Review: By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell

34921588Title: By a Charm and a Curse
Author: Jaime Questell
Publisher: Entangled: Teen, February 6th 2018
Pages: 300


Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Well, this was a bit disappointing. What I expected was magic, mystery, and fun. What I got was a boy and a girl making heart eyes at each other within a cheap carnival backdrop. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but this book had so much potential to be more than just your run-of-the-mill instalove. I wanted more magic, more detailed scenes within the carnival instead of the MC moping around and thinking about a boy she barely knows.

The curse itself within the story was vague.

Slight spoilers ahead? 

Actually, it’s the usual scorned woman puts a curse on a man who did her wrong and only true love can break it.

That’s it.

And for those who need it there’s animal death. One out of two scenes that actually made me feel something other than apathy towards this story line. The other scene was a side character who absolutely deserved better. He deserved what miraculously happened to Benjamin at the end (the power of true love apparently transcends death).

By a Charm and a Curse wasn’t enjoyable for me, but I wouldn’t dissuade anyone else from reading it for themselves.


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