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Curses

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Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling's curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother's choosing before her eighteenth birthday. Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family's cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to aban Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling's curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother's choosing before her eighteenth birthday. Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family's cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to abandon their engagements, unless their parents agree to pay him off. But after his mother runs afoul of the beast, she decides to trade Tevin for her own freedom. Now, Tevin and Merit have agreed that he can pay off his mother's debt by using his con-artist skills to help Merit find the best match . . . but what if the best match is Tevin himself?


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Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling's curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother's choosing before her eighteenth birthday. Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family's cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to aban Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling's curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother's choosing before her eighteenth birthday. Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family's cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to abandon their engagements, unless their parents agree to pay him off. But after his mother runs afoul of the beast, she decides to trade Tevin for her own freedom. Now, Tevin and Merit have agreed that he can pay off his mother's debt by using his con-artist skills to help Merit find the best match . . . but what if the best match is Tevin himself?

30 review for Curses

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lia Carstairs

    after almost 2 months of torture ive finally finished this... that should tell you something RTC _____ Update [April 11, 2021]: okay, i think im gonna put this on hold for now bc i just dont feel like reading this anymore. ive barely read anything too but im just not in the mood??? ill definitely read this before it comes out tho just not now _____ Dec.17, 2020: Hey hey hey Edelweiss FINALLY accepts a request from me.😏 AND it's a reversed Beauty & the Beast retelling... I'm already in love. after almost 2 months of torture ive finally finished this... that should tell you something RTC _____ Update [April 11, 2021]: okay, i think im gonna put this on hold for now bc i just dont feel like reading this anymore. ive barely read anything too but im just not in the mood??? ill definitely read this before it comes out tho just not now _____ Dec.17, 2020: Hey hey hey Edelweiss FINALLY accepts a request from me.😏 AND it's a reversed Beauty & the Beast retelling... I'm already in love.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    I don't know if my brain is in post-covid or what, but when I first started reading Curses I was sure it had 280 pages. In fact, that is the reason why I picked it up in the first place. I wanted a short book that I would finish quickly. However, as I was reading, the story went on and on and on... (I read it on kindle) and after I finally finished it it said it has 480 pages, which makes much more sense, as it dragged. The story is gender swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with cast of ch I don't know if my brain is in post-covid or what, but when I first started reading Curses I was sure it had 280 pages. In fact, that is the reason why I picked it up in the first place. I wanted a short book that I would finish quickly. However, as I was reading, the story went on and on and on... (I read it on kindle) and after I finally finished it it said it has 480 pages, which makes much more sense, as it dragged. The story is gender swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with cast of characters that have potential to capture your heart. I can't honestly remember when was the ast time I read about characters I can see myself wanting to revisit, because I find them so likeable and like I know them in a way. It was probably years ago, back when I was reading Vampire Academy, Iron Fay and Clockwork Angel for the first time. My favourites were Tavin and his cousin (Val I think, but don't quote me on that, I am terrible when it comes to remembering the names). The story started off good and I was very excited, very invested into all that was happening, especially in all the characters making connections with each other. There was a scene involving Tavin and one other female character that was NOT Merit, and their chemistry was so strong you could cut it with a knife. I wished for them two to be with each other, but I guess the author had another plan... Closer to the middle the story started to drag and I lost the motivation to continue with reading (with pace I read with at the very start), and then as we got closer to the end, the story became little... ridiculous I would say. At times it felt rushed, and the motive and the way the villain wanted to reach their goal were illogical to me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alex (The Scribe Owl)

    6/8/21 See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss+ for an eARC in exchange for an honest review! 4.5/5 stars I'm always up for a good retelling, but this one blew me away! I had no idea it would be this good. Curses was slightly absurd with hilarious dialogue, a chivalrous ostrich, and flying badgers(!!!), but it was also grounded enough that it didn't fly off the rails. You know that the first thing I notice is the char 6/8/21 See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss+ for an eARC in exchange for an honest review! 4.5/5 stars I'm always up for a good retelling, but this one blew me away! I had no idea it would be this good. Curses was slightly absurd with hilarious dialogue, a chivalrous ostrich, and flying badgers(!!!), but it was also grounded enough that it didn't fly off the rails. You know that the first thing I notice is the characters. I loved our whole cast! Our two main characters, Merit and Tevin, were fantastic. Merit had so much personality that she stood out from all the basic YA protagonists (thank goodness) and Tevin was absolutely adorable. While he might initially seem like a cutout of the perfect love interest and nothing more, he was plenty unique. Change my mind, but Hufflepuff love interests are the best. Aside from the main characters, the secondary characters were all distinctive. Ellery acted as the older sibling of this found family dynamic and was always exasperated about something or another. I loved Val not only as wingwoman to Tevin but also for her subplot with Kirya, though I would have liked to see a little more there. I wish we got to spend more time with Amoury, as he sounded interesting from what little we learned of him. Latimer was also an interesting grey-area character. Yes, he did some awful stuff but he's not as bad as his parents. It'll be interesting to see what goes on there if we get another book! Most of all, what I loved was the found family. Tevin and Amoury might be literal family, but the rest of them, as Ellery put it, are becoming DuMonts too. I love the camaraderie that comes with that trope and it definitely made me smile. This was a pretty cut and dry Beauty and the Beast retelling other than the gender swap, but that made all the difference. It was just different while still sticking with the story, and I loved all the little nods that were thrown in to acknowledge elements of both the Grimm fairytale and the Disney movie. This probably doesn't deserve its own paragraph, but there was something heist-ish at the end and I was absolutely living for it! All in all, this was a fantastic book! I would highly recommend a read if you want a fun retelling! -------------------------- 1/7/21: GUESS WHO JUST GOT A COPY! I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO DIE FOR IT! -------------------------- 12/17/20: OH MY GOD THAT DESCRIPTION! I WILL DIE FOR A COPY OF THIS GLORIOUS BOOK

