actual rating: 4.5 stars
This book is full of hot guys, badass ladies, and great gothic mystery. It's definitely one of my favorites of 2013.
There really is only one fault I found with this book. The first 10-15% of the book was good, not great. I was a bit confused by the mythology. I was just waiting for the inevitable moment when it all clicks into place and I can enjoy the story. It happened soon after the ten percent mark; and I dove right in. After that, I didn't come up for air once. (Translation: I read it in one day).
+ HOT GUYS. Pretty much every young male character was a total hottie, each in different ways. There were 4 (at times 5) of them. Yeah, you read that right-- 5 hotties. And they ALL flirt with the girls. Ha, it was awesome! The guys are totally all vying for at least one of two girls, and I loved every bit of it. You go, girls. Werk.
It's funny because I was just recently thinking, why are there always only one maybe two hot guys going for the girl? I mean...if she's that awesome or pretty or special...why not more? Oh I know it's YA, but still. Thank you Page Morgan for delivering up the cuties! And much, much more.
Some of you may still call me a young adult (I'm 26).. BUT do the ya books all have to be so chaste?! I mean c'mon I want some make out sessions and hot and steamy ones, too! So to both of these things, Beautiful and the Cursed totally delivered. It's my perfect dreamy blend that doesn't go into the adult romance category. So get ready for some HAWT scenes.
And Luc? Aw, man...he's...*sighs*
*swoons* *actually mimics girl on the cover*
Another one of the great things about this book-- are the main characters (sisters) Ingrid and Gabby. The girls are not helpless. And they're in 19th century Paris. You get Ingrid and Gabby who are both spoiled rich girls..except, they're not really spoiled rotten (in attitude, I mean). Ingrid has powers, Gabby does not-- yet Gabby is more of a fighter and can hold her own. Its exceedingly rare for a book with paranormal elements to have humans alongside the (in this case) gargoyles / demons and still look formidable. The fact that Gabby is a formidable opponent without needing a guy to fight for her or rescue her? Totally gratifying. Each girl has a unique personality and I love them both! I am pretty partial to Ingrid, though. I identified with her. And, we see more of her because of the narration.
[Side note: yes, there are multiple points of view, but it won't give you a headache. It's just enough so that you care about characters that you may not have otherwise gave a flying flop about. (Seriously).]
I loved Ingrid because she reminded me of myself. She's strong and her sister described her as having a cold, iron exterior. As a reader you share Ingrid's hurt and confusion to this statement because you know her inner sadness and turmoil is anything but. However she's a strong woman; not to mention a total badass. And so is her sister, Gabby! I know, I'll give you a moment to recover from your shock that there's not only one strong female character; but two
. Yup. Oh and don't worry, even though we're in 19th century France you still get some MAJOR Buffy-style fight scenes! And tons of lip locking and crazy flirtatiousness (just go with it) behind locked doors. *wink*
There's actually one part where a Gabby takes a knife and slides under a demon cutting his underbelly which she describes as being "soft as butter" while green blood sizzles on the ground where she just was. Aw man. I whooped so loud my cat got scared. I mean-- how awesome
Finally, I have to remark upon the setting. The setting is perfect. Creepy, gothic, old world Paris. An old decrepit abbey. A missing brother. Girls going missing all over the city. I mean, it's amazing. Does it live up to all that it can be? Yes. The only reason I didn't rate it 5 stars was that first part where things that had to be established got a little choppy.
The badass heroines, steamy guys, unique mythology, and solid plot makes this novel one you do not
want to miss.