Luke can uncross almost any curse-they unravel themselves for him like no one else. So working for the Kovrovs, one of the families controlling all the magic in New York, is exciting and dangerous, especially when he encounters the first curse he can't break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family-the one boy he absolutely shouldn't be falling for.
Jeremy's been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. But from their first kiss, something's missing. Jeremy's family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it's tied to Jeremy.
This might be the one curse Luke can't uncross. If true love's kiss fails, what's left for him and Jeremy?
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
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The world spun tighter on its axis when the Kovrovs came to visit. It took a lot of work to put on the necessary show — cleaning the house, planning the meal. Luke lingered in his room to avoid the chores and steel himself.
Luke had two ties draped around his neck, the plain black one he usually wore and a shiny red one his dad had given him that was supposed to look more mature. It did, probably, but in a costumey way Luke couldn't settle into. He'd been sitting through lunches with the Kovrovs for his entire life, but this was the first time Alexei Kovrov's request had been, We have some business with your young man.
It was time to step up, but the red tie felt more like dress-up than work clothes. He went with a third option, a skinny blue one, looping it into a loose knot under his unbuttoned collar.
His mother knocked on the door, one quick rap, as she opened it. Helene Melnyk was not a tall woman, but she carried herself like one, and she could peer down her nose at Luke even though he stood six inches above her. She was dressed for lunch, too, in a burgundy dress that shone against her dark-brown skin, and when she surveyed him, she was Queen Mom.
Luke pointed to the tie she had probably come to remind him to wear. She shook her head and reached for him, buttoning his collar underneath the knot and yanking it tighter around his neck.
Luke pretended to gag, and she laughed. "There you go." She patted the tie over his chest. "Look at you. We wouldn't be in this mess if you hadn't gone and grown up so fast."
He covered her hand. "What can I help with?"
"Go take the counter, will you? Camille's helping with the borscht."
Luke hid his smile. "Yes, ma'am." He ducked through the living room, where they'd moved the furniture around to add leaves to the dining table and his sister glared balefully over a bowlful of beet soup, and loped downstairs to the store.
Almost everyone who came to visit the back room of the Melnyk family's shop on East 149th Street thought they were crossed, straining against a curse or hex or binding, and almost no one was. Anyone in Luke's family could tell who was only sad or lonely, confused or broken, unlucky or poor, but Luke could feel a real crossing before it entered the room.
The front of Helene's Thrift and Sundry was a thrift shop, mostly clothes and hats. Luke hit the lights and flipped the sign on the door to Open. Somehow, though, the street knew this was a Kovrov day and not real life — the store stayed empty as Luke sat behind the counter, flipping back and forth between apps that couldn't hold his attention.
He worked his tie loose and popped the button open again, while he sat alone. The Kovrovs had some business with him. It was Alexei's style to be mysterious about everything, innocuous or not. There was no guessing what he'd meant.
Camille popped downstairs as the time ticked past one and the Kovrovs were due. She was stressed. Luke could tell because her fountain of curls was larger than usual, pieces spiraling free where she'd been pulling at them.
Luke mashed at his own head to make sure everything was in place. His sister was his mirror — the two of them were the only Ukrainian- Creoles they knew, and they had identical square jaws and narrow eyes, identical brown skin, and identical masses of hair that tended to give them away.
Luke's was all right, though. Camille must have had a more stressful morning. She was neat in her best white dress for lunch, but she presented her magenta fingertips furiously. "Borscht!"
"I owe you," Luke said.
She dropped her elbows to the counter, glance slipping out the windows. "What do you think he wants with you?" The question yanked at Luke's gut, but he shrugged.
"Probably to uncross something. I am the best." He smiled his big, charming grin, though Camille was about the only person it didn't work on.
She rolled her eyes. "I hope not. There'll be no living with you."
Luke's grin relaxed, truer. "It would be weirder if they wanted you."
She raised her eyebrows but nodded. When Luke and Camille had been born with their twin eyes and twin hair, they'd also been given twin gifts: she had a knack for crossing nasty curses, while Luke could uncross just about anything. She studied kitchen hoodoo like quarterbacks studied tape — not only to understand, but because there was a competition to win.