  4. 4 out of 5

    ✩ Yaz ✩

    A reversed Beauty and the Beast retelling? Sign me up

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    3.5* Curses is a gender flipped take on the classic beauty and the beast tale. Merit is essentially being forced to marry a MUCH older man that she has no interest in for the sake of her family and name. Instead of bowing to the wishes of her mother she refuses to even meet the man she’s betrothed to, and so a Godling (fairy) curses her to become a beast forever if she does not marry by her 18th birthday, but IF she finds actual love on her own before then she is allowed to marry him. That said s 3.5* Curses is a gender flipped take on the classic beauty and the beast tale. Merit is essentially being forced to marry a MUCH older man that she has no interest in for the sake of her family and name. Instead of bowing to the wishes of her mother she refuses to even meet the man she’s betrothed to, and so a Godling (fairy) curses her to become a beast forever if she does not marry by her 18th birthday, but IF she finds actual love on her own before then she is allowed to marry him. That said she becomes more and more beastly in the meantime making it difficult to find a true love of her own. Yes, she has the ability to look normal at set times, but finding actual true love is difficult when you’re a noble born. Enter Florencia DuMont. A thief and a con and probably not the best mom tries to steal flowers from Merit’s family for her own gain, and ends up trading her oldest son, our “beauty,” Tevin for her freedom. But Tevin brings more to the table than just a potential love interest for our “beast.” He’s there to help her find true love prior to turning 18, AND he also brings along a sort of found family into play in Merit’s life. I don’t want to say TOO TOO much, but I want to say that I enjoyed the overall theme of a young woman/person being pushed to make choices that they don’t want to. I love that Merit was willing to sacrifice unknown consequence to be able to find her own happiness. I think that’s relatable for many young people. I also appreciate that the love story felt organic and wasn’t too quick in my personal opinion. While I did assume this would be a darker, gothic read, I ended up enjoying the overall quirkiness of the story. All in all I think this is a great spin on the “tale as old as time,” and has an impactful underlying meaning that will be relatable to the readers it’s meant for! AVAILABLE NOW! *ARC

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    DNF at 35% Chalk this one up to just not being what I wanted it to be. It's a zany, very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast where the beast is a girl. And really I probably should have read the description more closely! I heard gender-bent Beauty and the Beast and immediately said yes, great. I love the idea of a gender-bent version and the beginning was promising (girl (Merit) gets cursed because she refuses an arranged marriage, boy gets exchanged for his con artist mother), but then it we DNF at 35% Chalk this one up to just not being what I wanted it to be. It's a zany, very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast where the beast is a girl. And really I probably should have read the description more closely! I heard gender-bent Beauty and the Beast and immediately said yes, great. I love the idea of a gender-bent version and the beginning was promising (girl (Merit) gets cursed because she refuses an arranged marriage, boy gets exchanged for his con artist mother), but then it went in a very different direction. Merit is wearing gowns and gloves, going to a cursed support group, and trying to pick someone to marry that her mother approves of before time runs out. Tevin offers to help Merit find the best match in exchange for his mother's misdeeds. What we get is a very silly, more comedic take on a premise that follows hardly any of the beats of the original source material, nor does it have any of the darkness and angst. Which isn't a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was hoping for. And the cover is a bit misleading because it doesn't communicate the tone of the book at all. I think plenty of readers might enjoy this, but I think the marketing needs a tagline that gives a better sense of what the book is and isn't. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kalena W

