Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review: Beautiful Curse + Giveaway


Welcome to this week’s
Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays!

This week features
Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed.

She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks.

So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn’t count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him.

BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.

“Beautiful Curse is the perfect balance of mysterious and romantic. You’ll swoon over this imaginative retelling of Cupid and Psyche.” – Robin Constantine, author of THE PROMISE OF AMAZING

“A fun and fresh twist on a well-loved story! The Cupid and Psyche romance is my favorite myth and McConnel’s whimsical take did not disappoint. An absolute delight, I loved every moment of this love story and instantly wanted more.” – Rachel Harris, author of THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING
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Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel
Publication Date: December 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N



The author does a good job retelling the story, I liked this modern version of Cupid and Psyche, but that's all it was, a retelling. There were no spin-offs or twists to the story which I would have liked. I think the author does a good job taking the classic and making it a modern story some teens can relate. However, there are aspects of the characters and story where I personally find unrealistic and not believable.

The writing is ok but not intricate and doesn't stand out. I think the plot and pace could have been developed a little more. The first two parts of the story were glossed over. I enjoyed the third part which really was the main chunk of the story because we got to see more into the world but it still sped by so quickly that I couldn't really enjoy it. A better rhythm would have been nice.

I liked Mya well enough but I felt she was a weak heroine. She let herself be pushed around more than I would have liked. I think she emphasized on her beauty more than necessary. While a good person, I don't think I would describe her as a completely selfless person. She didn't do volunteer work or any other humanitarian acts which is what I expected as a person who is beautiful on the inside but I suppose that's all subjective. Taking care of her father is a kind thing but not sure if that warrants the internal beauty they describe her.

The author does do a good job capturing the voice of teenagers and I liked that part of the story took place in Ohio. Midwest represent! I don't read too many books that take place in the Midwest. I had no problem imagining the beauty of the place that Mya stayed but I'm still not completely sure where it was even located. I did enjoy that the servants had different personalities.

The end tied up the main arc but not really any of the minor loose ends. There are some questions I had about the story that were not answered which I found frustrating. How did the beautiful curse even happen? What about her parent's marriage? I wanted to like it more but those unanswered questions prevented me from having a full satisfied ending.

Overall, not a bad read, I read it easily and quickly. If you're looking for a complicated retelling with a twist or surprise, you won't find it in this book. However, if you want a simple and expected contemporary retelling, then you'll enjoy this story.

3 out of 5 rating for me!

(A copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)

Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).

She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and a proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.

A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She's a graduate of Western Michigan University, and she also earned her MS in Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_McConnel, and visit to learn more.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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