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Posted December 4, 2011
This author took a tale I've heard many times and twisted it into a fresh experience. Even though I assumed the story line would be predictable and along the same lines of Beauty and the Beast, Kate Ellison included plenty of surprises that keep you reading until the very end! The language in the book was a little strong for under 12 readers but for teenagers this book is a must-read!
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Posted December 1, 2011
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It is actually pretty similar but with a couple of twists. Bee grew up knowing that something wasn't right with the Curse House and heard a lot of stories about the house. Bee is terrified when she is sent to live in the Curse House by her father to help break the curse.
At first Bee's only concern is to escape the house and get back to her old life but once finding out that the house refuses to let her go, she decides to help break the curse. Will is not overly receptive to Bee and the feeling is mutual. However, they decide a truce is in order and they throw themselves into solving the riddle and breaking the curse. The curse that was intended for his brother from his sister-in-law. She had found him unfaithful and decided to put a curse on him but the curse went awry and cursed the house instead with everyone inside it, which now includes Bree.
I thought the story was a fun new take on Beauty and the Beast with the Fey Lands and all the magic involved. This is a great read for any YA reader.
Shortly after Bee is sent to the Curse house she is talking to Will and his sister Rose. She asks his what he likes to do and I thought his response was pretty funny considering everyone thinks that he is this evil, human eating beast.
"I prey on innocent villagers and terrify their children, and sometimes when I'm feeling really evil, I read books or paint."
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Posted April 10, 2014
Posted June 24, 2013
There are multiple twists that compelled me to read this book until the end. I loved the origami magic. It was unusual and well planned. I loved that the house was attached to a land of fey and everytime she opened her door she had no idea which room she would end up in. The fact that her own father created the situation that landed her there and ended up being a villain- that was genius. I also really enjoyed her cohesive writing style and attention to grammar- something that is so often overlooked in first books or self published books. Here are the reasons I gave the book a 3:
There were some really distracting points to this book that made it less enjoyable for me. The overusage of certain words/ideas in the same page or same paragraph drove me crazy. An example is when Bee is woken by Will because he wants to show her how her origami has transformed from paper into real objects- she must have said she was sleepy/tired 3 or 4 times. Calling Will a jerk (which at certain points he is a bit of a jerk) was drawn out and very overused. I would have liked to have seen more jerk-like behavior instead of just having Bee say he's a jerk. Over and over again.
From the beginning of the story Bee is aware of magic in her world. She makes references to it associated with her Father. I was a little confused as to why she seemed so clueless about how it worked. If it's a basic part of your culture (not just legends from the Cursed House) shouldn't you know more about it? Understand basic rules about it?
Some of the character relationships were strange to me as well. She trusts Liam far more than Will. All throughout the book she builds this trust with him, a friendship that carries her as the story progresses. Yet, she never developed feelings for him. Never even thought about it. Is that because she knew he was some sort of beast from the beginning? I understand the conflict between feelings for Will and feelings for Drew. I didn't understand how she had a strong connection with Liam (she trusted him right away) and it never went there.
I felt the relationship between Mirian and Robert so strongly. Although Marian only made a few cameos she was the character that I felt had the most development. I could feel her pain through the pages. She was consistent. I didn't feel that same connection with Bee. At times she was mature and at times she was annoyingly immature. Her character development for me wasn't very solid. She seemed all over the place with her emotions. When she found out her father orchestrated the plan that landed her in the Curse House it didn't seem to bother her as much as I thought it would.
There were also a few teasers that I was interested in that I felt like never got explained. Why her relationship with her father is the way it is (there were a few sentences about her mom and how her father thought she wasn't his child that led to something bigger). How Mirian betrayed Robert and not the other way around. I thought these would be more meaningful to the story than the long winded ice cream obsession. I felt like I was missing important keys of backstory.
Overall I enjoyed the plot twists and how well some of the parts were written but it was really a struggle to get through. I'm looking forward to reading more from this writer and I hope that some of the inconsistencies and issues were because this was a first book.