    3.5/5 stars, a joyful and quite unique retelling Thank you Penguin Teen for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This really wasn’t what I was expecting going into a retelling of beauty and the beast. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, the gender swap was quite fun, but the overall retelling part felt a bit muddled. There were so many other elements in there that threw me off, but it was a really unique retelling nonetheless. I think my main complaint of this book is that the wor 3.5/5 stars, a joyful and quite unique retelling Thank you Penguin Teen for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This really wasn’t what I was expecting going into a retelling of beauty and the beast. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, the gender swap was quite fun, but the overall retelling part felt a bit muddled. There were so many other elements in there that threw me off, but it was a really unique retelling nonetheless. I think my main complaint of this book is that the world building is almost non-existent. There’s so many different “faerie” types and were never truly given an explanation for them. We’re just told that some of them curse people. I also can’t for the life of me remember any of the location names. The lack of world-building was the big thing that made it hard to read for me, but there is a lot of unique ideas in here. This book took me a while to read, I tried to keep starting it and just couldn’t get in. I finally did sit down and read it, but it just felt a bit hard to get into at least for the first half. I think the story is quirky, and not in a bad way, but it just has so many components it can be hard to get into. Merit was an interesting main character, in this story she is the beast, her curse from “disrespecting” her mother. She got on my nerves quite a few times, but I think she really just was a girl trying to find a way out of her curse. She was headstrong sometimes, and that’s what threw her off a bit for me. I wish there was a bit more character development besides just her curse, but she wasn’t the worst main character I’ve ever read from. Tevin was my favorite out of the main two, he reminded me a lot of Jesper from Six of Crows. He’s quite fun and no matter what situation he’s in, manages to find a way to spin it in a great way. He’s struggled a lot through life and it was great to see him eventually have a good time with his life. I can’t remember all the names of the side characters, there was a lot sometimes I got them mixed up. They had different enough names but there really was so many I had to remember, and I just couldn’t. A lot of them also didn’t serve a purpose besides furthering Merit’s story. Which was a little disappointing as I tend to love my side characters, but I felt most of them didn’t have enough substance. Overall, it was a unique retelling of beauty and the beast. It was a bit disjointed at times, especially in the world building and romance, but still fun in unique ways.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Helena Paris

