Number of pages: 384
Rating (out of five stars): 2.5
Release Date: February 18, 2020
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.
Extra disclaimer: I am a part of Sandhya Menon’s street team. I was provided with a copy for review before I requested it on Netgalley (the first version was hard for me to read).
I feel terrible writing this review, but ultimately I don’t think Of Curses and Kisses was for me. I’m so sad. I don’t think this review will be very long, but I’m going to try to get out my thoughts as best I can.
The one thing I immediately liked about this book was Grey. He is the exact sarcastic and broody brand of character I love. His whole character is also an attack on teenage me.
Jaya, however, I struggled with. I kept waiting for her to grow as a person, but she never really did. Well, I guess she sort of did, but it all happened very fast.
Speaking of everything happening very fast, I felt like things were a little rushed. Like Jaya spent the so much of the book trying to convince DE to do something (with DE pushing back on the idea), and then at one point DE just agrees with her and that’s the end of that. A new conflict is also introduced 88% of the way through the book, and it somehow ends in a happily every after. It was a major thing, so it really shouldn’t have been resolved by the end. There’s a whole bunch of similar instances in this book that makes me wish more time had been taken to flesh these things out.
Everything also felt very stilted and awkward. I think it was a stylistic choice because it mostly happened in Jaya’s chapters, but it didn’t make it any easier to read. Eventually it started affecting other characters who were much more “chill” than Jaya when the book started feeling more rushed as well, which made for many bits of dialogue that felt like things no one would actually say. It was jarring.
In terms of retellings, Of Curses and Kisses felt like it was more animated Disney Beauty and the Beast inspired than anything. It also isn’t really a retelling. I would say it’s more inspired by the fairytale.
Overall Of Curses and Kisses unfortunately wasn’t for me, earning it 2.5 stars out of 5.