Book Review: ‘Curses’

Curses” by Lish McBride

Source: Penguin Teen in exchange for honest review

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy


Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling’s curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother’s choosing before her eighteenth birthday.

Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family’s cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to abandon their engagements, unless their parents agree to pay him off. But after his mother runs afoul of the beast, she decides to trade Tevin for her own freedom.

Now, Tevin and Merit have agreed that he can pay off his mother’s debt by using his con-artist skills to help Merit find the best match . . . but what if the best match is Tevin himself?

Curses was so delightful. It was truly a shake up of Beauty and the Beast as well as fairy tales in general. I loved how modern the story felt. There were ‘technology’ elements that felt like fantasy nods to modern day technology (mirrors and mage light). There was diversity threaded through the story and places. It felt like a real world to walk into.

I particularly loved how common place curses were. They’re treated as a minor inconvenience like breaking your leg. It sucks for a few months but ultimately you’re probably going to be fine.

The characters were wonderful. I grew very fond of them. Is the romance the most unique twist? No, but I still enjoyed the slow journey our characters took to get there.

I find humor is so hard to get right in books. You want to laugh on occasion but you don’t want to sacrifice storylines for a ‘cheap’ laugh. McBride manages to walk that line perfectly. There are still elements (a character is turned into a bird temporarily as a punishment) that will make you laugh at the silliness but won’t get in the way of moving the plot along.

If you’re wanting a fairy tale inspired story to make you laugh, cry (just a little), and simply fall in love with the characters, Curses is sure to be your new favorite retelling.

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