Monday, 27 May 2013

Review & Giveaway: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

The Beautiful and the Cursed
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 14th 2013
My rating:  4 stars


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.


I’m not one who usually reads historical fiction, but this one appealed to me. Mystery, horror, with a gothic feel, set in Paris!  I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I gave this story a chance!

Seventeen year old Ingrid is flung into a world where mythical creatures are anything but myth, when her mother, sister and she move to Paris from London.  Her mother plans on renovating an old abbey into a gallery to exhibit her art, and during the renovations Ingrid, her sister Gabriella and Grayson are to stay in the abbey’s old rectory, only Grayson is missing when they arrive.  He was sent ahead to locate and purchase a property suitable for his mother’s endeavor and he chooses the old abbey.  Ingrid and Gabby are horrified to find the rectory and abbey old, musty, creepy and haunting.  Surrounded by gargoyles sitting as grotesque sentries at the top of the building the place gives Ingrid shivers.  Turns out there’s a reason for that.

When they arrive and find Grayson missing with reports of local girls disappearing as well, Ingrid and Gabby are more than alarmed and they make plans to find him. Reluctantly involved in the quest is Luc one of the abbey’s servants.  He’s young and beautiful and Ingrid finds out there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Luc.  Not just Luc, there’s a whole other world in Paris that Ingrid and Gabby discover just under their noses, and unfortunately their brother Grayson found himself smack in the middle of it. 

This story was an intriguing mix of fantasy, mystery, and horror and interspersed with romantic tension.  The story is told in the third person and switches from the perspective of Ingrid, Gabby, Luc and Grayson so that we get to know each character a little more intimately. 

Seventeen year old Ingrid is still reeling from humiliation over an incident in London, so moving to Paris is a welcome change but finding her twin Grayson is missing is like a stab to the heart.  She is very close to her brother, almost like an invisible cord connects them, so she knows he’s in danger but still alive.  Fifteen year old Gabby is impetuous and outgoing, so she doesn’t think twice about consequences when she bands together with her sister Ingrid to find Grayson. 

Grayson’s disappearance is wrapped up in Luc’s secret world, so he’s not going to let Ingrid and Gabby search for Grayson by themselves.  He’s connected and bound to all residents of the abbey, but finds himself even more so to Ingrid.  She’s also affected by Luc, with his striking good looks and infuriatingly hostile attitude.  As much as Ingrid would like to ignore Luc, she finds out he is one of the keys to finding her brother.

I really liked the original idea of this world and its creatures, and the setting of Paris back in the 1800’s was mysterious and intriguing.  But there’s a lot going on with this being the first book in a series, setting up and explaining the world, and creatures.  There are several POVs and a descriptive style of prose, and all this combined made it a little difficult to get into the story at first.  Once I settled in, though, the story got a whole lot more interesting, even if the pacing was a little slow. 

There are a few attractions and romances a-brewing with Ingrid and Gabby. Shades of a love triangle with Ingrid, Luc and another character, Vander, who is also part of this mystical world, made me a little nervous.  I can’t stand love triangles, but so far the situation is bearable, because Luc seems to be the clear winner, even though their romance is in the forbidden category.  He’s definitely my pick.  Gabby’s romance was of the antagonistic variety, which made it a little more fun and lighthearted. 

All in all, this is a promising start in a series with an original concept, and while it didn’t leave on a cliffhanger, it left you wanting more.  I will be picking up the sequel to see what happens next. 






I'm giving away my copy of The Beautiful and the Cursed to one lucky reader.  This is for an Advanced Readers Copy and the giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Just fill in the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.  Good luck and thanks for stopping by! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

38 comments:

  1. I'm so excited you enjoyed this one, Rachel! I'm looking forward to the unique concept behind this one. I think I'll be waiting until the entire series is out, though, since I'd prefer to see where the love triangle goes. Fantastic review, Rachel!(:

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  2. I would like to see real-life dragons! Not the ones that kill and burn everything on their way, but peaceful dragons that don't to damage to the nature or threaten people (:

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  3. Hmmmm. I feel like I've been waiting for this book for months and months ever since the cover reveal, and I'm really excited about it, BUT the mention of multiple POVs worries me a bit. How many are there? I'm fine with two and maybe even three, but more than that and I start to feel detached from the story. That being said though, you gave it 4 stars, and I take your ratings and recommendations seriously, so I'll still definitely be giving this one a try. Thanks Rachel!

