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4.3 39
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Dying sucks--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 with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift,


Dying sucks--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 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.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—It's been two years since the fatal car accident that changed high-school senior Ember McWilliams forever. The accident claimed her father's life but took hers as well. Her gifted younger sister, Olivia, was able to bring her back from the dead, but at a price. Ember possesses the touch of death and believes she is cursed and destined to be alone. Once popular and outgoing, she is now a recluse, ridiculed at school and called a freak by her classmates. Caring for a catatonic mother and a five-year-old sibling, she is nearing her breaking point when a handsome stranger appears. Hayden Cromwell reveals that there are others with "special abilities" and offers help. After an "incident," Ember and her family are whisked away to live with the Cromwells, where only Olivia is accepted. Mistrusted, her only friend is Hayden, who works with her to control her powers. The two become inseparable and, as their relationship intensifies, Ember discovers information that leads her to question Mr. Cromwell, the accident, her mother's illness, and her own safety. Armentrout puts a fresh twist on this occult tale, creating a paranormal setting that has the right mix of suspense, mystery, romance, and adventure. Gripping characters with an X-Men feel drive the plot, leaving readers wondering who is innocent and who is guilty. This stand-alone novel with the potential for sequels is sure to be a hit.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

Product Details

Spencer Hill Press
Publication date:
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

#1 New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren't true. Well, mostly. She spends her time reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories... therefore explaining her dismal grades in math.

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Cursed 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
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.
Ravelin More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to get this book. It came out on my birthday. I loved every single word. Jennifer is an absolutely amaizing writer! You should defently read this if u love her other books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the idea of a girl with the touch-of-death is interesting, the plot line and character development left much to be desired. The MC's attitude was negative- basically, "everyone hates me, poor me!" the whole time. It got old fast. Also, she falls in love with the guy who stalked her for two years! What kind of message is that? Not okay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ember a girl who kills with her touch believes she is cursed and everyone else calls her a freak. Hayden tries to help her control her gift because he has loved her from the first time he laid eyes on het. Jennifer male leads are always so hot and sweet. A must read if you enjoy her other series and its a stand alone book not that i dont like series. I just dont like waiting for the next book.
TheBumbleGirl1 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounds a little bit like jessica sorensen.
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LittleReadRidingHood More than 1 year ago
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. :-)
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Don't give away the entire book they want to read it themselves!
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
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. 
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