Wednesday, January 22, 2020

[Book] Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

Book cover
I usually don't do the comparative thing, but this one stuck me pretty directly.  Imagine the movie Crazy Rich Asians, but teenagers at a boarding school in the mountains outside of Aspen, with a broadly international cast.  Main point: pretty much everybody is insanely rich.

The main character, Jaya Rao, is a princess from an old kingdom of India who is literally there to break someone's heart.  That someone is Gray Emerson, Lord Northcliffe, who hails from a British Colonist family that had been a rival of the Rao family for six generations.  The problem is that he's a recluse who neither likes nor trusts people.  There's also a thing about an ancient curse (like the title suggests).  Of course, family obligations and family business are never left far behind in any of this.

The pacing of this book was excellent, the characters all felt believable, and mostly sympathetic.  I guessed a fairly major plot point very early in the story, though the writing was compelling enough that I wasn't disappointed that I had guessed correctly.

I feel that the book is written with a PG-13 rating in mind, so some swear words, emotional abuse, and a side of bullying, and it feels like the book did suffer in places because of that.  The version I read was a very early advanced readers copy (ARC/Galley) that very specifically states that it hasn't been publication proofed yet, so the few places where I felt the wording was particularly awkward may be changed prior to final publication.

Read this book for the light, fun romance that it is.  There's nothing deeply complicated, no deep thought, but it was not boring in any way.  Skip it if you are the type of person who doesn't feel they have time for something without deep meaning.

Of Curses and Kisses
Young-Adult Romance
Simon Pulse (Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Planned Release Date: 18-Feb-2020
Hardcover, 384 Pages

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