Note: This review is spoiler free (spoilers are all marked and have warnings)!
Book: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Age: For readers 13 and up
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Out of all the books I’ve read in 2021, I think ACSDAL takes the title for “worst book I’ve read this year”. It was just so mind-numbingly boring and the same Beauty and the Beast retelling that has already been done like 20562754934 times. The only reason this book wasn’t a dnf was because I was forced to read it as my choice book for english class. The cringy dialogue, the boring plot, and the bland characters had me on the verge of falling asleep. There is literally no substance to this book.
What I hated:
“Most of the girls Grey drags from her world won’t touch a blade or bridal, and instead gravitate to finery found within the lushly outfitted wardrobes inside Ironrose Castle. This early in the season, the other girl would sit by the hearth and gaze at me over crystal goblets, while I’d pour wine and tell them stories with just enough devilishness to make them blush. If I’d put a crystal goblet in this one’s hand, she’d likely smash it and use the shards to cut me”.
Oh that makes PERFECT sense. So the other girls he kidnapped and forcefully took to his castle were totally fine with it! 😄 Yah because everyone is just dying to get kidnapped by hot and handsome Rhen 😫 Ugh please. 🙄 Having the other girls blush and swoon over Rhen is just to create an exaggerated comparison of how Harper is “not like other girls'' because she is more stubborn than them. But the way she acted after getting kidnapped by these two is not anything extraordinary. She was mad at them (rightfully so) but that didn’t seem like a far fetched reaction. I mean, if anyone was kidnapped wouldn’t they also be mad at their captors? Would ANYONE sit and blush at their captors?!?! This trope just grated on my nerves when I read cringe worthy lines like those. Rhen be like: OoOooOoo HaRpeR is DiFfereNt aNd SpEciAl BeCaUsE ShE AcTuAlLy AcKnOwlEdgEs ThAt I’m A DouCheBaG.
Here are some other cringy “not like other girls” lines. CAUTION: Read these at your own risk because you might die out of cringe. (Also the quotes might be considered a very very mild spoiler)
"Did you play cards with the other hundreds of girls?"
That surprises me. "Why not?"
He rubs at his jaw. "That is a complicated question, my lady. Likely for the same reason I never found need to face them with a weapon."
"She is interesting."
My eyes flick up. That's not a word I've ever heard Grey use to describe one of the girls. "Interesting?"
WOW! So SpEciAl and DifFeREnT.
2. Rhen: "I will not force myself on an unwilling girl." OH MY GOSH HE’S SO RESPECTFUL! So respectful he kidnaps girls and forces them to live in his castle for months! But that doesn’t matter because at least he won’t force himself on Harper! The bare minimum! What a kind guy! 🤠 👍
3. The Most YA Book Ever: This book has to be the MOST YA thing I have read in a while. It has all the elements to make the most horrific, juvenile YA book out there. I felt like the author treated this book as a potion and then added all the ingredients to make this book a typical, boring, enemies to lovers fantasy. There’s a love triangle, there is the “not like other girls” trope, there is “enemies to lovers” trope where the two are enemies for like two pages before they somehow fall in love. I’m telling you guys, this book is BAD.
4. The Romance: I refuse to acknowledge that this is considered romance. I’d like to call it hot trash instead. Typical enemies to lovers where they hate each other and then suddenly have one very very miniscule romantic moment that makes both of them love each other. Blah. This is why I’m starting to really hate enemies to lovers.
5. Plot: Plot? What plot? I don’t remember anything interesting happening in this book
What I liked:
Definitely avoid this book.
Red Flag #1: It is an extremely hyped book on Booktok and Bookstagram. That should already tell you how bad it is.
Red Flag #2: ANNOYING CHARACTERS
Red Flag #3: No plot whatsoever
Therefore, do not read this. You can thank me later. But if you still want to read a book where all the magic is sucked out of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, then be my guest (haha get it? The Beauty and Beast song?)
Even if someone paid me to read the second book, I don’t think I could finish it. I somehow managed to finish the monstrosity of the first book and still be alive. No way am I ever reading the second book.