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Chandler

    * I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss+ for an honest review* “When she opened her eyes, it was to see the footman faint dead away, the heavy door in his hands clattering to the floor. Then her mother screamed.” Merit had found her one true love… or she thought she had. When she insisted on waiting for him, only to find that her lover was a cheat, she denied the heartbreaking news and refused to marry her betrothed. Her disobedience brought a terrible price: She must marry her moth * I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss+ for an honest review* “When she opened her eyes, it was to see the footman faint dead away, the heavy door in his hands clattering to the floor. Then her mother screamed.” Merit had found her one true love… or she thought she had. When she insisted on waiting for him, only to find that her lover was a cheat, she denied the heartbreaking news and refused to marry her betrothed. Her disobedience brought a terrible price: She must marry her mother’s choosing or a man who truly loved her before she turns 18, or she would stay a mindless beast forever… OK, so till this point it’s pretty much how you’d expect from a Beauty and the Beast retelling, gender-swap excluded. From here on, however, the story took on a life of its own, developing into a unique tale of love and deception. World-building: “Fairy Gift—same as a fairy curse, really, only the fairy in question thinks this one is a really good idea” The world-building was one of my favorite aspects of this book. Instead of a simple magical system, the author crafted a complicated world with so many possibilities and imaginations. There were three kinds of people in the society: The fairyborn, the human, and the fairy godlings. The godlings were often invited to events held by fairyborn nobles, granting gifts and curses to their liking, while mages, human with limited magical abilities, invented convenient magical objects that were similar to our technology. While this world could be a little bit confusing at first, and the world building did slow the pace a bit, I loved all the creative, fun cruses and magecrafts! Characters: “You may look like a beast, but I am one.” As for the characters, meet Tevin, the eldest of the conning DuMont family. The DuMont family reminded me so much of the Renard family in Sky Without Stars , both families utilized their children to cheat money out of the wealthy, leaving a great burden on the children. In this case, Tevin had to use his good looks to charm young ladies to get money, and he was willing to do that if only to lift the burden from his younger siblings. I loved how he is an imperfect love interest for Merit, and that he also had his own beast to battle deep inside. Being with Merit allowed him the chance to truly be himself. I loved how he and Merit grew together throughout the book. Curses also had some adorable side characters, with LGBTQ+ representation. Several of them have distinct personalities and could have had some epic stories themselves! “‘I’m proud of who I am,’ Val said. ‘And see no reason to pretend otherwise.’” I LOVED, LOVED Val. She was one of my favorite characters in the whole book. She was brave, witty, and charismatic in her own way. She had an air of confidence that was more charming than Tevin. I’d love to be her friend and gladly received her flirtations. Romance: “Merit touched her lips and tried not to think about riding under the sweetheart bridge and the kiss that didn’t happen. She failed miserably.” The romance was pretty slow-burn, so they didn’t kiss until late in the book, and both of them were apparently trying to deny their feelings for each other. Readers had to have a bit of patient comparing to other Beauty and the Beast retellings, yet the author did a good job making their feelings grow subtly and steadily. Don’t expect anything too quick or overly swoony, and then you will be able to enjoy this romance. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying their relationship was not swoony! The sweetest thing was always worth the wait, and I don’t want to spoil that for you!) The only thing I’m a bit disappointed with is the slow pacing. As mentioned above, the magical system can be a little bit confusing at first and it took a while to explained. Only when Tevin and Merit first met (around 25% in the book), did things really start to get more interesting. Also, there were some details in the book that seemed unnecessary, but I received this copy quite early (around January), so these little issues were likely fixed already. Curses is a creative reimagination of Beauty and the Beast. It’s got great world-building, funny characters, and a slow-burn romance. While it is not the best B&B retellings I’ve read, it’s certainly the most creative one and quite enjoyable. If you like the idea of gender-swap Beauty and the Beast retellings and you’re into indie authors, you might also want to try Beautiful Beast by E. J. Hill.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Thank you Penguin Random House for my gifted copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review. Curses is a beautifully told YA fantasy retelling of beauty and the beast and I absolutely lived every second of it! Merit Cravan is the beast of this story (a female beast which I loved!) and has been Cursed by a fairy godling for not going forward with becoming betrothed to a prince of her mothers chosing (and was old enough to be her father if not older). Merit must either marry someone who Thank you Penguin Random House for my gifted copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review. Curses is a beautifully told YA fantasy retelling of beauty and the beast and I absolutely lived every second of it! Merit Cravan is the beast of this story (a female beast which I loved!) and has been Cursed by a fairy godling for not going forward with becoming betrothed to a prince of her mothers chosing (and was old enough to be her father if not older). Merit must either marry someone who genuinely loves her before her 18th birthday or someone of her mothers choice (which is not at all promising). Poor Merit is running out of time when Tevin Dumont comes crashing into her life. Tevin is tired of being used by his parents as part of their cons - part of which is to lure rich girls away from their betrothed and tempt them to calling off their engagements. Tevin ends up working with Merit to help her find a suitable suitor that won't lure her the way Tevin has done to other girls. Tevin and Merit begin to have feelings for each other, but are these genuine or manipulation?And can Merit break the curse of the beast she's been spelled as before she turns 18 and the curse becomes permanent? I loved this book it was so much fun and took me on a magical and memorable adventure! Each character was unique and enjoyable to the very last page!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Micaela