Luke couldn't hurt anybody, though. All he could do was unhurt people. The Kovrovs couldn't want anything too bad from him.
The more he thought that, the less true it felt.
Camille straightened, smoothing down her skirt, as an angel-white Bentley Flying Spur rolled up to the curb. "Here we go."
Villains always made an entrance, so Alexei's was flawless. His driver opened his door, and he whipped his aviators off his face as he stepped out, a tall man in a pinstripe gray suit. He wore his brown hair long, brushing his shoulders, and had large downturned eyes. The effect was poetically sad, like he was the hero of a tragedy, but he bestowed a wicked smile on the Melnyk twins as he entered.
He looked ready for paparazzi — he did catch them sometimes, as a socialite and real-estate mogul. Luke followed him on the blogs — who knew if it was true, but last night he'd read that Alexei had dumped the man he was seeing, a Broadway actor he'd started dating after having an affair with a woman in the same show. Seedier papers sometimes called him The Godfather, but he was also Luke and Camille's actual godfather.
Alexei greeted them with kisses on each cheek, like a European, even though everyone knew he was from Brooklyn. "Good afternoon! Any tales from the neighborhood?" He pointed his chin at the door to the back room, not the street. "I do love your stories. I don't know anyone else who has their own witch doctor."
Luke stiffened. He didn't belong to anyone but himself. When he didn't answer fast enough, Camille said, "Tell him about the pigeon lady."
Luke nodded. "She was crossed. Somebody had put a bunch of pigeon feathers in a mojo bag. Everywhere she went, they were bothering her. Even walking over to her place, I got whacked by a few of them."
"Gross!" said another voice, and Luke jumped. An outfit by the door shifted and resolved into Jeremy Kovrov, who'd been hanging back.
"Indeed," Alexei said.
Jeremy was a Kovrov cousin or something, but as he sidled up to Alexei, it was hard to believe they were even the same species. Jeremy's head bobbed at Alexei's shoulder, his fair hair shaggy along his forehead and collar. And Alexei had never entered a room hanging silently on its edges.
Sometime during the past six months, Jeremy had grown up like everyone else — he looked like those where-are-they-now photos of child actors, all stretched out as they'd grown. He wore a bright pink T-shirt, and half his left arm was covered with rubber and metal bands, thread friendship bracelets in every bright color, and a clunky black watch.
Jeremy tagged along with Alexei to lunches, an apprentice to the family business. It was hard to name what the Kovrovs did — protection, cooperation, extortion — connecting magical suppliers and consumers across New York. If today was about a job for Luke, it was probably good news, a summer flush with cash. But the Melnyks owed debts to the Kovrovs, too, and sometimes these meetings left Luke's parents scrambling to cover the bills.
And while they struggled, Jeremy was being groomed for some Kovrov dukedom. Luke plastered on a charming smile. "What's up, Kovrov?"
"Not much, how are you?"
Luke glanced at Camille. "We're good. Ready to pound some borscht."
"Mm, borscht," Jeremy said brightly.
That was all anyone could be expected to squeeze out of that subject, but Alexei kept quiet, studying Luke sharp and cool. When Luke caught his eye, his face changed like a switch had flipped, the soft-focus light coming back on.
"Our cue?" Alexei offered an elbow to Camille, and Luke closed up the store as the others went upstairs. Before he followed, he paused in the dark room to give himself a pep talk: He was powerful, and the Kovrovs were allies. Whatever challenge Alexei had set, Luke would handle it.
Jeremy tried to grab a seat at the corner of the Melnyks' table, but Alexei dragged him to the center, hissing, "Stop hiding."
He wasn't trying to hide. He had waved! But no one had seen him, and this wasn't the place to argue. He sat at Alexei's right hand and let them ignore him from there.
Only Alexei and Yuri Melnyk, the twins' dad, did much talking. Jeremy listened and tried to learn, but it was all stuff about the good old days and people he had never met and which cool bars had been turned into juice shops.
Usually, Jeremy came to business lunches because there was some way for him to be useful, babysitting or doing magic tricks. He didn't have a task today. Alexei had called this lunch a treat, but it was more like a test.
