Title: By A Charm & A Curse
Author: Jaime Questell
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published Date: February 6, 2018
My Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Emmaline King finds herself alone on the ferris wheel with a boy at the Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic and is about to experience her first kiss. But when he kisses her, it feels like ice and it feels incredibly wrong. Suddenly she is being pushed to the ground where she lays broken and awaiting her death. Except she’s not dying. She’s been cursed. The carnival is held together by a charm that protects the workers and performers from ever falling and will never get hurt so long as the Girl/Boy in the Box remains at the heart of the carnival, to be forever cursed as a living (not breathing) doll. The only way to be rid of the curse is to pass it along, turning the wearer into a cold and heartless person.
I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this, since the first few chapters read much like a middle grade (in my opinion). But as the plot went on and I saw the twisted curse wound it’s way deeper into Emma’s life, I began to really like this. I was actually pretty thrilled with how bloody and dark this got. (Believe me, there was a lot of blood.) Though there was a small romance (we can’t break a curse without true love, can we?) it didn’t feel so overpowering and fake and it fit in quite adorably.
When the author described the characters and the carnival, I could picture them quite clearly in my head. The way she made me smell the ghost scent of cotton candy and caramel popcorn was amazing! I could almost imagine myself winding in between the many canvas tents, aglow with the bulbs that swung from strands of lights. Beautifully written and I want more!
Characters That Stood Out To Me:
Emma: She handled that curse fairly well! And what I mean is, she didn’t sit around and mope and ask “why her”. She was a very strong character, and though she was sad (I mean she was screwed over in a major way), she didn’t let it bring her down.
Ben: Strong but cute with his glasses that he had to keep sliding up his nose. I definitely liked that he stood up to his mother the entire time. I half expected him to be a “yes ma’am” kid when it came to her but he stood toe to toe with her on occasions. Yes boy! Though a gentleman, he had a rebellious bad-boy streak in him that I admired.
Sydney: Even though Emma saw him as a villian and a jackass, I kinda adored him. He almost seemed lost and had a wisdom to him that I found comforting.
Would I Recommend:
Absolutely! Everything about this book was so well done and deserves a read!