Beautiful Curse by Jen McConneleBook, English, 204 pages
Debut: December 9, 2014
Genres: Greek Myth, Paranormal Romance
Heat Level : | Overall Rating:
Read First: July 21-24, 2015 | Snuck from: The Fantastic Flying Book Club -- I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed. She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks.
So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn't count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him. And once she admits to having feelings, everything will change.
BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.
Rogue Chronicles Entry
When I started this read, I didn't know the myth of Psyche and Cupid. After about half, I felt it read a lot like Beauty and the Beast, and a bit farther in, I did recognize the concept from another story I once read, I just didn't know it was Psyche and Cupid it was based on. So the myth angle was done well, I loved all the magical beings, and their hang-ups, the quests (nicely transitioned into new age) and that castle! It was so brilliant, I just wish we could've discovered more special rooms. There are so many possibilities to play with this feature, but giving the reader only one... feels like Jen McConnel had this one idea she wanted in her story so much, but she didn't give much more thought to the whole concept of it. Missing out big time on magic and beautiful Ross-Mya moments to fall in love with. Or maybe this room -and this one only- was in the original myth? Be that as it may, not harvesting this potential is such a waste!
In another light, the massive magical part lay waste to a very nice contemporary start. The way Mya was shunned, but got help from some teachers who weren't effected by her curse, her family problems, all that was a great concept in itself, and I would've loved to see this story play out in full. Meaning to use "curse" in the metaphorical intead of the literal way, and making this a non-paranormal contemporary romance read. It felt like there was a lot of work put into that background that didn't get to fully unfold.
Sadly, the main characters didn't quite make up for it, either. At first, before the castle, I thought Mya was interesting, and I liked all the sidekicks in her real life. Then, at the castle, I liked the butler and how she came to love her new life there. Then came the pre-determined fall and quest, and she held neither passion nor surprises during this part, all those sacrifices read forced, until she was so stupid to open that box. Seriously... I give credit to how she stood up against his mom in the last scene, though.
Ross, on the other hand, wasn't much of a hero. I don't want to say he was done badly, because I felt more like he wasn't done at all, but was merely a part of the conflict. I couldn't get any connection to him whatsoever, so in turn Mya's love for him didn't make much sense to me. The only YES moment I had with him was at the very end, when I learned how he chose. I give a little general credit for this too, even though I don't know if it deters from the original story or not.
Taking all of this into account, I think Beautiful Curse was considered ready for publication because it checks all the boxes -- but it's missing a profound individual touch by the author. Something to make this story more than just a literal retelling in a new setting, to own up to both plot and characters.
Area Scan: Idea: 5/5 -- Style/Vocab: 4/5 -- Plot: 3.5/5 -- Heroine: 3.5/5 -- Hero: 2/5 -- Hearts: 3/5 -- Tears: 4/5 -- Heat: 3/5 -- Thrills: 3.5/5 -- Laughs: 4/5
Discovered: 3+ Hoods
Thank you for the approval of an ARC goes to:
The Fantastic Flying Book Club