friends abandoned her, only one remained: Adam. He was her super considerate and understanding best friend.
When things went awfully wrong after an accident, Ember, along with her mother and sister were whisked off to a faraway place aka the Cromwell mansion in the middle of a dark forest, miles away from town. The people responsible for her ‘kidnapping’ were all gifted and they intended to keep Olivia with them to help her control her gift. Everything would be provided – food, shelter, education, and safety. However, Ember felt that she was far from safe amidst these strangers. They didn’t trust her and vice versa. I felt for Ember. She already bore the weight of her curse and for every single day of her life, she was made to feel that she wasn’t wanted. The message was crystal clear and the only reason she stayed was because Olivia was there. Unlike Ember, her sister loved being there. Liz, one of the gifted, was taking care of her and even spoiling Olivia, trying to fill their mother’s shoes.
You either love or hate (in a good way) the characters. Of course, I was cheering on Ember throughout the novel but I despised some of the gifteds. I wanted to step into the novel, get my own special gift and punish them for being so mean. I love the fact that the author had me emotionally attached to her characters.
As a couple, Ember and Hayden were probably one of the best. Both had powers that prevented them from touching other people. Ember had the touch of death. Hayden could suck other people’s energy with a single touch. He could hurt Ember but she could kill him just as easily. Talk about complicated. However, that didn’t stop them from being physically close to one another. They learned to touch without touching, and eventually, they gave in to their desire. Skin kissed skin. They pushed themselves to the limit, trying to maintain control while being lost in each other’s warmth. I loved reading about these two. The emotional and sexual tension drove me crazy. It was palpable, something so strong that I could easily feel it stretching out through the novel, binding them to one another.
Remniscent of X-Men, Cursed drove straight to my heart. Although a bit predictable, generally the plot remained interesting with twists and turns here and there. Filled with emotional and sexual tension, Cursed delivered hot goods that romantics will absolutely love. But it is also this: tragic. I recommend this to fans of Jennifer Armentrout and readers of paranormal romance.