Friday, December 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel Review

Beautiful Curse
by Jen McConnel
Release Date: December 2014
Swoon Romance
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed. 

She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks. 

So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn't count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him. 

BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.

My Review:

I'm not usually a big fan of supernatural romances. Romances in general are not my cup of tea. I need something more than a love story to capture my interest. But despite the fact that the basis for this story is the romance, Jen McConnel expertly balanced the romance and retelling and created a book that was both interesting and enjoyable.

For one thing it wasn't your typical romance. I have to be honest, my first impression was that it was going to be the typical "beautiful girl falls in love with a beautiful guy" but they can't be together romantic comedy trope. And despite and arguably insta-love kind of romance, by the end of the book I was invested in the characters getting together. And that to me is the true judge for a romance. Plus the book actually had a really great message about love and romance. The romance is based on the Cupid and Psyche myth (If you're unfamiliar with the story think Beauty and the Beast but everyone is invisible and beautiful) and there is a really great message about inner beauty and not judging yourself or others based on their looks.

But it was really that retelling on the Cupid and Psyche myth that I enjoyed most about this book. It has been a very long time since I read that particular myth, but I do remember reading. So I pulled out my very battered book on mythology and looked through it and it all came flooding back to me.  And by everything I mean me love of mythology. The romances, the adventures, the gods interacting with people and messing up their lives. Jen's take on the mythology and the Greek Gods was truly unique and interesting. Beautiful Curse was similar to her other book Daughter of Chaos, which I read and enjoyed, in that she brilliantly took the attitudes and behaviors on the Greek Gods but made them completely modern. It was great to see some of the same gods and even a few new ones here. Jen's take not only on the Gods but the mythological trend of a slightly tortured love story and having to fight for love was particularly interesting. Not to mention the fact that the story addressed an idea about society and humanity like a lot of mythology (remember when I mentioned to idea about inner beauty). Reading Jen's amazing take on mythology has rekindled my love of it and was one of the best things about this book.

In addition I really liked the mood and atmosphere in this book. I wouldn't say it was really mysterious but it definitely was atmospheric. The beginning in particular was a lot of dramatic irony. I'm not as intimately familiar with the Cupid and Psyche myth but as the reader we know exactly who some of the characters are but it takes Mya much longer to figure it out. At times the lack of information we knew was frustrating but it kept me reading, waiting for Mya to figure it out and for things to get real! And all that waiting and Jen's writing only captured my interest more.

On the whole Beautiful Curse was a quick and enjoyable read. However it may have been a little too short. In terms of the plotting and pacing of the story things, especially in the beginning seemed to to move incredibly quickly. The book was split into four different parts and for me that first part just didn't really do enough to allow us to get to know the characters before things escalated. I would have liked a little bit more character exposition and explanation of the "magical system" or powers that were working within the universe of this book. It just took me a little bit longer to connect with the characters than I would have liked.

I give Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel 8.5 out of 10

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. As a person who is not normally a fan of romances I'm not sure how fans of the genre would feel about it. I would probably say you may like it even more than I did but I can't say for sure. I would say that if you are a fan of Greek mythology or modern retellings of Greek mythology then you will enjoy this book.

About the Author:

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).

She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWINCWN, and SCWW.

A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga.

Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Author Links:



Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours


  1. 2nd blog about this book. getting more interested

  2. Ohh I haven't heard of this one before although I love Jen McConnell! I'll def be putting this on my TBR! Great post Cassie!
    ❤️Britt @ please feed the bookworm

  3. <3 <3 <3 All the feels. I'm so glad BEAUTIFUL CURSE pulled you back into the awesome world of mythology! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this!