By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell is a YA Fantasy following a girl forced into a Carnival by a charm and a curse..
“Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.
Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.
Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.“
I absolutely loved this book!
The plot line surrounding this mysterious Carnival was what brought me into reading this book in the first place. The author formed all of the dimensions to where I felt like I was right in the middle of all of the amazing acts. There was great world building that switched from a festive to a fantasy aesthetic as the plot began to thicken.
The characters were one of my favorite aspects of this book. With the magic that is tied into their talents, I became engrossed in seeing how they developed. There is romance in this book, BUT it doesn’t follow through like any YA novel I’ve read in a long time.
I was completely surprised in how the title of this book tied in and switched the feeling of the plot about halfway through. I was completely entertained by how the author slowly added the curse into the plot while also focusing on building the foundation of the carnival’s history.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I didn’t give it that final star because the romance did come out of nowhere and there were a few parts to the dialogue that felt typical in YA. BUT I absolutely adored all the other parts.
There is a great mix of villainous characters, a fantastic carnival, a tragic curse, and curious characters that all made me read this book in a few sittings.
I highly recommend this book if you love carnival books as much as I do!
Published: 6 February 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
How I Read It: eArc from Publisher
“JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.”
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of my book reviews contain my opinion only and are not influenced in any way.*
Stay tuned for more book reviews every week! You can subscribe below for instant links to each of my posts and help share the love of YA!
Until next time..