Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy #1)
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: 13+
From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.
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’d like to thank Sandhya Menon and her team for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour for her new book. My review is 100% honest!
Meet the new Beauty and the Beast! We know the tale: the beauty exchanges her father’s captivity for her own, the beast falls in love with her and true love removes his curse of being, you know, a hairy beast. With Of Curses and Kisses, Sandhya takes the tale and twists it into something interesting of Indian royalty and magic.
Jaya and Isha travel thousands of miles to St. Rosetta’s Academy in order for Isha to get some air after a leaked photo of her tarnishes her image. As for Jaya, she is going to the academy in order to get revenge on the person allegedly behind the leaked photo: Grey Emerson. Her ultimate plan? She’s going to have him fall for her and then break his heart. Of course, it’s not going to be that simple.
Jaya is a princess of the Dao family and she has been aware of her family’s rivalry with the Emerson’s. She is pretty knowledgeable about reality: she knows she won’t be able to marry for love down the road and she knows what her parents expect of her, especially as the princess. However, it’s interesting to see how her character development plays out once she gets into the academy and hangs around with Grey more.
Speaking of Grey, he is the definition of the brooding character in a young adult novel and I am a sucker for that trope. He is fantastically handsome, tall, moody and it’s all because of the curse that has been laid upon him. According to his father and his lineage as an Emerson, he is meant to die on his eighteenth birthday, which is coming up really soon. What’s trippy is that he basically has to watch the countdown to his birthday thanks to the stones falling off of Jaya’s necklace. Poor guy. He was an easy character to like and feel bad for. His father is a total you-know-what to him and Grey doesn’t really try and make genuine friends that he wants to be around, thanks to the curse. I just wanted to give him a hug, to be honest. As weird as that sounds.
Isha is a typical younger sister. She is a bit rebellious and strives to follow a different path. She is interested in mechanics and not really about being “proper” or whatever her sister thinks she should be. It’s easy to tell that the whole scandal bothers her, but it’s kind of heartbreaking that she tries to play it off or not even talk about it.
The connection within the book is hard to look away from and the setting is pretty typical within most young adult books, but Sandhya sets it apart from others. She twists the classic tale by having the beast (Grey) not looking to be saved, having accepted his curse. I’ll admit the beginning was a bit slow to get into, but the more I read the book, the better it got and the more I really liked Sandhya’s new style into the young adult genre. I love her books, so I’m very happy and eager to see her dive into something fantastical and, with this looking to be a potential series, I’m excited to see what she has planned next! As far as I can see, Sandhya is on a roll lately!
If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, it’s in stores now!