Published: 9th December 2014
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.
What I liked: I loved the way this story went. It was mysterious, it was heartfelt, it made you wonder who exactly Ross is, it made you wonder what exactly was going to happen next. They story always made you ask questions about what’s about to happen. It even makes you wonder a few other things, but at the risk of spoiling I’m just going to say it made me ask why time seemed to turn back after a certain incident. Ross was a very interesting character, even though we don’t spend much time with him in the story, what he does shows a lot about him. Ross’s mother is also a very interesting character, and she was exactly how I imagined she would be when I learned of the Greek/Roman mythology tied into this story. There was one really unexpected twist with who one of the Goddesses turned out to be, because it’s hidden for a long time but I had an idea since there are only so many Goddesses in Greek mythology that have the letter she has Mya call her. Also, I love what Mya goes through to prove that she really does love Ross, because it shows a lot about how she thinks about herself, and I find her doubts very realistic because they sound very real and normal to me.
What I didn’t like: I felt like there were plenty of questions left unanswered that I was looking forward to knowing (one of the big ones being why Mya had the sudden transformation of her beauty). Also, Mya’s mother when we meet her later on seems a bit…for a lack of a better word down right crazy. She just seemed to have gone off the deep end and felt overzealous in getting Mya away when she didn’t know the situation. She also didn’t listen to Mya when Mya tried to explain said situation and I ended up not liking her mother at all.
Overall Review: I really enjoyed reading this retelling of Psyche and Cupid. It was beautifully done and a lovely read. With characters who were both complex and interesting, moments of sorrow for Mya and what she goes through (and a moment of where Mya stops putting up with what happens), and moments where we laugh and/or smile at the story. It’s not often I find myth-based retellings that are as wonderful as this book, but I’m glad I read it.
Recommend?: Yes, I found to be a lovely story with plenty of emotion!
My Rating: 4.6/5
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 SCBWI, NCWN, 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.
*Books and Ashes is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or unreceived materials that you may win. Books and Ashes does not handle the materials, or have any input on who receives a prize. US and international followers eligible where applicable.
Review by Iris