Review: Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

It’s no secret that I have enjoyed all of Sandhya Menon’s work thus far and generally expect to enjoy them. However, Of Curses and Kisses absolutely blew me away.

From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

Will the princess save the beast?

Of Curses and Kisses CoverFor Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending. (GoodreadsGoodreads

I received an eARC of Of Curses And Kisses from the author in exchange for an honest review. I am also a part of Sandhya Menon’s street team.

Of Curses and Kisses needs trigger warnings for fantasy curses, parental neglect, discussions of parental death in childbirth, slut-shaming, blackmail, emotionally abusive parent, underage alcohol consumption and bullying.

I love Beauty and the Beast, but so many retellings fall short for me for a variety of reasons. Of Curses and Kisses bypassed all of those problems, which made it a wonderful story to read.

Jaya Rao is a heroine that I think people will either love or hate, especially at the beginning of the novel. When she first arrives at Rosetta Academy, she is uptight and kind of a jerk. She has her reasons to be that way, but I loved seeing her get to become more of herself on her own terms. It was also wonderful seeing her allow her sister to be who she desperately wanted to be.

Grey Emerson is an abused child who desperately needs someone to love him, even though he thinks he doesn’t deserve it. His father has done a number on his mental health by telling him that everything bad in his life was his fault before he could even think for himself. I hate Lord Emerson and everyone like him with just about every fiber in my being.

However, I loved the character who turned out to be the Gaston in this story. I honestly didn’t entirely suspect them, but who it is makes perfect sense for everything that happens. I didn’t love them as a person, but as a character? They were consistent and awful and beautifully woven into the plot. There’s a teeny hint of maybe magic in it, which was delightful.

The side characters were also wonderful to read. I am particularly interested to see the next story, which features a pair of characters that I fell hard for in Of Curses and Kisses.

Obviously, I highly recommend Of Curses and Kisses. You can pick up a copy of this for yourself from Amazon, Indiebound, or Book Depository through our affiliate links.

 

ABOUT OF CURSES AND KISSES

Title: Of Curses and Kisses

Series: Rosetta Academy #1

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Length: 384 Pages

Release Date: February 18, 2020

Rating: Highly Recommended

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Romance

Representation: Indian woman main character, Indian side characters, 

 

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