Posted November 25, 2012
This book is a modern version of Beauty & the Beast. It really draws the reader it, took me only 2 week days to finish. It is a story of love, mystery, fairtales & all with a modern twist, creating something that most can relate to. Definitely recommend this book for anyone that like the story of Beauty & the Beast.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2012
Beauty is dropped off at an old abandoned house by her father. She believes she is being a martyr for the family by sacrificing herself to “The Beast” in order to protect her family and release them from the magic. The plan is for her to step inside, make sure the mark on her father is gone and then run back out. However, once she steps inside and turns back to her father, the door slams shut and she is locked in.
She later learns that she is really there to break a horrible curse gone wrong. Her father actually offered her in exchange for her stepmother’s health, who has cancer. She becomes known as “The Curse Girl”.
After many fights and arguments will “The Beast”, they decide to call a truce and work together to lift the curse. They even go to The Fey Lands, a mystical world, to try to confront the witch that set the curse. Although the trip doesn’t go well, the witch accidentally gives them a clue.
While on this journey, she realizes that “The Beast” really isn’t such a beast after all. He is, in fact, quite handsome and charming, and she begins to fall for him. However, her affections take a twisted turn when she learns that her old boyfriend showed up to “rescue her” and “The Beast” has hidden it from her. She storms off to her room and starts making origami, which is what she does when she’s scared and upset. She somehow manages to make a key. Upon awakening, she realizes that the key has become real by the magic of the house. She packs her things and uses the key to escape.
Upon her escape, she learns that everyone she left behind has moved on. She has never been so hurt and betrayed, not even by “The Beast” or her father. She realizes that no matter how infuriating and aggravating he can be, she really does love him and goes back to finish breaking the curse. But, when she arrives, no one is around.
What has happened to everyone? Has the spell been broken? Read the book to find out!
I will say that when I first started this book, I had my skepticism. However, the more I read, the more I wanted to read. The suspense just pulled me in! The story itself was great and it had a great set of characters. I actually started to fall for “The Beast” myself as I learned that he was really just a victim himself. I feel that the story was mostly about love, betrayal and forgiveness and how things aren’t always as they seem. I would definitely recommend this to fans of young adult, fantasy and romance
Posted May 14, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The heroine and the Beast were very likable characters and the story line has nice twists that kept me reading. I only rated it 4 stars because one of the things I like about books is an unpredictable ending. While reading the book, I kept comparing it to the fairy tale. There was very little mystery even when the girl was talking to the 'man in the basement'. With that said, I would still recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2012
A unique spin on a classic tale!
A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, The Curse Girl has some twists and variations to the original story that keep you turning the pages! I devoured the book in one sitting and it was such a great book, I couldn’t put it down! I love retellings of fairy tales; I own many and have read many versions. Kate Avery Ellison’s is among one of the best I have read! It was refreshing and a unique spin on a classic tale! The characters are fun, interesting and relatable! I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the emotions that were felt by the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fairytales, fantasy, or young adult books. I look forward to reading many more books from Kate Avery Ellison!
Posted May 2, 2012
Wow! What an awesome short read. This novella was generously shared by the author for a review, and I have to concede to the hype. This was hard to put down, and almost read same date, if I didn’t have to succumb to the very annoying need to sleep.
For anyone that enjoys the fairy tale stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, this will be a very entertaining and enjoyable novella. ‘The Curse Girl’ is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast story set in current times. A young high school girl, Beauty, is delivered to the ‘Beast’s’ house by her father, who is marked by the ‘curse’ after he makes a very bad decision. In order to save her family from the curse, Beauty walks away from her life as she knows it, as soon as she steps foot in the house that is surrounded by myths of legend. She becomes a prisoner of the house with the Beast, who is really just a boy close to her age, who is also trapped along with his sister and household staff in the enchanted home. Beauty, in her quest of finding a way to escape, assists Will, the so called Beast, with finding an answer to the riddle that would break the curse they are all under.
For YA fans, this story follows the enjoyable rules of girl meets boy, can’t stand boy, then finds herself attracted to said boy as they work together towards a common goal. There is no ‘Insta-love’ here, which was a relief as I have just been assaulted too much lately with YA novels that feature such an annoying trend.
