A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Rating: 3 Stars
Synopsis: Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Disclaimer: This book was purchased by me, all thoughts are my own.
I struggled with this book… and I think it’s because I’m not a young adult anymore 😭
YA is a hit or miss for me. I tend to gravitate towards YA that’s geared towards the older end of the genre (think ACOTAR, AEITA, Monsters of Verity, Illuminae, etc). So when I went into this book, I was unsure which end of the spectrum it was going to be on. I quickly learned that the language structure is on the younger end of YA and so I couldn’t fault the book for not appealing towards my personal writing style. I only allow one star to teeter on my personal enjoyment of the book. With that being said… I had a HARD TIME connecting with this story, but there were parts I enjoyed.
This Beauty and the Beast retelling had so much hype! I pushed through because the plot intrigued me and there was one character, who to me, had depth and interested me. The MCs of the story including the villain felt one dimensional, I wasn’t invested in their storyline at all. There were many times where I had no idea what was going on and questioned the motives of the characters and what direction the story was going.
Things that worked for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):
- Harper has Cerebral Palsy. I love the representation in this book; our heroine has a disability but it does not overshadow who she is and what she does for the story. It’s just part of her, it doesn’t define her and it isn’t used to just check a box.
- Commander Grey – he’s the freaking best! His character ARC was the most interesting to me! I’m so excited he’s the MC for A Heart so Fierce and Broken!
- The plot was intriguing even though it did fall flat for me.
- I’m pretty sure Grey is the cursebreaker!
Things that didn’t work for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):
- While this book does address kidnapping and Stockholm syndrome, nothing is done with it. Harper just says she knows what that is but it doesn’t really affect the plot at all. She still gets it 😂
- Harper and Rhen made no sense at all. Their connection did not seem organic at all. The end was like, “Hey we gotta get these peeps to fall in love so we can break the curse…”
- Speaking of curse, what in the heck was the curse? It’s mentioned a thousand times and never fully address, I am so confused.
- Rhen was not some brooding bad boy prince, he literally was whining and sulking the entire time and it drove me nuts.
- I honestly think I don’t like stories where it’s urban mixed with fantasy. I got super Cruel Prince vibes (which I also did not like). Like two people questioned Harper and her mystical land of DiSi (she’s from Washington DC 😒) everyone else in the kingdom was like, “OKAY SWEET! A new princess!” 😒 I just don’t like books where I’m at target and then suddenly I’m in Faerie of Emberfall, lol!
- Also the trope of the evil woman cursing a man because she wants the D reminds me of a skeletal version of Amarantha 😂
Overall, I liked the book but I just don’t think it’s for me. I think my 14 year old self would have given this a 5 star review, which is perfectly fine as this is geared towards teens/YA! I will say, the ending DID hook me, I will be reading the sequel, A Heart so Fierce and Broken! I would recommend this book to my friends as an easy, book hangover cure!
You can order this book at Amazon, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available now!