    - gender-swapped "Beauty and the Beast" - looks at fairytale gifts and curses—and how the two are sometimes indistinguishable WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE - gender-swapped "Beauty and the Beast" - looks at fairytale gifts and curses—and how the two are sometimes indistinguishable WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Thank you to Penguin Teen & Netgalley for an eARC of this in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Best case of surprise gays. Curses is a Beauty & the Beast retelling but where our female protagonist, Merit Craven, is cursed to be a beast for defying her mother's wishes. Unless she finds love or marries a man of her mothers choosing before her 18th birthday, she'll be a beast forever. Enter, Tevin Dumont, his mother has forced him to be Merit's helper in exchange for her freedo Thank you to Penguin Teen & Netgalley for an eARC of this in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Best case of surprise gays. Curses is a Beauty & the Beast retelling but where our female protagonist, Merit Craven, is cursed to be a beast for defying her mother's wishes. Unless she finds love or marries a man of her mothers choosing before her 18th birthday, she'll be a beast forever. Enter, Tevin Dumont, his mother has forced him to be Merit's helper in exchange for her freedom because she stolen something from the Cravens. Tevin must help Merit find a husband and avoid the scandal that ending in her original curse. For not only is Tevin mandated to help her, but Tevin has organized several of the cons that Merit fell pray to. The main plot line is all about Merit finding a husband: the main action is Tevin escorting Merit to various events and advising her. Basically all of Merit's choices are terrible but she must find the least evil of them all. Merit's mother was a hard character to like. While on one hand she wants the best for Merit, she also goes about it the wrong way many times. There are several instances where Merit is pushed to the edge of her ability and the curse punishes her. The relationship between these two was complicated, but I did like when both of them tried to be better about communicating. This book is such a slow burn. In between Merit going to parties and events, we see her start to truly befriend Tevin, his brother Amaury and his cousin Val. I loved seeing them all become closer to Merit and her healer Ellery, and her guard Kaiya. I think one of my favorite things was seeing Val pine over Kaiya. Plus Ellery's utter disdain and never being impressed by Tevin or his family. I loved them so much and having a nonbinary character was such a delightful surprise! Then there was Tevin and Merit, I didn't think I'd fall so in love with their relationship but I absolutely did. It was just too cute and their banter was the best. The world of Curses was so complex. There are many types of magical creatures including fae and fae descendants. The world also has several kingdoms and we see many of them represented. I do wish we'd gotten to learn more about the various worlds and their customs, but as most of the narrative is focused on Merit, we mostly just see her culture. Overall, this story pleasantly surprised me and I very much enjoyed it! Rep: Nonbinary side character, lesbian side character, possible sapphic side character--not confirmed. CWs: Violence, alcohol consumption, drugging of side character without their knowledge, body horror--kinda, animal death, confinement in cage, death of a parent, emotional abuse, medical content--exams by healer, panic attack.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was lucky enough to get a chance to read CURSES early. You need to preorder it. You need to do that now. Drop what you are doing. Why are you still reading this? You should be preordering CURSES. Done? Okay good. You need this retelling of Beauty and the Beast in your life. It is smart, because Lish wrote it. It is also hilarious, because Lish wrote it. And Lish manages to take a classic fairy tale you know by heart and make it feel completely fresh and original. There is a curse support group. I was lucky enough to get a chance to read CURSES early. You need to preorder it. You need to do that now. Drop what you are doing. Why are you still reading this? You should be preordering CURSES. Done? Okay good. You need this retelling of Beauty and the Beast in your life. It is smart, because Lish wrote it. It is also hilarious, because Lish wrote it. And Lish manages to take a classic fairy tale you know by heart and make it feel completely fresh and original. There is a curse support group. It is everything. You need it. But you already preordered it, right?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    3-3.5 stars I am always a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I was particularly interested in this genderbent variant. That being said, I found the overall story to be just okay. What I really enjoyed is that Merit Cravan becomes a beast of her own volition because she refuses to to marry a suitor of her mother’s choosing. However, the caveat is that she will remain a beast unless she gives in prior to her 18th birthday, so obviously she has seconds thoughts about the whole remaining 3-3.5 stars I am always a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I was particularly interested in this genderbent variant. That being said, I found the overall story to be just okay. What I really enjoyed is that Merit Cravan becomes a beast of her own volition because she refuses to to marry a suitor of her mother’s choosing. However, the caveat is that she will remain a beast unless she gives in prior to her 18th birthday, so obviously she has seconds thoughts about the whole remaining a beast thing. I did enjoy the additional supernatural creatures aspect to this story. Merit crosses paths with Tevin Dumont who comes from parents that cursed him and his siblings with fae powers, which was a refreshing take on the fairytale. What didn’t work for me was the pacing. The story felt like it didn’t have a continuous forward momentum. Instead we’d get lulls of Merit’s cursed background and then we’d finally make headway into figuring out how to break it. I will say that I genuinely wanted to see something more original to the curse breaking than the story that we got. Again, I don’t think this story is bad by any means, but I definitely had higher expectations. Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I will read anything that Lish puts out, but this was especially amazing. I love love loved Merit. She’s sassy and determined. Tevin is delightful and doesn’t understand his worth. Together they have banter for days, an amazing set of friends and family, and the slooooooowest of slow burns unfurling of a relationship. Plot wise, it was so good. There are a few moving parts, but nothing felt convoluted. I was invested in all of these characters and wanted everyone to get their HEA. Of course, I co I will read anything that Lish puts out, but this was especially amazing. I love love loved Merit. She’s sassy and determined. Tevin is delightful and doesn’t understand his worth. Together they have banter for days, an amazing set of friends and family, and the slooooooowest of slow burns unfurling of a relationship. Plot wise, it was so good. There are a few moving parts, but nothing felt convoluted. I was invested in all of these characters and wanted everyone to get their HEA. Of course, I could have done with a million more kissing scenes, but I’m just being greedy. Besides, I got magical cats, flying badgers (fladgers), and did I mention the never ending banter? Overall, it was easy to fall in love with this story and as always, Lish didn’t disappoint. I can’t wait to see what she writes next. **Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