Jeremy knew — from Instagram, not from their acquaintance — that Camille Melnyk was deft and creative with makeup. She painted her eyes and lips in a whole rainbow of colors every day and dressed in outfits pieced together from the front room of her family's store. Today, she wore a neat white dress with a high collar and full skirt, and, to Jeremy's eye, no makeup at all. It might have been funny, how obviously her mother had picked out the clothes, but the Melnyks' politeness was too painfully stiff.
Yuri had a tie on, tight around his neck, and Helene wore a full-skirted dress. Jeremy hadn't thought this through. He had on trim dark jeans and his favorite pink T-shirt and shouldn't have felt so slobby.
On cue — the first lag in the conversation after they'd started eating — Jeremy said his line. "Thank you so much for lunch, Yuri. Everything is delicious."
Yuri nodded. "Of course."
Alexei nodded, too. Confidence inspired, Jeremy ad-libbed another: "I think you make the best dumplings in the city. These are so good."
Yuri chuckled gently. "I'm glad you like them. There's more if you want."
Jeremy did want them. He ate dumplings like they were rolling toward him on a conveyer belt until Alexei elbowed him under the table. The one other time anyone under twenty spoke was when Luke got a text or something, his phone buzzing. He pulled it out, saying, "My bad, I'll put this on silent," but he looked at it for too long to only be doing that, and a few minutes later he excused himself.
When he came back, phone hidden, his mother tried to glare at him, but he wouldn't make eye contact with her. It was miserable, this show they put on for Alexei, even though he ignored the whole thing. Alexei wouldn't care who was texting during lunch, and if it was some kind of personal drama, he'd love to hear about it.
Luke's text was probably more interesting than this small talk. Luke always seemed busy and independent for a teenager, very ... was glamorous the word? Mature. Intense. Like the rest of his family, he wore formal clothes, but he carried them nicely. The top button of his white shirt was undone, a V of skin peeking under the knot of his tie.
What Instagram had taught Jeremy about Luke: He liked cats, purple Gatorade, and street art. He liked his parents' cooking better than restaurants, unless it was okra or beets, and he worked a lot but he enjoyed it. He liked math and science better than English and history, which Jeremy could hardly even imagine.
Also, one of his friends posted weekly Thursday thirst traps of models and celebrities, all across the gender spectrum, but Luke only ever commented on the pictures of guys. Once, the friend had posted a picture of a wan model, all cheekbones and legs, and Luke had replied, "Drag me."
Jeremy could second-guess the blue of the sky, but the evidence was pretty solid that Luke liked boys.
Jeremy snapped his eyes back to his empty plate, but Alexei's attention was hot enough to burn his cheeks. This was the treat, or the test: just say something. Luke also liked the kind of flashy action movies no one in Jeremy's family ever wanted to watch, so all Jeremy had to do was bring up The Fast and the Furious. "It sounds great on the new sound system at home ..." Something like that. Something cool.
"We have a little business to discuss." Alexei nodded to Yuri and Helene. "And there is a task I would like our witch doctor's help with."
The Melnyks all straightened in their chairs, their attention sizzling as Jeremy grabbed his messenger bag from the floor and pulled out two burlap witch bags.
Luke winced, and Camille leaned forward. "Oooh."
"Quite," Alexei said. "A client found these in their home, luckily before they managed to hurt anybody. I'd like an inventory of the contents and a swift execution."
Luke nodded. "Yes, sir."
"Wonderful. Jeremy will stay with you until that's done — call me if there are any problems." He turned to Jeremy. "I won't need long, but take your time. Call me when you're done, and we'll come pick you up."
Sure he would. He'd want a debrief on everything Jeremy had said to Luke, and there would be nothing to tell him. "I'll take the subway."
Alexei arched one sly eyebrow but didn't answer. He followed Helene and Yuri downstairs and left Jeremy alone with the twins.
They wouldn't let him help clear the table — Luke did it while Camille spread a piece of newspaper and dumped out the first bag. "You are a sexy thing," she said to the pile of ash and sinister little objects.