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  4. The originality and mix of fantasy sounds great.

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  5. I am really happy to see that you are not a historical fan and still really enjoyed this one. I am not a historical fan either and I had entered a giveaway for this one (mesmerized by that pretty cover) and then won it not realizing what it was about! You have given me new hope for it. I think I could really like this, I like how there were so many different elements to it, a bit of fantasy, emotion, paranormal. Great review!

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  6. Unicorns! I think they are so beautiful just from the pictures, so it would be amazing to see them in person!

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  7. I received a copy of this at RT, and wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. I enjoy historical, but haven't been into fantasy. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed TB&tC, and I'm glad the different elements worked for you.
    Great review, Rachel!

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  8. I hate that there's a love triangle, but at least it's bearable. I really couldn't live with yet another angsty and complicated LT. I am very excited about this, lately, historical has been my first choice and I hope to read it as soon as possible.
    The cover is gorgeous too!
    Great review, Rachel!

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  9. The cover is gorgeous, and I love fantasy. I think it would be awesome to have unicorns in real life :-) Especially if they really do have healing powers!!!

    Christina @ Ensconced in YA

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  10. No cliff-hanger! Yeah. I hate them. I also like several POV's, but it's a shame that there is a love-triangle.

    I would love to have a Phoenix <3

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  11. I can take about three POVs the most, not more. Then I won't be able to connect with the characters. I hope it doesn't have more than three. I'm beyond glad that the love triangle didn't bother you. I think more often than not people despise love triangles, but they're still there. Anyhow, I think it'd be an awesome read and very, very different. Plus, PARIS!!! :) Oh, and I love Mel's choice of Phoenix. I wouldn't have thought of that.

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  12. I have been dying to read this. It sounds awesome. And I love Paris as a setting. Great review! :)


    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

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  13. Ohh, I did NOT know that this one is set in Paris! (I'm kind of obsessed with Eiffel Towers at the moment..) Like you, I'm not usually a historical fiction type of girl, but I think they're growing on me! The mix of genres in this book has piqued my interest, especially the horror/mystery part. I'm a bit wary of the romance like you are, so we'll see how that goes for me. I'm generally excited for this book though! Fantastic review, Rachel!

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  14. I haven't read any gothic book, but since I'm trying new genres/styles this year, I'm curious enough to give this one a try. What's not to love about creepy gargoyles? ooh, I'm so looking forward to this one. I can handle more POV's as along as they are done right and YAY for no cliffys. Great review, Rachel!

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  15. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction myself Rachel, but I like the sound of this one. Though the triangle does sound a bit scary. Sometimes I don't mind them, usually when they go in my favour lol. Great review :)

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  16. I'd love to see unicorns comes to life.

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  17. I would definitely like to see a unicorn!

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  18. Actually I'm super excited reading about gargoyles! :)
    I've heard so many great things about this book and now that I've read your review I know I must read it!
    Thank you for the giveaway.

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  19. I did hear about the slight love triangle in this one, but I'm hoping it doesn't manifest into anything stronger in the next book. I might wait to hear what people say about it before deciding whether or not to pick this one up. Thrilled you enjoyed it though! Historical fiction isn't always for me either, but this book does sound very promising. Lovely review, Rachel. :)

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  20. Unicorns are so beautiful & magical.

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  21. I'd love to see mummies come to life in a book. This book looks pretty good plus it has a gargoyle that would be interesting!

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  22. I'd like the chance to chat with some of the talking animals from Aesop's Fables.

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  23. its a toss up between a phoenix and a pegasus!! I cant wait to read this book!! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

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  24. Many thanks for the giveaway, this book sounds really intriguing! I'd most like to see the Fae come to life - not dark ones, though! ^_^ Or Jareth the Gobin King! :D Yum! :P

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  25. I'd love to read about a phoenix!

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  26. Def gargoyle!!!!!! :D
    Mary G Loki

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  27. I would love to see a pegasus!! Maybe ride one too.

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  28. dragons :)
    thx u for the giveaway...

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  29. Pegasus--I would kill to have one as a pet and means of transportation ;D

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  30. Chimaeras and unicorns! Thanks for the chance! :D

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  31. I would love for angels to come to life

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