  16. 5 out of 5

    Basma

    This was the retelling I never knew I needed. Beauty and The Beast retellings are popular enough in YA, but a reverse Beauty and The Beast?! One of my favorite things about retellings is that the story feels familiar while also surprising you. I loved the premise of the story and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of familial relationships! Merit is a fantastic main character, and while there's sympathy for her situation, I found myself admiring her strength and determination. Tevin (can I ju This was the retelling I never knew I needed. Beauty and The Beast retellings are popular enough in YA, but a reverse Beauty and The Beast?! One of my favorite things about retellings is that the story feels familiar while also surprising you. I loved the premise of the story and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of familial relationships! Merit is a fantastic main character, and while there's sympathy for her situation, I found myself admiring her strength and determination. Tevin (can I just say? Major Thomas Cresswell vibes. swoon) and the whole DuMont gang were so much fun to be around, and I desperately want a novella of this group just messing around. I think the world and it's magic were my favorite part of this book. Obviously, staying true to the original fairytale, there's the curse, but Merit wasn't the only one cursed! The fact that there was a curse support group had me laughing so hard. I also loved the concept of magic playing into social classes and I really thought that was such a refreshing take on a social hierarchy! If you like retellings, this standalone is a definite must read for you! I received an e-arc of this title from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews

    *** Many thanks to PRH international for free e-copy via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. *** Curses was fantastic and entertaining YA fantasy and retelling of Beauty and Beast about curses, friendship, family, manipulation, deception, trust, social class differences, accepting yourself, hope and love. Writing was beautiful with timeless feel to it set in 1880s with world of faeries, mages, and curses that made it atmospheric. Plot was fun and adventurous. This was more character driven *** Many thanks to PRH international for free e-copy via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. *** Curses was fantastic and entertaining YA fantasy and retelling of Beauty and Beast about curses, friendship, family, manipulation, deception, trust, social class differences, accepting yourself, hope and love. Writing was beautiful with timeless feel to it set in 1880s with world of faeries, mages, and curses that made it atmospheric. Plot was fun and adventurous. This was more character driven and there were so many characters. Both Tevin and Merit were like characters we used to read in YA fantasy and yet I loved them both. Romance was lovely and slow burn. Though this was a fantasy there was less worldbuilding. World wasn’t explained much. We jump into the world of faery godlings who could gift or curse, mages who couldn’t curse but invented magical things, and humans divided in commoners and those with faery blood that created social and class differences. It was interesting to read about Caen’s bloom that removed the curse for few hours. Overall, Curses was entertaining, adventurous, and very well written well executed Beauty and Beast retelling with lots of characters, good message and lovely romance. I highly recommend this if you love, Retellings Fantasy with less worldbuilding more character driven classic feel rogue hero and kickass heroine slow burn romance balls and gowns Less drama No usual romance tropes witty characters and dialogues

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This was such a fun read. I honestly did not expect to like it this much. Also, Happy Publishing Day to this book! Go check it out! Review will be up later today! snippet from review: ...you can probably tell how much I enjoyed this book-- read it in one sitting through the absolute madness of a heatwave the UK is experiencing at the moment-- and enjoyed every page of this book. As mentioned earlier, this was my first introduction to Lish McBride and her work, and after reading this absolute stu This was such a fun read. I honestly did not expect to like it this much. Also, Happy Publishing Day to this book! Go check it out! Review will be up later today! snippet from review: ...you can probably tell how much I enjoyed this book-- read it in one sitting through the absolute madness of a heatwave the UK is experiencing at the moment-- and enjoyed every page of this book. As mentioned earlier, this was my first introduction to Lish McBride and her work, and after reading this absolute stunner I will definitely be checking out more of her work. I would highly recommend checking out this book if you are a fan of fairytale retellings, godlings and a swoon-worthy romance.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danielle (always_read_the_end_first)

    This is a gender bender retelling of Beauty and the beast you need to read this summer! "That's the funny thing about curses," she said. "From the right perspective, they look an awful lot like gifts." At the begging of this the definition between Fairy Curse & Fairy Gift. IS SOOOOO EPIC. Wow. I enjoyed this but they were parts I skimmed. This has several POVs. I like the chapter titles. Neat idea. This is a stand-alone but I felt like there could be a companion especially for a certain big cat an This is a gender bender retelling of Beauty and the beast you need to read this summer! "That's the funny thing about curses," she said. "From the right perspective, they look an awful lot like gifts." At the begging of this the definition between Fairy Curse & Fairy Gift. IS SOOOOO EPIC. Wow. I enjoyed this but they were parts I skimmed. This has several POVs. I like the chapter titles. Neat idea. This is a stand-alone but I felt like there could be a companion especially for a certain big cat and possibly another DuMont. As always the side characters are my fave like Kate, Diadora, and Willa! Plot is predictable, the world-building is very imaginative and Parisian. I really hope the author keeps writing! Thank you so much to the publisher for this arc!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lucie V.