Jeremy didn't see it. "How does this work?"
Camille turned back to the table and picked through the mess with her bare fingers. "I see what pieces they used and guess how they layered together. We're trying to rebuild the puzzle."
Jeremy nodded, and Camille gave him a canny look. "'Puzzle' is not just a metaphor for 'problem' here," she said precisely. "Whoever made this created it with a specific focus, just like drawing a picture. Then they broke it up and put it in this bag, and now we're rebuilding the picture so we can see what they were trying to do."
Jeremy sat up straighter to show he was paying attention. Alexei's magic was physical and instinctive, and so was his instruction. This was a real, tidy lesson — almost like getting to go to school. "I see. I didn't know it was such a science."
Camille grinned. A thrill of completion shimmered through him. Whenever he managed to say the right thing, it was like sliding a book into a neat gap on a shelf.
"That's exactly what it is." She brushed one of the objects clean, her smile turning wicked. "Ooh! That is not a chicken bone."
Jeremy blinked at the round piece of bone; his body caught up before his brain, and he was already jumping back in his chair. It was a human knucklebone. Camille laughed.
"I was carrying that around!" he exclaimed.
She gave him an odd, appraising look. "Yes, you were. Do you know where they came from?"
Jeremy shook his head. "Alexei gave them to me this morning." In truth, he'd thought Alexei had made them himself, an excuse to give Jeremy more time with Luke. But this looked like a real attack. "I can text him and ask."
Camille's eyes widened. "We don't need to bother him."
"What's this, now?" Luke poked his head out of the kitchen. "Ah. Yeesh."
"Scaredy-cats." She dropped the bone on the newspaper. "The bone isn't even the worst part. I'm pretty sure this is belladonna and hemlock."
"Damn. Overkill?" Luke said.
"Very kill," she replied.
Luke walked back, heading deeper into the apartment. Camille kept picking apart the bag.
Jeremy recognized crinkled feathers and more slivers of bone, but a lot of it was ground to dust. "How can you tell the pieces apart? It all looks like dirt to me."
She tilted her head. "It smells different. And the vibes feel different."
She meant magic — nothing Jeremy would be able to perceive. He put his chin in his hand as she sifted through the dust.
When Luke returned, he'd changed his button-down and khakis for a white T-shirt and green basketball shorts. Jeremy looked down before he stared again — he hadn't been prepared for that, the shape of Luke's body different and clearer in the room.
"We'll have to burn those." Luke touched the chest of his T-shirt. "Just didn't want to get smoke on my clothes."
Camille was watching Jeremy expectantly — that had been directed at him. It stung, that Luke needed to justify something as simple as changing his clothes. Like Jeremy was going to get offended. "Oh," he said. "That's fine."
If he struck up a conversation and finally got the nerve to ask Luke to hang out, Luke would definitely say yes. Whether he wanted to or not. It made Jeremy's skin crawl. He needed a sign, even the tiniest clue — a too-long glance, any touch at all — that Luke might really be interested.
