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Ember operates on a no-touch policy with 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...
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with 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 adopted 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 may not've 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.
Posted September 24, 2012
EEP!!! I won a contest to get a book of my choice and guess what I picked!!! YUP! This will be at my house next week!!!! ACK!!!!!
HOLY COW! JLA has done it AGAIN!!!! Review to come...
Ok, so I gave it 5 stars, I just had to. I had some issues with it, but I really liked it overall and I sped through it, so that must be saying something, yes??? There were a few grammatical/editing errors that I thought should not have been there considering this book was written a while ago. That was a bit disappointing, but it didn't stop me from loving it.
A little background to the story. Ember is not your typical teen, she died. And not only has she been dead, she's been brought back to life by her little sister and now she has a "gift": whatever she touches dies. She's an outcast at school and even her mom ignores her. Then she sees Hayden, and suddenly her world is turned upside-down. She and her family are taken to Johnathan Cromwell's house where she is anything but different. There she meets a bunch of teens who are much like her, gifted. But they don't think she's gifted, they think she's cursed, as her "gift" didn't come around until after she was brought back to life. She would do anything to touch others again, to have that contact...and she does....
Story-line: I really liked the plot of this book. Probably because it was so similar to another book that I absolutely love: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. So I was swept right into this book. And, of course, Jennifer knows how to write, so that just held my interest right there. She sets the background for a contemporary paranormal novel. The scenery is described so well, I felt like I was in Allentown...and then in West Virginia. Of course there is the "insta-love" factor in this book, would it be YA without that? But it didn't bother me, because if it did then certainly I would not like YA to begin with! The story-line has that Xmen feel to it, which I love.
The characters: Welll, really, what is there not to like about JLA's characters. She develops them so well, you really do feel what they are going through. And they are always likable, even the evil ones!
Ember McWilliams is strong and independent. She takes care of her family, because she doesn't have a choice. She forgoes friends and anything else, because she's an outcast and doesn't have a choice. She's a completely tortured soul, and you can feel it oozing right out of her from the very start. Of course, she has the obligatory geeky best male friend, Adam, but JLA never takes it any further than the friendship.
Then there's Hayden Cromwell. Well, he's hot: RAWR! Not Daemon Alien hot, but not too far behind. JLA really knows how to write a lead male character that you want to be with, and I mean that in every sense of the word! He's sweet and caring and protective beyond belief. But he's also secretive and standoffish at times. And he has his own gift, one that allows him to get closer to Ember than anyone else. And the steaminess between him and Ember, with her not being able to touch him and all, WOW! My heart was pounding when they were near each other, and they weren't even doing anything! The tension really just caused my heart to constrict and my ears to smoke!
The supportive characters are also well laid out. Olivia, Ember's little sister, is a typical little 6 year old girl. She's bratty and annoying but has unconditional love for her sister. Phoebe and Parker, the twins, who have their own abilities, don't make it a secret that they are not happy about Embers presence. Neither does Gabe, who doesn't like Ember from the very start and has no qualms about showing it. Hayden's father, Johnathan, is a hard one to read. You're not sure if he's good or bad or what his intentions are. But I'm sure that's what JLA intended...had to keep us guessing the whole time. And Ember's teacher, Mr. Theo, who connects with her immediately and shows that he is someone she can come to in her time of need.
The writing: Well, I love Jennifer's writing. She is truly talented. This book has an easy flow. She could write a manual on how to raise chickens and I would buy it, because she just knows how to write. That's a talent right there. The pacing was dead on with this book. There was no slowness to it at all. It had me turning pages so fast, I thought my head would spin.
My assessment: I really loved this book. I flew right through it, as I've done with all of JLA's books that I have read. I did figure things out about 1/2 way through the story, or even earlier, but I wasn't 100% sure until then. There were hints dropped here and there and it just seemed logical to come to the conclusion of where the story was going. Although, I didn't know why it was going there until the end. I can see how this could possibly be turned into a series, and of course I'd love to see where that would go. I really didn't want this book to end! I wanted it to go on and on so I could keep finding out more and more about Ember and Hayden. And also so I could watch their relationship grow. Anyone who likes JLA's books is going to devour this one. It not like her other books, but then again, her other books are not like each other.
So, did I like it, heck yeah!
Do I think you should go read it? WHY ARE YOU STILL READING MY REVIEW! GET TO THE STORE AND BUY THIS BOOK! I assure you, you will not be disappointed!
5 shining stars from me.
