A gender-bent Beauty and the Beast retelling. A world where curses are given out like candy. A thief brought in to help a beast find a husband, but is he willing to give her up?
This book sounded so good and I was so excited to receive a copy from Penguin Teen!
Thank you Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Curses by Lish McBride
Release Date: July 20, 2021
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA 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?
This book was good, but it wasn’t everything I wanted. I found myself enjoying the store, interested in what was going to happen next, but also fine with putting down the story and not feeling the urge to finish it. This isn’t a long book, it’s under 300 pages, and yet it took me a while to read because I didn’t feel pressed to know what was going to happen next.
This book was resoundingly good. The plot? Good. The characters? Good. The story, the dialogue, the magic? All good. Nothing really stood out to me and I enjoyed it. It was just good.
I wished there was more to say about that. There were definitely some things I liked and some things I didn’t. For example, I liked the set up for Merit and Tevin’s characters – I thought it was super unique and made me interested in what was going to happen to them. I didn’t like the half-fleshed suitors Merit was pursuing. The three men Merit went on dates with all felt like the same men in three different outfits – all of their personalities were the same, all were pretty bland, and it was clear that more thought went into the other characters than these three.
Even some of the side characters started to feel like copies – such as Val and Willa. Both are headstrong girls, willing to do anything for their friends, and have too much sass for one person. At times, it felt like there were so many revolving characters, it was hard to keep track of them and they started to blend together.
It’s sad that I don’t have much more to say, but this book was good. It had its faults, it had some things I liked, and it was a good story. If you want a new take on Beauty and the Beast, I would definitely check it out!
If you like Beauty and the Beast retellings, check out A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer or The Queen’s Council: Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault. Be sure to check out my reviews if you’re interested!