Excerpted from "The Uncrossing"
Copyright © 2017 Melissa Eastlake.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"You should say you're crossed, not cursed. Curse makes it sound hopeless." This was just a fun-happy book that made me giddy and kept a smile on my face. I read so much urban fantasy from 2011-2015, but I’m really just getting back into the genre and I still love it. The Uncrossing creatively incorporated fairy tale elements into an imaginative New York, with ruling magical families and intricate spellwork. It was everything I wanted from the story. Things I Liked I really love the fairy tale elements incorporated into the story. Not only the magic and spells, but the power of true love’s kiss, all felt new fitting in this environment. The modern New York setting and the organized crime vibes creates a great forbidden love that was captivating and easy to become enveloped in. I LOVE Jeremy Kovrov. He is such a good person and so kind and helpful. His curse could have easily made him bitter or resentful, but he was such a ray of light! Don’t get me wrong, he did get upset and was allowed to demonstrate his frustrations. But he was never one dimensional. And I really loved him and Luke too! I also really loved the family dynamics in the story, especially the Kovrov’s. They were so adorably sweet teasing Jeremy about his crush on Luke. They were so playful and supportive and they gave me all the warm fuzzies! Things I Didn’t Like In the beginning of the story, it was hard for me to be grounded and grab onto anything. It kind of felt like I was just thrown into the story, and all these things were already happening and I had to catch up. It was just a bit disorienting and made me work to get into the story. The Uncrossing is one of those books that just put you in a great mood. You love seeing Luke and Jeremy’s push-and-pull; you root for them and want them to be happy and adorable together. I loved the seeing the family dynamics and the wonderful magic. And even though I was a little overwhelmed in the beginning, I really loved this story. I received a copy of the book from Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I realllllly enjoyed this. Seriously, I really enjoyed this. Eastlake creates a wonderfully unique New York with dueling magical families; an adorable ship that I so desperately wanted to sail; a unique little twist on a magical fairytale concept; and truly likable characters full of flaws and heart. I found myself devouring almost all of this in one sitting on a long car ride, and it was one of the most enjoyable car rides I've ever had because of it. Let's start at the beginning! The world was unique and wonderful. When I first read the summary, I got some A Darker Shade of Magic vibes for some odd reasons, and trust me, this book had those vibes for me as well. Perhaps the biggest comparisons is how well done the worlds are. Eastlake takes regular ole New York City and adds in a layer of curses, famous magical families that are practically the magical mafia, and two boys with some epic magic. It was full of diversity, intriguing mythology, a little bit of an old school fairytale twist, and some very interesting powers/magic. It was so cool, and I never knew what was going to happen next. The characters were amazing as well. I adored both Luke and Jeremy. They were flawed, but they were oh so real. They were likable and so well developed. They had facets to each of them, and they brought something a little bit different to the story. I loved reading about both of their families as well. They were both so involved in their families, and the dynamics were amazing. Usually in a story with two main characters, I find myself leaning or connecting to one of the characters more than the other, but I really did enjoy them both so immensely. The ship was adorable as well. I lovedddddddddddd them together. I just sat there each page, going, but WHEN ARE MY TWO BABIES GOING TO GET TOGETHER BECAUSE I CAN'T DEAL WITH ALL OF THIS SEXUAL TENSION? They were so cute together, and I can't even deal. XD There were only a few issues that I had with the book. At times, it felt like it was just taking far too long to get anywhere. Even though I enjoyed reading it and I didn't know what was coming, I just thought that it could get to a lot of things quite a bit faster. And there were a few things that just had my eyebrows raised. But overall, it was a good story, but a few little things left me from giving it a five crown read. Overall, this story was a fantastic read. I'm still thinking about it quite a few days later, and I think these characters were super well done. There were a few things that I didn't connect with as much, but I think it was a very good book. I definitely recommend this book for anyone that is looking for a super cool fantasy book that is something a little bit different. Four crowns and an Ariel rating!
ARC provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley for honest review. I was really excited about this book, the plot sounded great and I couldn’t wait to read about this love story. Unfortunately, I was kind of disappointed because I thought the blurb sounded better than the actual book. I’m giving this book 3 stars because I thought the storyline was actually pretty cool; a curse and true love, an ancient feud among powerful families and great magic. I loved that. My problem was how the book was written; it was messy, confusing and I had a hard time following some parts. I had to reread some paragraphs because there were some unclear passages, and to be fair I was expecting a different setting for the story. Let me explain; this is urban fantasy (kinda) because we are in the modern world but the society is different, there is magic but also normal people. I don’t know, but from the plot I was epecting something set in another world or in another time. One thing that I didn’t really like was how the setting for the story wasn’t really explained. There are some stories were it’s all setting explanation and no story itself: here it’s complitely the other way around. We don’t know anything and we are told almost nothing, we are just tossed inside this world and have to figure out what is going on by ourselves. I arrived at chapeter 8 still confused about what was actually going on and what the story was really about and that is not really great. I understand the ending but I feel like if you build the whole book about one single subject, that’s not really the ending I would have expected or suggested.
This book is incredible: a magical mafia, great characters, adorable romance, and gorgeous writing. Don't miss this stunning debut!