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Posted September 23, 2012
Still sitting here thinking about Cursed and all its awesomeness. I couldn't put it down. Surprise, surprise! I read it in one day, I just couldn't tear myself away. The intense (and creepy at times) plot line, and internal struggle Ember goes through will keep you enthralled. The characters are well built, but is some ways are some what familiar. But that doesn't distract from the overall effect Cursed will have on you. The chemistry between her and Hayden was smouldering. The steamy scenes will have you swooning and begging for more.
First off we have Ember. Touch of Death extraordinaire! Don't get too close to this leading lady gents, you might end up a little dead ;) I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cursed through Ember's PoV. I like watching her struggle with what she could do. There were several times throughout the book that we get a deeper looking into her mind that reveals her real beliefs about herself. I found them to be honest and even though they make her feel guilty it doesn't stop her from feeling that way. Ember is a very complex character who struggles with trying to take care of her younger sister while her Mom is missing a few cards short of a deck. I have to say I admire Ember. To be able to face what she is and still push forward is something to commend.
*Sighs* Ah, Hayden, *Swoons* Now here is a dedicated guy who goes after what he wants. Sure there were times when I wanted to smack him, but he sure makes up for it. Hayden is another person who has not had it easy. Though we go most of the book with him being kinda mysterious, yet not. If that makes sense to you. He is honest with Ember but we get the feeling that there is more to the story than what he is telling. I feel for Hayden. I loved how much he was willing to share with Ember, to help her deal with her whole "death" problem. I liked that he was not afraid of her even though she could hurt him. Hayden is a man who protects what is his, which includes Ember ;) Hayden is everything Ember needs and more.
Armentrout's take on an X-men type story is refreshing, yet complex in it's own way. Cursed held me spellbound. The plot, action, and chemistry form a perfect recipe for a great book. Cursed is a stand alone with the potential to become a series. I am honestly praying for a series. Cursed part 2, YES PLEASE! I will take more Ember and Hayden any day. So...what are you waiting for, go grab a copy!
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 18, 2012
Jennifer L. Armentrout always creates the most strongest and unique characters that always stay with me. The story starts out wonderfully and within the first few chapters, really builds up and takes off with a great ending that was quite satisfying but definitely has the potential to turn into a series - I really love that!
Ember's 5 year old little sister has the ability to bring people and animals back to life. And after a horrible car accident that kills Ember and her father, little Olivia was able to get to Ember, touch her, and bring her back to life. Ever since then, Ember has been "cursed" with the the ability to kill all living things with the slightest touch - whether she touches you or you accidentally bump into her, there is absolutely nothing that can save you. Imagine being a teen that not only has to cope with everything that she has lost, but keep on a brave face and have to force herself to move on for her little sisters well-being and safe-keeping? I was amazed on how well rounded Armentrout created Ember's character - we were able to see her at her most vulnerable typical teen state, to how she is coping with her new responsibilities and loss, how she deals with her "curse" and then eventually, her interest in Hayden.
Armentrout definitely knows how to create the most swoon-worthy love interests. Hayden is, of course, another strong male character who is genuinely caring and over-protective of his "family" and with Ember too. He may come off a bit creepy at first, but definitely likable. His abilities took me by surprise and are amazing. He is definitely one to keep your eye on. His family dynamic is unique and their abilities, although not surprising and a bit predictable, their personalities were right on target.
Although the story has somewhat been done before and was a bit predictable too, it did grab and hold my attention and I ended up reading the whole book within a day. There is a mystery going on, I just couldn't put it down. And it did help that the relationship growing between Ember and Hayden was different and very moving. We definitely need more Hayden's in this world...
Overall, I loved the entire story - it definitely gave me a 'X-Men' vibe with a contemporary mix and I really enjoyed all of the characters! I am definitely hoping that there will be a second book!... and soon!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 14, 2013
This was one of those books for me that I LOVED while reading, and couldn't wait to get back to, but when it was over I was left irritated. Let me attempt to explain ...
***The following may contain some spoilers but nothing I would consider major***
Ember is a totally likable character. Her situation SUCKS majorly and I found myself rooting for her and her sister, Olivia, from the get go. That never wavered. She is the victim of horrible circumstance and comes out of it a stronger, if not better in the end, person.
My problem came with the whole kidnapping thing. I have a hard time with how she was treated after she was taken by these people who supposedly wanted to help her and she was able to be attracted to one of the kidnappers - who had stalked her for 2 years prior!
