Cursed – Jennifer L Armentrout


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.

Ember has had the power to kill people with the touch of her bare skin ever since her little sister brought her back to life from a fatal car accident that killed both herself and her father. It’s not something that she can turn on and off on her own will. No. if anyone touches her bare skin, they die. This definitely makes it difficult for Ember to cuddle with her little sister, let alone anyone.

With her mother refusing to even take care of her own body, not to mention that she still thinks Ember is dead, it is up to Ember to provide for all three of them. This means that Ember has to pay the rent, do the shopping, take care of her little sister and take herself to school everyday. With her father’s life insurance money running out, Ember does not know how much longer she will be able to provide for her family.

One day when Ember goes to pick up her little sister from school, she finds that someone else signed her out early. It turns out that a family of paranormals (if that’s what you’d like to call them) kidnapped both Ember’s little sister and mother, and now Ember is in their clutches as well. Their mission is to help the girls (mainly Ember’s little sister) control their unique gifts (or curses) and to learn that they can come across normal in an abnormal world. After the move, though, Ember realizes that someone is now hunting her, and she must learn more about her powers in order to save her life.

Lately I’ve been hearing how awesome Jennifer L Armentrout is. It was pretty much demanded, by a wide variety of people, that I read some of her books. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press, I recently received a copy of Armentrout’s newest book, Cursed. I picked it up shortly after I got it, because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

First I have to say that I really enjoyed Jennifer L Armentrout’s writing style. I could tell that this lady could write. The first 3-5 chapters flowed really well, and I was really interested in seeing how the story would play out. That’s when things started to go downhill.

I had major issues with this book because the males in the story completely dominated. The men kidnapped Ember and her family, they threatened to kick her out and never let her see her family again, they grounded her, they yelled at and threatened her, they made her feel guilty for being upset that they initially kidnapped her, they bullied her, and they stalked her in her room while she was sleeping. The men in this story basically could do whatever they wanted. It actually bugged me so much that I couldn’t finish the story. I only got to page 188 before I got so disgusted that I had to set it down.

Ember’s character also really bugged me. Never once (in the whole 188 pages that I made it through) did she even attempt to grab her sister and break out of there. She just sort of submitted to the men because she found them scary. And then she goes and falls for Hayden, the son of the man who kidnapped her. Hayden treated Ember horribly. He constantly made her feel guilty, belittled her, yelled at her whenever she mentioned that they kidnapped her, and he would go up into her room at night and stare at her while she was sleeping. It was creepy! Ember just put up with it because she “liked” him, and she didn’t want to be separated from her little sister. It was all really just so appalling.

For once I would like to see a story where the villains are females. Why do they always have to be males? Why do females always have to be the weak victims? And the worse part? These story lines are usually written by female authors. What kind of impressions are these leaving for young girls? This is my issue. I was so disturbed by this book that I had bigger issues with it than Fifty Shades of Grey. That’s a pretty big deal.

So many people have told me how awesome Armentrout’s Lux series is, but I’m really nervous to read another book by her now. I was really offended and uncomfortable throughout Cursed. I definitely think parents and teachers need to discuss these issues with their children if their kids are going to read this book. It”s not ok for young girls or boys to think that this is how society works. If things are going to change, then people need to grow up with the knowledge that things that occur aren’t always right.

Pages: 312

Publication Date: September 18, 2012

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Rating: [rating: 1]


Teaser Quote: “I ran my fingers over the plant. Like it was laughing in my face, the colorful blossoms went first. Pink and white petals broke off, and by the time they hit the soil, they’d turned brown. Ugh. I really was Death in sneakers.”