The Uncrossing is an engaging and entertaining novel that admittedly took me a little while to get pulled in to, but once I was, there was no putting this book down! It's confusing and mysterious and quite intriguing, it's everything you'd want in a young adult urban fantasy novel. And it has two totally endearing characters, which was just the icing on the cake! Full of magic and mayhem and mystery, The Uncrossing also has a sweet romance brewing in its pages. Luke and Jeremy have known each other since they were children, as their families have an uneasy working relationship. It's not until recently, though, that things between them start to shift, thanks to some meddling by Jeremy's brother- meddling that I still can't figure out if it was for Jeremy's benefit or for Alex's, his brother. But no matter what, it was just the push both Luke and Jeremy needed to set things in motion. Not all is what it seems when it comes to Jeremy, though, and Luke discovers secrets that he wasn't meant to know. This leads to some drama and confusion and discord between the families. But as the mystery and secrets are revealed, Luke plays a major part in helping to resolve at least some of it, and that helps to put the families back on even ground. And Jeremy and Luke are finally able to just be 2 teen boys who care about each other... I really enjoyed everything about this book...except that ending, I need more! I don't know if Ms. Eastlake has plans for a follow-up, but I really hope there is one. I don't want to say good-bye just yet to Luke and Jeremy.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Uncrossing is about magic, love, fate, choices, and surprisingly the mob. The story follows two characters: Luke Melnyk and Jeremy Kovrov. Or rather, it follows two stories connected by Jeremy and Luke. Luke Melnyk comes from a family rooted in magic, and his speciality is to undo crossings (what we commonly see as "curses"). His twin sister Camille, on the other hand, can cast the nasties crossings on anyone. Jeremy Kovrov is crossed, but his crossing is something that Jeremy and Camille have never seen before. And which cannot be uncrossed. At least, not by conventional means. The first note I wrote on this book is that it had a very good exposition. It never felt like it was taking your hand and guiding you through things, or being didactic. Instead, you are dropped in the middle of a story that started years, and years ago, and are trusted to be able to catch up and understand. And trust me, you will. The characters are incredibly real, flawed, and alive. They might not jump out of the pages all of the time, but they all have multiple layers that you can't help but want to understand. Even the characters you dislike (and trust me, you will dislike a couple of them intermittently) have more dimensions to them than the ones that might annoy you. Luke and Jeremy are the characters that you're supposed to follow along, as they are the focused of the narrator's POV, but thankfully that doesn't mean that the rest of the characters are abandoned or underdeveloped. Usually, in MLM fiction, female characters tend to be butchered or made smaller, to benefit the male characters, but here it's not like that at all. Camille, Helene, Natalya, Katya, and Marta all have their own stories, characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and they never appear to be an afterthought. And the characters are not perfect! That is so uncommon to find! Not just: this character is clumsy, or this character is too wise or perfect so they are unperfect. No. Alexei is too self-involved, Sergei is... Sergei is too conservative and lowkey homophobic/racist. The Melnyks are too overprotective. And everyone is going behind everyone's backs thinking they know better and have the answers/solutions for things. The world building is very good, with bits and pieces of lore and history guiding the story, and then mentions of social networks, college, and celebrities to remind you that this is happening right now. It does leave some questions unanswered, but I believe that it simply adds to the feeling of entering in the middle of something that was already rounded and alive. And at the heart of it: The distinction between predetermination (fate), and will (your choices) was the thing that fully sold me on this idea. The fact that the root of the romance between Jeremy and Luke was a choice, and what they wanted, as opposed to a written-in-the-stars kind of thing, was amazing. I would say that "choices" are the cornerstone of this story, everyone had different choices they could've made that might have drastically changed the course of the narrative at every turn. I absolutely adored the book, and I will 100% not shut up about it, anytime soon.