    Reverse Beauty and the Beast retelling ? Yes, yes and yes! This sounds promising. :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    ضحى الحداد

    This was an OK read, I don't know what was it that made me lose interest in the first third of the book and this feeling continued with me until the end of the book The book tells the story about Merit she is kind of a princess and her mother wants her to marry since she was 15 but she doesn't want to marry someone she doesn't love, so she gets cursed to be a beast until she marries someone of her mom's choosing or someone who loves her the way she is .. and then we will meet Tevin ( who is an an This was an OK read, I don't know what was it that made me lose interest in the first third of the book and this feeling continued with me until the end of the book The book tells the story about Merit she is kind of a princess and her mother wants her to marry since she was 15 but she doesn't want to marry someone she doesn't love, so she gets cursed to be a beast until she marries someone of her mom's choosing or someone who loves her the way she is .. and then we will meet Tevin ( who is an angel despite being a con man ) his mother trades him to serve the beast and he does it so perfectly .. he must find a husband for Merit to be free and break her curse .. but what if the one who loves her is there all along ? the story takes a really interesting take to the story and Tevin's family are amazing .. but for some reason I was kind of bored through out the book .. it was ok, not bad but not great either

  22. 4 out of 5

    book bruin

    This was an entertaining twist on Beauty and the Beast, and I thought the role reversal was very clever. I enjoyed the writing, but had trouble fully grasping the scope of the world and all of its intricacies and terminology. There were a lot of characters and plot points to keep track of, which made the book a bit confusing. All of the characters were likeable, but I didn't particularly love any of them. I am a big fan of the "I won't fall for you, but I'll help you find love" trope as well as This was an entertaining twist on Beauty and the Beast, and I thought the role reversal was very clever. I enjoyed the writing, but had trouble fully grasping the scope of the world and all of its intricacies and terminology. There were a lot of characters and plot points to keep track of, which made the book a bit confusing. All of the characters were likeable, but I didn't particularly love any of them. I am a big fan of the "I won't fall for you, but I'll help you find love" trope as well as forced proximity, but I never really felt the connection between Tevin and Merit. I did enjoy Tevin's interactions with his cousin and siblings though, and I thought his family dynamic was the most interesting. There was some great humor throughout as well as action and adventure, but I still found my mind drifting quite a bit while reading. The quirkiness and whimsy of the book reminded me a lot of Ella Enchanted and Shrek. I would have preferred more closure at the end, but overall this was an enjoyable read. *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mjspice

    Look at that cover!! Look at that cover!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathreadya

    Really enjoyed this gender bent retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Lish McBride! This was such a unique and satisfying retelling! The focus on Merit's inner struggle to gain control of her life was a great journey to go on. And Tevin growing up with his family but wanting to be better grabbed your attention. Together they pushed each other to grow in a way that felt real, and how that grew into a romance was really fun to read. I also loved the side characters, especially the cursed support gro Really enjoyed this gender bent retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Lish McBride! This was such a unique and satisfying retelling! The focus on Merit's inner struggle to gain control of her life was a great journey to go on. And Tevin growing up with his family but wanting to be better grabbed your attention. Together they pushed each other to grow in a way that felt real, and how that grew into a romance was really fun to read. I also loved the side characters, especially the cursed support group!!! Best found family I've read in a long time, and their hilarious antics had me laughing out loud! The start of the book felt a bit slow to me, but once Tevin arrives at the castle things really get going. Definitely recommend this gender bent YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Haas

    This book was surprisingly amazing. I mean it is your basic YA fantasy book but the characters are all so witty and funny that I actually found myself laughing out loud multiple times. I don’t think there is a side character that I didn’t like.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Louise