For the small size of this book, the author was great at character building. A lot of attention was paid not just to the two main characters of the story, but to everyone involved. Ya, of course Beauty and Will have the most focus for obvious reasons. But I did enjoy the attention to characters such as Housekeeper, Liam (before the predictable reveal towards the end), and of course the mean villainous witch, Marian. So the end result is, you care about them or despise them, and you can relate to them all in some way or another.
The ending was quickly wrapped up, and that was probably the only negative thing about this book. It just felt like it could have been a much longer story. But the negative is a positive. Obviously I was enjoying the heck out of this novel to be upset by how quickly it all wrapped up. But some of the wrap ups were a little too convenient, or without resolution (ie, her family moving away so no confrontation with father dearest who was so willing to give her up, and it ends pretty much once the curse is lifted – and yes I realize that may be a spoiler, but we all know the story of Beauty and the Beast, so get over it.)
I have to say I am impressed with the writing skill for a first published novel by this author. Kate Avery Ellison writes like a pro and reeled me in like one. I definitely have her next works on my ‘to read’ list for the future.
Posted April 28, 2012
I know how some people feel about re-tellings of fairy tales... they're too fond of them. I however seem to love them - I loved Cinder by Marissa Meyer and I loved The Curse Girl by K. A. Ellison. So I decided I have to get to the bottom of this and figure why fairy tale re-tellings intrigue me so much. Perhaps it's because this way I can travel back to early childhood days when I would sit in my bed with a giant Grimm's Brothers fairy tales book. It makes me see them through new eyes, from a new perspective and I am able to put out different emotions. They are quite closer to me. The Curse Girl is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast but then again it's much more than that. It's a tale of getting to know your true essence and it's a tale of an inside struggle, of looking beyond physical and about discovering a new world, of tasting betrayal first-hand, of battling against fear of being left alone. And I could continue for years. ^^
Beauty is left alone in a big haunted mansion, paying a debt of her father, taking his place. But the house has a life of its own - the rooms are constantly changing, the doors moving and the Housekeeper can't remember her name and her skin looks like wallpaper on the walls. Then there's Will, the supposed Beast with a scar on his face and a snarky attitude, and his sister Rose and some other personnel. Now they are all trapped inside of a cursed house and as the curse says, Beauty is the only one that can save them - if only she knew how?
I loved the characters, their reactions were always really real and believable - you know how sometimes the characters completely overreact or suddenly start rushing things, start making bad decisions and then you find them stupid and naive. Not here. They are great. Beauty has that special spark inside of her, she always stands up for herself and you can see that she's loyal, honest and will fight till the end for her family and herself. Will perhaps really is a typical brooding dark guy, but slowly he warms up to Beauty and to the reader. The story itself is quite short or better said, it's just the right length to keep your interest at every single page. Definitely worth reading!
Posted April 23, 2012
I was fortunate to receive a free copy of this ebook to read and review from the Read it and Reap event, part of the Shut Up and Read group on Goodreads. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it at first because it is a take on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. That story has been retold many times before, and it is difficult to make such well-known tales fresh and interesting. Kate Ellison has succeeded!
This book was well written. The story was well paced and the characters were interesting. I loved Bee, Will, and Marian. My only gripe is that I wish I could have learned more about them. As this is a novella, the story is short. There were many interesting things mentioned that I wish were explored more, such as Bee reflecting that her father never believed she was his, and some tantalizing hints given that went nowhere, like this comment from Mrs. Teasley, Bee's neighbor, about Bee's deceased mother: "Your mother was a good woman. Misunderstood, maybe, but a good woman. You look just like her. I always wanted to tell you that."
What is meant by that? How was Bee's mother misunderstood? Who thought she wasn't a good woman? Why did Mrs. Teasley always want to say that to Bee? I also would have loved to have been able to read Marian and Robert's story in detail, and been given a clearer picture of Marian and her life and progression as a witch, as well as Will and Rose's life before the curse. I think this book could have easily spanned a novel and still been just as much fun and held true to the Beauty and the Beast story the way it did.