The Uncrossing is a delightful read with fairytale-esque elements, a dash of mafia like family feuds fuelled with magic and a whole lot of romance. There's no curse Luke can't uncross but the one on Jeremy is like nothing he's seen before. This affinity sees Luke working for the Kovrov's and working closely with Jeremy. I love the way magic exists in The Uncrossing, it's our world with magic in it so it was easy to imagine all this taking place. Everyone has a different skill with magic and its not limitless in what it can do, grounding it in the real world. I loved the family element as well. There are several powerful families, including the Kovrov's, that control territories in New York. There's tensions and feuding between them, most notable between the Kovrov's and the Malcolm's. I loved the family dynamics explored in The Uncrossing. The bonds between Luke and his twin sister, Jeremy and his brothers, etc were well explored and its not all perfect but not all bad either. The relationships were really well nuanced. At the heart of it all was the relationship between Luke and Jeremy, the best part of it all. Jeremy has been in love with Luke since he was a boy, Luke was perhaps a little slower on the uptake. Despite the fact that Jeremy has been in love for a while, isn't instalove or rushed. I like how natural their relationship was there were ups and downs and some misunderstandings. But all were understandable given what both boys were dealing with and the curse hanging over them. But gah! they were so sweet and if you like sweet with a lot of kissing this is for you! The Uncrossing really picked up around the 60% mark, the beginning wasn't slow in a bad way but it was necessary to lay the scene and the build up was done really well. There was an element of mystery, for a lot of the book it was clear something was up but you don't know exactly what and there are twists and turns. That ending though, THAT ENDING. OMG. I really loved how the conclusion was handled, they were successful but not and it wasn't all solved completely and served with a bow. But the very end really surprised, I did not see that coming. At first I was like 'HOW COULD SHE DO THIS TO US?!' but after about 5 minutes I actually fell in love with it, it was so well done. ★ four stars ★ *ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake I really enjoyed The Uncrossing, I thought it was a unique read with elements of magic I've never read about before. This is an Entangled Teen Title with a M/M Romance, very sweet. I liked all the characters, Luke and Jeremy were very charming. The Kovrov and the Melnyk families were memorable and I enjoyed getting to know them. I liked the scare at the end and the story overall. I give The Uncrossing 4 stars for its unique magical read with interesting characters. I would recommend this book to everyone.
The uncrossing is a unique and interesting story. It had me guessing right to the end. Crossing is to curse so uncrossing is to uncurse. Luke has a gift just like his sister. They are opposites. Luke can Uncross almost any curse. Jeremy is the one puzzle he can't work out. Two powerful families control the magic in New York. Jeremy belongs to the Kovrov family. They are known to protect their own and be ruthless. Luke is aware of the dangers when he starts working with the family, but the opportunity is too good to turn down. He works alongside Jeremy and can't help but be interested in the puzzle which has taken over his life. Jeremy has always had a thing for Luke. He thinks he is the answer to his prayers. Everyone can see the crush Jeremy has. Everyone expects Luke. Uncrossed is a gay romance novel with a complex fantasy storyline. The story is creative and I found it really interesting. 4.5 Stars out of 5. It's different and I haven't read anything similar. *ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 stars "The Uncrossing" takes us to a world of magic which thrives within our own. In this world, people with magical abilities live in a mafia-style society, which is controlled by certain families. Luke's family is part of the Kovrovs mafia-style group. While the Kovrovs tend to take care of the people under them, they do wield a lot of power over them and control their financial success (just think mafia that happens to have magic). The book begins with the Kovrovs coming over to see Luke and his twin sister, Camille. Camille is an expert at crossing things while Luke does just the opposite and can uncross just about anything. We learn about this as Camille examines some hexes the Kovrovs brought and then Luke undoes them. The main plot here is really about Luke and Jeremy's relationship. Jeremy has liked Luke forever, but Luke is oblivious (although everyone else has seemed to notice). Luke is in a casual relationship with Max, which seems to be rapidly spiraling down the drain. When the Kovrovs make him an offer (which he can't refuse) to work for them, he begins to get to know Jeremy, the Kovrov prince, better. When Luke asks a question which seems simple, it undoes a binding that no one seemed to know existed and opens a much bigger can of worms. Jeremy is crossed- but can Luke uncross him and the large curse hanging over the Kovrovs? Most of the book moves very slowly, as the two boys get to know each other and fight a lot- tensions are running high due to the undercurrent of Jeremy's