    Actual rating: 2.75 stars Thank you to Penguin Random House for reaching out to me and sending me an early copy in exchange for an honest review. When I saw that this was a gender switched retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I was really excited and went into the book with such high hopes. However, by the end, I was disappointed. I want to start by saying that the book started off slow, it took me a good few days to get into it. From about 100 pages in, the story picked up a bit but then seemed to Actual rating: 2.75 stars Thank you to Penguin Random House for reaching out to me and sending me an early copy in exchange for an honest review. When I saw that this was a gender switched retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I was really excited and went into the book with such high hopes. However, by the end, I was disappointed. I want to start by saying that the book started off slow, it took me a good few days to get into it. From about 100 pages in, the story picked up a bit but then seemed to switch between fast paced and slow paced. The world building, however, intrigued me but they way it was done didn't necessarily fit the story and made it quite confusing. I did like the twist on the tale of the enchantress in the form of the Godlings. Godlings have the power to give people either a "curse" or a "gift". I would have like to see more of this is the story as it would have made the story a little bit more interesting. What I really disliked about the book is that it perpetuated the stereotype that women are weak and need to be saved. This is because throughout the book, Merit seemed like see was a "damsel in distress". This is the complete opposite to the original story - where the beast is strong and powerful and able to hold his ground. Why should that aspect change purely because the genders were reversed? Plot wise, the book was extremely jumpy and I often became very confused with what was going on and when. The story didn't feel like it flowed. As a result, I was often bored by the story and had to keep putting the book down. The book would have been better with chapters from the POVs of the various characters meaning the story would have been better executed. One of the few things I liked was that it included good LGBTQIA+ rep, whilst they were side characters, their backstories could have done with a bit more development. I was desperate to like this book. It had potential and it just didn't live up to the expectations I had of the book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    3 stars. 10 stars for the cover. Not to be a party pooper, but this one simply didn't live up to expectations. A gender bent Beauty and the Beast retelling. Our "beast" has to find a husband that her mother approves of as she slowly but surely is turning into a beast (but she can use magic to look like a normal girl for set periods of time), and if she misses her deadline then she will be a beast permanently. She enlists the help of an obnoxious pretty boy whose mother stole flowers from the beas 3 stars. 10 stars for the cover. Not to be a party pooper, but this one simply didn't live up to expectations. A gender bent Beauty and the Beast retelling. Our "beast" has to find a husband that her mother approves of as she slowly but surely is turning into a beast (but she can use magic to look like a normal girl for set periods of time), and if she misses her deadline then she will be a beast permanently. She enlists the help of an obnoxious pretty boy whose mother stole flowers from the beast's garden to help her avoid no-good suitors as she has had her heart broken before. I expected a more serious, darker read. This one was rife with tropes and ridiculous hijinks. The characters got on my nerves sometimes and I didn't like my monster girl as much as I had hoped to. The romance was slow burn and eye-rolling at times. It was a fun read but quite simply - forgettable. But oh my God, that cover. Thank you G.P. Putnam and Edelweiss for the ARC!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Booktastically Amazing

    *breathes deeply in 346 languages* I am still patiently waiting for the Beast to rip someone's guts out. .............................................. So far? ~frustrated~ *breathes deeply in 346 languages* I am still patiently waiting for the Beast to rip someone's guts out. .............................................. So far? ~frustrated~

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽♔

    I'm a sucker for a good Beauty and The Beast retelling so I hope this one joins the ranks I'm a sucker for a good Beauty and The Beast retelling so I hope this one joins the ranks

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Reads It

    Thank you to Penguin Random House and NetGalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. Curses is a beautiful and heartfelt rendition of the timeless fairy tale classic of Beauty and the Beast but with a contemporary twist. "Love is the reason for her curse, but it is also her salvation." I will be the first person to admit I am not a fan of retellings but Lish McBride has modernized this beloved tale giving us a refreshing role reversal with a female protagonist cursed by Thank you to Penguin Random House and NetGalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. Curses is a beautiful and heartfelt rendition of the timeless fairy tale classic of Beauty and the Beast but with a contemporary twist. "Love is the reason for her curse, but it is also her salvation." I will be the first person to admit I am not a fan of retellings but Lish McBride has modernized this beloved tale giving us a refreshing role reversal with a female protagonist cursed by a Godling because she dared to fall in love. How ironic that the young girl who should be cursed by love would need it to save her? This is a book about falling in love, not only in the traditional sense but also with yourself. The kind of love that forces you to embrace and accept all your faults, even if you are a beast. The author is teaching a poignant lesson to young people all over the world that only by loving yourself can you love others. "Merit's mother raised her to believe powerful ladies should never raise their voice, but she wasn't a lady, she was a beast and she was going to act like it." Another huge reason I loved this book was due to the unconventional and slightly morally grey characters. I relished that the female protagonist Merit, despite being previously burned, is still optimistic about falling in love but does not allow this idea to consume her or cloud her judgment. Merit yearns for a partnership with an equal and not a man who will control her and I admired how the author showcased the qualms of many women of that age "What's wrong with you? ...... I have a brain..They don't like that." "Why was it that so many men thought they were the answer to a question no one was asking?" On the topic of characters, I applaud the author for her inclusivity and representation of not only LGBTQ relationships but also gender binary characters. Despite this being a fairy tale retelling, the author still managed to be authentic both in her approach and her characters and I commend her. One thing of interest for me in this particular series was the role of parents, or rather the lack of proper parental guidance. There's a line that perfectly sums it up, "Our parents have traded our futures to suit their needs." I fear I must indulge in this thought process as it is a constant theme throughout the novel so bear with me. All the parental figures within this story are selfish and seek only to use their children as pawns on a chessboard to further their own malicious means. There's a bigger lesson here that the author in her infinite wisdom seeks to teach readers yet again which is that despite the circumstances, you as an individual contribute to how your life evolves and in turn must hold yourself accountable. There is an "AHA" moment where Merit says, "I'm tired of blaming my mother, tired of being so broken! I'm cursed because of myself. I made foolish choices. I didn't listen." Curses was such an inspirational story about love, navigating life and family, and accepting yourself. It will leave you wondering, "Why be the belle of the ball when you could be the beast?"

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