Monday, March 17, 2014

Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed #1
Published: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
352 pages (ARC)
Genre: Young adult historic fiction/Gothic/paranormal
Acquired this book: Won from Giselle at Book Nerd Canada
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Book Depository || Chapters/Indigo}

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Gargoyles and angels and demons, oh my!

While I was reading The Beautiful and the Cursed, I had a couple people ask me how it was, and this was my response: YA + historic fiction + Paris + gargoyles + hot Scot + beautiful writing = The Beautiful and the Cursed. Basically it had all the elements of things I love in books, and it didn’t disappoint.

Between the stunning cover and the title of this book, I was instantly drawn to it. When I read the synopsis, I was certain it was something I’d enjoy. I was hooked within the first few pages as we were introduced to Ingrid and Gabriella Waverly, who had just moved to Paris from London with their mother, and discovered their brother Grayson, who had come to Paris early to get things ready, was missing, and that girls were disappearing around the city.

There was so much to like about this book. Ingrid and Gabriella were both strong characters; they sometimes struggled with their propriety, since life in Paris - where people were a little more forward-thinking and open-minded - was so different from sheltered society life in London. Despite that, they were both independent, intelligent, and determined, and I liked them both.

Then there were the gargoyles and all the lore surrounding them, which I found fascinating. I’ve never read any books about gargoyles, but ever since I was 17 and saw the ones perched on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, I’ve had this strange fascination with them, and it was one of the main things that originally drew me to this book. Ms Morgan did a fantastic job of building a world in which gargoyles came to life, and I liked that they had a society of their own, with rules, leaders, punishments, and duties. Luc, the gargoyle in charge of the abbey where the Waverlys were living, was a complex character, and I loved the push and pull between him and Ingrid.

The story alternated between each girl's point of view, as well as Luc’s and occasionally Grayson’s. At first I thought it would be really confusing, but it wasn’t. It was interesting to get the story from different perspectives, know what characters were thinking, and see their progression firsthand rather than through the eyes of another character. Ms Morgan has a really great writing style - beautiful, yet simple, and memorable without being flashy.

Now, I mentioned a hot Scot, right? Nolan was just one of the boys we’re introduced to through the course of the story. While I liked Luc, it was Nolan that I really loved. He was a ‘detective’ helping search for Grayson, and investigating the disappearances around Paris.  

The Beautiful and the Cursed had a bit of everything: romance, action, intrigue, paranormal creatures that will both fascinate and horrify, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. It was beautifully written, rich in detail, and wonderfully originally. The ending left a lot of questions unanswered, so I can’t wait to find out what happens in The Lovely and the Lost


Have you read The Beautiful and the Cursed? What did you think? If you haven't read it, is it on your TBR?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good one headed over to Goodreads to put it on my to-read list, great review!


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