I just, feel dirty you know? I love everything else ever written by Armentrout, but this one left me feeling yucky. Like I said at the beginning, I was totally sucked into the story, the writing, as always, was great and the character were well flushed out. I just ... get mad now that I think about it. But you know, if there were to be a sequel, I would read it. That's got to say something. :-)
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 28, 2013
Posted October 19, 2013
Cursed wasn't a terrible book, but it just wasn't what I have come to expect from Jennifer L. Armentrout. I am used to having a lightness quality to the story line where I can read the book in one sitting, but with Cursed I found that I needed to take breaks from reading it. The romance was also off key and I didn't find the familiar steaminess that I expect when reading one of Jennifer's books. Again this story wasn't awful by any means, but it just wasn't what I am used to from Jennifer and really left me still having questions.
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Posted January 7, 2013
Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout has been one of my most anticipated titles of 2012. I mean look at the gorgeous cover! and the main protagonist reminded me of Juliette from Shatter Me. Starting the novel, I had high expectations, I can't lie. However I knew a ton of people who were disappointed with this novel so I was wary of that. The first 50 or so pages were interesting, giving us the background history of Ember and how she got her gift, but curse is what she calls it. I also adored her little sister. However as soon as she gets relocated and treated like she is a monster by people who have their own gifts and understand the feeling of alienation from 'normal' people. I was not a fan of most of the secondary characters. They were a bunch of hateful, judgmental people and always loved to put Ember down when they had the chance. The secondary character I liked was Aunt Liz, who was the woman that took care of Ember's little sister. I really wanted to see more of Ember's little sister but she barely shows up after those 50 pages. We do get to see a ton of Hayden, her love interest. He was not afraid of her, didn't think of Ember as a monster and just wanted to help her and basically to stop thinking of herself as a monster and start thinking of what she has as a gift, not a curse. As far as supportive love interests go, Hayden tops them all. I also really enjoyed Ember's POV. While she was a bit hard on herself, anyone who went through her experience would be as messed up as she was. I also loved seeing the both of them interact together. They didn't do any of the push and pull we saw in The Lux series, they were true with their feelings and that was a refresher from the usual YA romances. Lastly is the mystery of the car accident and who is still out to get her. I had a huge hunch on who the person who was behind all this was and in the end I was right. I really hate it when the mystery is a bit too obvious. I wished there was a twist with the mystery, but I give jennifer props for explaining a bit about the parents and who they are. When you read Cursed, you'll get what I mean. I do recommend it to paranormal readers and fans of Armentrout. I did enjoy it overall.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2012
I know that you've heard me go on and on about how great the writing of Jennifer Armentrout is... and big surprise here: I LOVED this book too.
Jennifer has this gift for writing books that make me swoon, fan myself, make sure my husband isn't reading over my shoulder and admire the main character for being awesomesauce.
Cursed is a bit different from Obsidian and Half-Blood meaning no gods, aliens or apple throwing, but it is still captivating. One plus is that it is currently a stand-alone so we get a wrapped up ending that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out because I need more Aiden/Seth/Daemon... Although I do miss Hayden, and definitely wouldn't mind seeing more of him... And more of Ember's adventures of course.
While I totally understood where Ember was coming from and I felt for her, there were times that I just wanted to whisper some sense into her ears. But then I guess the book wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining. Given if I were in some of the situations she was in, I would probably threaten to unleash my deadly touch on them too. That aside, I really enjoyed being in Ember's head. She was so selfless and it was great to be in her head and watch all of the interactions with her little sister Olivia. It was emotional everything that the girls had to deal with, and the guilt and fear that Ember carried around on a daily basis. I can't even imagine having to avoid touching others and it being a life or death situation.
Cursed features quite a few characters and while all of them were not immediately likable, in fact rather suspicious, they still added to the story. There were all kinds of special gifts and powers, and it felt like a teenage X-men moment going on there, with the JLA twist and a much hotter love interest.
There was always action or emotional issues to keep the plot moving and keep me on the edge of my bed wanting more.
Bottom line: Intense, both emotionally, romantically and in action. Great characters and love the premise.
Posted September 21, 2012
I love this author! Her books are always well written with amazing plots and details. Getting into this book was easy.
Obviously, it was the characters that got me hooked. Watching struggling teen deal with lots of a family, friends, and herself, Ember is a fighter. She survives to keep what left of her life together, which I wholly admire. Her ability to keep her head down, to look past everything else and do what is best for her sister touched my heart. Ember is undeniably the most selfless person I ever met.
The plot of the book is quite extravagant. It had lots of mysteries that I was itching ti be solve. Questions that I demanded to be answered. I favored those parts in the book the most cause it got me all tingly inside. Searching for clues, asking right and wrong questions, getting people riled up! So much fun!