I did have one issue with consistency. Bee mentions many times that she is unable to cry. At the end of chapter 15, she says she finds herself crying for the first time since her mother died. However, in chapter nine, there is a scene where she describes tears falling onto her origami creations. While discrepancies like this bother me, it wasn't enough to ruin my enjoyment of the story.
Overall, this modern take on the classic was very well done. Aside from the one little disagreement in the details (Bee's inability to cry), the objections I've raised are due to my love of the story. I enjoyed it so much I wanted more!
Posted April 19, 2012
I absolutely loved this book! Not only was it a retelling of one of my all time favorite fairytales, it stood out more than I expected. Bee and Will were a hoot and I loved Kate Ellison's take on the witch and the curse. I had been toying with the idea of doing my own retelling of this classic, but reading this blew that thought right out of my mind. Ellison's take is perfect in my estimation. I wouldn't have done anything differently, well maybe a few things, but they are so insubstantial I would be writing the same book. lol.
So if you are like me and love Beauty and the Beast, especially the Disney version, you have to read this book. I laughed so many times at the natural feeling banter. Bee became real to me. And as an author, I can't think of any highter praise than that. Great job Kate! I'll be looking into your other books for sure. I loved your style.
Posted November 11, 2011
In Beauty aka Bee¿s town everyone knows the story about the mansion and the beast that lives inside. The stories vary but one this is the same¿.the beast is not someone you want to come in contact with! After Bee¿s father tries to still some magic from the mansion he is forced to let Bee live there or their whole family will be cursed. Once inside the mansion everyone starts calling her ¿The curse girl¿ and she realizes she is part of a much bigger plan. Missing her family and friends, Bee tries to find a way out of the house and away from Will (The Beast) but the windows won¿t break and the doors won¿t open. She is now bound by magic and if she wants to break the curse, her and Will are going to have to work together. Will is handsome but a total jerk, only the more time they spend together the more Bee likes him. Also, the house isn¿t all bad and Bee makes friends with Rose, Will¿s sister and the servants. Now this isn¿t just about her getting out, she¿s emotionally involved and wants to save everyone from this curse that wasn¿t even meant for them. Is it possible she¿s falling for the Beast? Are they ever going to break the curse? This was an enjoyable short read, but I think I set myself up for disappointment. This book has received great reviews and had a beautiful cover so I was expecting something more than what I got. Naturally the story was pretty predictable because it is a re-do of ¿Beauty and the Beast,¿ which everyone already knows. I think I would have liked this better if I hadn¿t heard of ¿Beastly¿ first, because that is a hard one to follow after. That being said, I did love the dialog between the characters. You could really see them changing and starting to like¿then love one another. I also think the concept of the curse coming from a witch that is now in the ¿Fay Lands¿ rather interesting and would like to read more about that magical world. Beauty was very lovable and sweet and it was always easy to relate to her. A cute afternoon read for any YA lover.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 21, 2011
Posted September 14, 2011
I bought this on impulse because another book by this author caught my eye (not that this one isn't great) but this blurb was a must read for me. I'm SO glad I bought it and I loved the book. There are just enough twists on this retelling of Beauty and the Beast to make it completely wonderful!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2011
I love a good fairy tale retelling, but they can be hard to find. I tend to read them over and over again to compensate. This one is going on my reread list right next to my collection of Robin McKinley retellings--which is to say I loved it. I stayed up far too late last night finishing it. This is the same tale we all know, but there are just enough twists to it to make it original and interesting. The characters are lovely, from Bee all the way down to the house staff, and it's easy to imagine yourself sitting there with them, trying to figure out how to break that pesky curse. I'll be picking up something else by this author for sure. Highly recommended. (I found and bought this book on another site, but I wanted to spread the love here, too.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2011
The Curse Girl is a wonderful retelling on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Bee is the modern day Beauty who has grown up in the shadow of the "Curse House". She has heard all of the stories about the mysterious happenings within the house and isn't convinced that she won't be harmed when she is sent there a payment for her father's treachery. From the moment she enters the house, life and everything she knows about it changes. While not the beast she expected in looks, Will is definately the beast in personality, making it hard for Bee to want to help him. But an unexpected friend in the house makes life a bit more bearable for her as time is running out for Will, and for herself.
