Review: Cursed Hearts by Light & Lowell

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Why I chose this book: This book was given to me earlier this month as an author requested review. I am slowly coming to enjoy paranormal romance books and the synopsis of this book looked appealing. A magical school in a small town is a perfect setting for a supernatural thriller. I will warn you, I did not finish this book. I read about 200 pages and then had to stop. Why? Check out my review below.  

Cursed Hearts by Light & Lowell
Publisher: Light & Lowell (Createspace)
Publish Date: December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Buy:  || Amazon || 

Cursed Hearts, A Crossroads Novel – the first book in what will no doubt prove to be an epic series. It’s a witty, supernatural page-turner that will keep you guessing. And the read is much like walking down a deserted street on a dark, misty morning – spine-chillingly beautiful. 

...Rarely when we’re down does the world offer us a hand up instead of a sharp kick to the ribs. But when Rome Navarro, a penniless kid with home issues, receives a scholarship to a prestigious school in his hometown, life is starting to look suspiciously hopeful. Little does he know, Vardel Academy houses an old, deeply guarded secret, and Redwood Bay is harboring mysteries of its own that are just as unsettling. Things become stranger still when he learns of a curse that his family is supposedly plagued by. A curse that involves the shy redhead he has his sights set on. Throw in a guy with an unhealthy fascination for him, and a love rival with cruel intentions, and you’re left with a recipe for both a devilish good time, and inevitably, disaster. 

Cursed Hearts is the perfect mix of romance and mystery, and the coming of age story you've all been waiting for. It’s a gritty, heartfelt tale with eerie undertones that will leave you breathless. In a world where magic lurks around every corner, the most magical thing may be the characters themselves. Venture into one of the greatest fantasy stories ever told, and come out the other side, forever changed. (Goodreads)

Three Things You Need to Know: 

   1. POV that shifts more times than a shapeshifter. I struggled maintaining a consistent pace as I read this book because the point of view shifts between 6-8 different characters. The shift isn’t apparent either; it is messy, causing the reader to become tangled in a heap of thoughts and words that aren’t necessarily attached to any specific character. There are so many perspectives throughout the book, that it does not allow the reader to become attached to any specific character. Because of this, it causes the book to feel like a churning word machine rather than an eloquent story. 

   2. Enough misogyny to make me squirm. The main love triangle (yes, another love triangle) within the book centers around Rome, Aria, and Christian. Rome, an Alpha werewolf, is possessive, aggressive, and maintains a short fuse temper throughout most of the novel. Christian is also a werewolf, who is pushy, overbearing, and aggressive. Who would dare to fall in love with these two boys? Aria. This girl is one of the most spineless characters I’ve seen since Twilight. In the first half of the novel she is indecisive, letting both boys make many choices for her that she is not comfortable with. 
   While this is a common trait in YA lit, what I was really uncomfortable with was the unspoken misogynistic themes within this triad. Both boys feel the need to compete for Aria and take over her when in the presence of each other. Several times throughout the book, the phrase “she is mine” is uttered. Aria is not a character in this novel, she is simply a pawn that is fought over by two boys.  

  3. The final reason I stopped reading this book. Romanticized rape. Yes, this is in many books I’ve seen, but it is not an issue that I support. Let me say this again, this blog does not support books for teens, or any other books for that matter that romanticize the idea of rape. While Aria isn’t “raped” in the sense that she was violently forced, she tells her parter to stop several times (as it was her first sexual experience), and he continues to push her all the way into full blown intercourse. Yet after the scene is over, Aria is pleased, cuddling up to the man and falling asleep. This is not okay, especially in a young adult novel. This is also where I put the book down and chose not to finish. 

Final Thoughts:
Over all this book has a semi-unique story that I wanted to be good. Despite this, the book is a failure in content and plot. Morally, I would not recommend this to young readers because of the content. Adult readers are able to make their own opinions on the matter, this is mine. 

I gave this book one star on Goodreads.

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