Book: Of Curses and Kisses (St Rosettas Academy 1) by Sandhya Menon
Release Date: February 18th 2020
Tags: Young Adult | Romance | Retelling | Beauty and the Beast Retelling | Indian MC | Curses
Trigger/Content Warnings: Emotional Abuse | Parental Neglect
Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
I’ve heard great things about Sandhya Menon but most of her stuff is contemporary and I am very picky with those. Of Curses and Kisses sounded like it was going to be closest to something I would like with the retelling aspect. Unfortunately this did not work for me.
I’m just going to jump in and say that I thought the retelling part was done okay. Grey emulated the beast part and Jaya certainly could work the beauty part. And they certainly learned to open up to each other. But when it came to the writing I had some bones to pick with it. Especially at the start Grey gets described as feral. Now if he would have changed into an actual beast that would have worked. But alas he does not so it really doesn’t work.
Further I felt that a lot of the set up was chaotic. Every chapter we switch between Jaya and Grey at least once. Both are written in a limited third person point of view. Every time it gets announced who we are getting. That is so not necessary for limited third person point of view. And I certainly don’t need to be switching around in the middle of a scene between the two of them every few paragraphs. It just served to pull me out of the story.
Some things I did like were how the ‘mean’ girl didn’t follow that awful trope, for the most part. I also enjoyed some of the other side characters around them. One of them seemed like he had some neuro-atypical traits and that he was being set up to be autistic. But this is just an assumption on my part. He is however one of the main characters of the next book and just for that will I read that one.