Book Reviews

Book Review: The Cursed Series Parts I & II

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“Don’t ever lie to protect someone from the truth. Untrue words hurt as much as a knife to the heart. “

Synopsis: It was supposed to be a Friday night like any other for Lana and her best friends. Three girls out to cause a little trouble. Break a few hearts. And try not to get caught. Except on this night, Lana Peri is the sole witness to a horrific crime, and she can’t say a word. Not if she wants to protect her friends. No one will believe her word over his, so he gets away with it. And she’s forced to pay for her silence. The Cursed Series is a thrilling and tangled mystery that explores the sacrifice of love and the secrets kept to protect friends. How do you know who to trust when no one is telling the truth?

Review: I was first introduced to Rebecca Donovan when I picked up a copy of Reasons to Breathe years ago and was stunned speechless. I devoured the entire Breathing Series as quickly as I could. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw she had another series on its way.

The Cursed Series, which includes Part I: If I’d Known and Part 2: Knowing You, did not disappoint.

In If I’d Known (Part 1), we meet the main character, Lana – a tough, does-not-take-crap-from-anyone kind of girl. She believes that every one has a curse. No, not the ancient-witch-who-cursed-the-characters-by-turning-them-into-beasts-and-household-furniture fairy tale kind of curse. The CURSE is more of a personality trait that can be one’s greatest strength and one’s greatest weakness. Lana’s curse is Honesty. The girl cannot and will not lie. And although Lana thinks of herself as cursed…I think, Reader, Lana is FIERCE. And I love it.

Nonetheless, there are two “flaws” (use that term loosely) with Lana: 1) The girl does not believe in love and 2) TROUBLE follows her where ever she goes. On a night that is supposed to a fun night with her friends, Lana finds herself in not one…not two…but THREE pretty dicey situations that have major consequences and set up Part II exceptionally.

-SPOILER ALERT – SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED –
Within all these incidents, we are left with A LOT of questions: Why are the Harrison brothers both so attracted / obsessed with her? And how does her mother know her lawyer who just so happens to be the Harrison brother’s dad? Is her mother dying? Will she ever see her two besties again?

That’s right, Reader…Part I sets up Part II. An you know what that implies? A dreaded cliffhanger. THIS is my one grievance with the series so far. EACH book is a cliffhanger. Do you know how much I love a cliffhanger? No? Well, I don’t. I really, really don’t. Not at all. The only way I read them is if I have the next part. But I digress. My dislike for cliffhangers is on me…not on the author.

Ok..moving on….

In Knowing You (Part II), Lana is sent to a boarding school where we dive more into the mysteries of Part I and into Lana’s assumption that every one is cursed. There are a lot of wonderful characters with some pretty great curses like Nobility, Perception, Loyalty, and Boldness (just to name a few).

Does trouble find her here? Of course. Lana is a magnet for trouble. This time trouble comes in a form of mysterious notes, ominous threats and destroyed dorm rooms.

Do we get answers to our many questions (like the ones that are listed in the spoiler section above)? Some. But not all. And unfortunately, with the answers you get A LOT MORE questions. There is something unsettling happening that involves not only Lana but the other students and the Harrison boys as well (no spoilers this time).

Do you want to know something else? Guess what else finds Lana? LOVE. Love in a noble, swoon-worthy, heart throbbing, book boyfriend material boy named Grant. Reader, if you are a YA, find someone like Grant. Bad boys (or girls depending on preference) are fun. Trust me, I know. I 100% get it. You go have your fun. But when you are ready to settle, find a Grant. Marry a Grant.

Knowing You ends on a cliffhanger as well. Part III and IV according to GR will be out later this year….(Side note: they needed to be out yesterday but hey…can’t hurry perfection…..).

Recommendation: This is a CW show in the making: an addictive YA mystery with lots of drama. And if you want more, check out Rebecca Donovan’s Breathing Series (Content warning: Abuse) . It has ALL THE FEELS.

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