crossing and what it means for him/how much he wants Luke to help. The mentions of a "citywide war" in the summary are perhaps exaggerated, as there just seems to be bad blood between the Kovrovs and Malcolms with some spying but not a full-blown war. The book is more about young love and the growth of their relationship against the odds- what love means/how you know you are in love. There is a bit of mystery shrouding the Kovrovs and Jeremy's crossing, but it seemed to be resolved at a snail's pace for most of the book. The last 20% or so really picks this up and runs with it, making it much more intricate than it had previously seemed. I wish the book had moved a little faster with these other elements and we could have unraveled this mystery sooner, as the first part of the book felt like a romance without much of the fantasy elements I was expecting. I also was surprised that it ended without clear resolution, and people who hate open endings will be left unsatisfied. It makes me wonder if they are considering making this into a series/adding more books to it. This is unclear from what I can find, but it's good to know for people who need resolution! Overall, I think it was a solid (albeit drama-filled) YA romance with some fantasy elements, so not quite what I expected (I expected a YA fantasy with some romance)- but I still enjoyed it overall nevertheless! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I had requested to read & review this from Entangled Teen, so thank you for the opportunity to read & review, but I personally could not finish this one. As from the synopsis above, it sounded like something I would very much enjoy. However, I didn’t find myself enjoying it too much. It was a mix of me being in a slump and me just not really understand what was going on in this book that made me put it down at about 21% in. I think this book has A LOT of potential to be an extremely well thought out and interesting story. However, I believe the beginning needs a little work. From the start, the reader is immediately thrown into this magical world and is not given an explanation of how this magic works, or why they’re doing what they’re doing. Relationships between the characters are already established but we don’t get much of an explanation of who they are. I think a lot of description of the magic, the world, all of the why’s needed to be put in the beginning because I just didn’t get what was going on, at all. It was hard for me to want to continue. The writing was also a bit difficult to understand. I’m not sure how to explain it but the sentences didn’t feel right to me. What I DID enjoy were the Kovrov family characters. I didn’t really know who or what they were, but I liked the interaction between them, and I especially loved Jeremy. He seemed more developed and more well written about than the other characters. Perhaps in the future I will pick this back up again, but as for right now I am having trouble getting into books. And when one is a little confusing like this, it’s hard to want to continue. For now, this is a did not finish. If you’re looking for an LGBT+ urban, magical, fantasy story, I say totally pick it up. I know I may have had trouble with the introduction, but maybe others won’t. This novel is not in any way bad or terrible, I was just very confused. So if this synopsis strikes your fancy, I suggest it! Go ahead! If I ever pick this back up again to try and read, I’ll write a new review. Again, thank you so much for the opportunity Entangled Teen for letting me read
*I received an advance reader e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* Magical mafia turf war. Boys falling in love. Death, life, and in between. Curses, and the unraveling thereof. A little too much angst for my taste, but it’s balanced out by lots of neon fashion choices. Meet the book I’ve affectionately dubbed “the new Raven Cycle”. The reasons I like this book are pretty much the same reasons it’s similar to the Raven Cycle. There are contrasting families that each have their own kind of bone-deep love holding them together, a love story that hinges around a curse that draws the two boys together even when it should push them apart, and a lot of magic practiced with either vengeful enjoyment or grim belief that it’s the only way left. There’s the creation of whimsical objects out of thin air, and boys making terrible fashion choices regarding colors and what should (not) be worn on the body, and a wanting for so much more than they can have. There’s a lot of hot-and-cold going back and forth which I felt got to be a little much, and the angst is so thick you could stab it, so it's not perfect. And I definitely enjoy the flirting with terrible jokes more than the abundance of kissing scenes (but that’s just me). But besides all that, I love this relationship. I love how Jeremy is so trapped and vulnerable but so brave, and how Luke may pretend to be the confident one but really he just cares so much. They both just care so much! And their families are so important to the story and so well-developed, from Jeremy’s older brothers who sometimes act as his parents to Luke’s twin Camille and their parents… everyone has so much loyalty it hurts. The point is, read The Uncrossing for magic and blood and kissing and bad jokes and worse decisions and family and angst and curses, because it’s really, really good.