Hello friends! Today I am going to talk about one of my favourite read of the year by one of my favourite authors, Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon.
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
Publication Date: 18th February, 2020 (Simon Teen)
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Of Curses and Kisses is a Beauty and Beast retelling set in a boarding school with main characters Princess Jaya Rao and Grey Emerson, Lord of Northcliffe. Here are reasons you need to read this book:
It’s a Desi Retelling!
As I mentioned, this is a desi beauty and beast retelling. I love retellings and this one is done so well. It stays true to the original and at the same time the narrative and story is so unique and different and it will genuinely be an enjoyable read! The author does a wonderful job of bringing in different twists and turns while staying true to the original narrative of the story.
I think the characters were my favourite part of the book. They were nuanced, interesting and so fun. Sandhya captures the mind and heart of 18 year old teens really well. Princess Jaya Rao is the Princess of Mysuru and the eldest child of the Rao family. She is obedient and is always duty bound to do the right thing and feels that being the heiress means she always has to be the perfect person who always follows rules. She was so well written and you can feel the tumultuous emotions she goes through and how she wants to find a balance to stay true to herself and also listen to her parents. She was judgmental and uptight but as the story progresses you get to know more about her and I really loved how well her character arc was done.
I could relate to Jaya a lot. Her emotions, her thoughts and her need to please her parents but at the same time trying to find what she likes, it was very heartfelt to read that. Her love and need to protect her younger sister, Isha and their sisterly bond was also really fun to read.
The next main character was Grey Emerson. Grey was a character with complicated emotions who kept to himself because he believes he is cursed and doomed once he turns eighteen. Due to this, he keeps himself isolated and doesn’t like getting close to people. Through Grey, the author has very sensitively and effectively handled themes of parental abuse and the extent to which it can affect a person. Grey is a sweet guy and he just wants to live like a normal teen but due to his family and past he can’t do that. Grey is a troubled character and his arc was just as satisfying to read.
The Slowburn, Angsty and Oh so sweet Romance
Jaya and Grey’s romance was slowburn and angsty. There were so many times while reading when I just wanted to shake them both but I also really loved their whole slowburn. It was soft, cute and adorable to read. It leaves you feeling happy and smiling. The whole rivalry to acquaintances to awkward friendship was all really sweet and fun to read.
Set in a boarding school!
The book is set at St.Rosetta’s Academy in the mountains and I loved the descriptions of the place. It really plays like a movie in your head with the lush descriptions and it makes you want to be there experiencing it. Boarding school stories are always fun and this one is no exception and it definitely will be one of the best.
Super fun supporting cast
The supporting characters were super fun and so different. There was Daphne-Elizabeth, Leo and Rahul, Caterina, Alaric and Kiran Hegde. They made the book and the setting very enjoyable and it definitely made the book more enjoyable for me. I especially loved Rahul who was the nerdiest and sweetest guy and reading his scenes bought a big smile on my face!
Overall, Of Curses and Kisses is a desi retelling with lots of sweet and adorable moments and this book will leave you with a smile on your face. It is a light and fun contemporary read and I would highly recommend it. I tweeted this while reading the book but Sandhya’s books always feel like a warm hug because of how cute, adorable and relatable they are!
I thank the author and the publisher for providing me with an eARC. All opinions are my own.
Have you read this book ? Who is your favourite character ?
Are you planning to read this book ? Tell me about it!