While drawn from the classic fairytale, The Curse Girl is it's own tale. At times light and whimsical, it can also be deeply sad and dark. The house itself is shrouded in sadness, stuck in time with the curse that contains them all. The witch that cursed Will is evil with madness, beyond redemption. Fey Land is full of mysterious creatures, some of them treacherously tricky. But there is light and whimsy, too. Bee's origami takes in a life of it's own, sometimes in very beautiful and fun ways. It is such a unique retelling of the classic tale, both in the setting the author has created for the characters and in the characters themselves.
One of the things that kept it so fun and compelling was the fact that WIll and Bee both have their own stories that further the main storyline. Those stories really drew you into feeling for the characters as well as pulling you into the story. Bee arrives at the mansion scared, lost, and alone. She felt betrayed by her family, as if she been abandoned. During the course of the story, she learns certain truths about those close to her, sometimes hurtful things. But they were also the same things that helped her gain strength. As she got to know Rose and the other inhabitants of the house, she gradually realized that solving the riddle wasn't just about Will or herself, but all of them caught in the curse. Will had been caught in the middle of this curse, frustrated and alone. He felt responsible for it and for the other people caught in it's web, even though he was not at fault. But solving it was on his shoulders and it was a heavy burden to bear, as was a secret that the curse brought onto him.
This book has a little bit of everything in it and I absolutely loved it! There is the mystery of the riddle, intrigue, good vs. evil, love, betrayal, and no small amount of fantasy. I definitely recommend reading this wonderful madern day fairytale!
Posted June 16, 2011
I have been sitting here for about 10 minutes, trying to start writing. But I can't seem to stop ogling the gorgeous cover of The Curse Girl. From the beautiful girl, to the gorgeous bluish/purplish colors, and the magic dust (or is it stars?); the cover to this book is a definite win.
As you might have deduced from the synopsis, The Curse Girl is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. I've never read a re-telling of a classic tale, so I was excited to take this book on. When the story opens, Beauty (who also goes by Bee) has been betrayed, then abandoned by her father. Bee has been given up to the Beast to pay for her father's sin. When her father leaves Bee at the Curse House, she must enter the spooky mansion and become a prisoner of the curse herself. As you might imagine, given that his nickname is Beast, the owner of the mansion, Will is arrogant, hateful and condescending. The house is filled with employers and family members who have also been saddled with the curse. Bee must decide whether to succumb to her fate, or work with Will to solve the riddle that makes up the curse.
The Curse Girl is filled with several memorable characters. There is Bee, of course. Bee is a funny, snarky, spunky girl. She never lets Will's "beastly" personality get her completely down. She is immediately up to the challenge of solving the riddle. Will, as I stated before, definitely has some character flaws. While he is often irritable and rude, you always get the sense of his underlying despair and vulnerability. Will's sister, Rose, is a delightful little girl. She is often the peacemaker to Will and Bee. There is also Liam, a boy chained in the basement of the mansion, whose screams wake Bee at night. The most surprising character of The Curse Girl is the house itself. Kate Ellison managed to make the house into another living, breathing, albeit spooky character.
While all of these elements make for a great story, The Curse Girl is not limited to the modern world. There is also Fae Land, the home of all mythical creatures. There are faeries, trolls, witches, elves vampires and werewolves. No one in Fae Land is trustworthy, and all are dangerous. Of course, the mystery to breaking the curse is the driving force of the story. What will break the curse? Will Bee and Will find a way to work together before time runs out?
The Curse Girl is a story filled with a tremendous sense of magic and wonder, which made it a very charming book. Kate Ellison managed to take a "tale as old as time" and create a charming story of her own.
Posted March 3, 2012
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Posted February 11, 2013
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