The love interest is really interesting. This isn't the normal love interest. They both have lost families, so they relate to each other really well. They both have powers that can be deadly and really have to work on control. I like that despite to hated toward Ember she had a friend who stood up for her. Though at times this guy was a little hot/cold, which turn me off. Overall, I liked that they overcome a lot of trials together making their love and friendship stronger.
Cursed is entertaining. It's captivating and very alluring from the first page. The hard life and the secrets kept from Ember will have the reader racing along the pages reader faster. Impressive with emotions and a great plot, Cursed is fantastic!
Posted September 18, 2012
This book is an EPIC READ! Come along for a ride of a lifetime with Hayden and Ember!
First I would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Spencer Hill for sending me an ARC copy of Cursed. I have to say so far every book I have received from Spencer Hill has been a hit and I absolutely love receiving books from them. Cursed has been on the top of everyone's reading list because Jennifer knows how to write. That girl can sit down and spin out a book in no time and have you so hooked you order take out for diner and let the kids run wild and allow hubby to do the laundry minus the colors for fear of everything being pink. Well at least that is what happened to me when I started reading Cursed.
Cursed is a story of love hope and redemption. Ember McWilliams is no ordinary teenager. See she has died and been revived by her sister who has special powers. Her parents died in a horrible car accident and all that is left is her and her sister who she will protect to the very end. It is hard trying to take care of her sister and go to school but Ember manages to do that. She stays away from people because if she were to touch someone they would die. Since coming back from the dead anything she touches dies and Ember stays away from situations where she might have to touch someone.
One day while Ember is out she sees someone watching her. Nervous about her and her sisters safety she is ready to take off running with her sister but when she comes face to face with this stranger there is something there that Ember feels like she can trust him. Not only is Hayden gorgeous but there is something deep down inside him that makes Ember trust him. So when Hayden tells her he can protect her and teach her how to harness her gift she is all to willing to allow him to help her. She and Olivia are the relocated to his father's house where she can be with Hayden and learn how to harness her gift.
As Hayden and Ember get closer though someone is out to remove Ember from the picture. This person wants Hayden all to herself and she is selfish enough to disclose what really happened to Embers parents. What will Ember find out? Will she ever be able to harness her curse as she calls it? Will she and Hayden ever be able to have a relationship? This is a must read for all of those who are Jen fans and all of you who are not. This is a fantastic read that will take you on a magical ride where a simple touch could mean death.
Posted September 10, 2012
Like all of Jennifer L. Armentrout's books, when I heard about this I was dying to get my hands on it. I will read anything and everything that she writes. She is so amazing with her story telling and making you really feel the characters. Only a few chapters into the book I was already was completely invested in Ember and was feeling her emotions along with her. I was captivated with the story and couldn't stop. I had to know what was going on and how everything would turn out. Of course, I figured out some of it pretty early on, but there was still enough mystery left to keep me thoroughly intrigued.
Ember is cursed with the touch of death. I instantly felt bad for her hearing about how she came to be that way and figured out that she couldn't touch anything living. On top of that, her mother is pretty useless and unresponsive and just stays in bed, so Ember is the sole care giver to her little sister Olivia. Talk about a difficult situation. She really is a tough chick though and deals with it very well. Thrown into an even worse situation, Ember doesn't know who she can trusts or if she can even trust anyone. She really wants to trust Hayden, he is the only one who is really there for her. She is bullied and treated horribly by just about everyone and it was very emotional going through all of it with her. I could feel my heart breaking along with hers, feel the anger at everyone building. As tough as Ember is, she is still a human being with real feelings, and it's hard to see people treat her like she's nothing.
The romance in this book is really sweet. I totally loved Hayden, even when I wasn't quite sure what his motives were. He was almost impossible to not like. He is a bit moody, but as I leaned more about him, I understood. He wants to help Ember. He doesn't think that she is cursed at all, but believes she has a gift. He believes that she can control it and spends a lot of time helping her. It's not just about controlling her gift though. He truly does care about her. Even when he is being a bit of a jerk, you know that he does. I really loved how they slowly get to know each other. It's very gradual and realistic. They don't just instantly fall in love. Done in true JLA form, there is plenty of tension and build up. You feel their chemistry, and oh, man is there tons of it. And the fact that Ember can't touch anything living really adds to it!!
This was a page turner. I needed to know where the story was going. I wanted to believe that not all of the characters that I disliked were really bad guys. I hoped that Ember would be able to control her touch of death and finally get some sort of happiness out of life. This was a great book. I loved the pacing and how we get to know the characters and situations. This book held my interest all the way to the last page! Another wonderful book from Jennifer.
Posted August 27, 2012
Posted May 3, 2013
No text was provided for this review.