Book Reviews

Of Curses and Kisses | Sandhya Menon

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Genre: Contemporary, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Romance, YA

Date Published: 18 Feb 2020

Format: E-book (ARC)

Pages: 384 pages

Date Started: 10 Oct 2019

Date Finished: 13 Oct 2019

Goodreads rating: 4.13/5

My rating: 5/5

Source: Author

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Disclaimer: I received this ARC in return for my honest review.

My Thoughts

I am a general sucker for anything Beauty and The Beast. So, the moment I knew one of my favourite author’s, Sandhya Menon was writing a new B&B retelling I was over the moon. I was stoked when I received the ARC from her. 

Of Curses and Kisses is a contemporary and creative retelling of B&B which effectively depicts the same underlying plot dynamics, genuine relationships, family value, etc., but also relations of cultural influence.

Jaya Rao, the heiress of the Mysuru throne leaves her friends and family to attend her final year of high school at St.Rosetta’s International Academy. She has only one goal, that’s to break Grey Emerson’s heart!

Why? My dears you have to wait for the book to be released to find out! *inserts evil laugh*

St. Rosetta’s is your all hi-fi, posh, affluent boarding school. Built on the mountains, secluded from people. I don’t know why I imagined the structure of the school to look like a castle.

Like all of Menon’s books, she captures the characters in a way that makes you feel like you’re right there in the story.

What I Liked

“Isn’t it funny? The beautiful princess did turn the beast into a man after all.”

            “But here’s a secret, the beast was the handsome prince all along. He just didn’t know it.”

This is not your typical retelling- I loved how Menon put a spin on the rose (okay that’s all I am saying).

I really loved the way Jaya schemed to break Grey’s heart. She’s super overprotective of her younger sister- Isha Rao, her family and traditions. There’s nothing that she would not do to safeguard her family’s name.

She believes that her royal title is her only identity, has a very conventional perspective, and is unbending in her understanding of what is right and wrong. Dedicated to a fault (to which she sacrifices her own joy for its people/family), non-judgmental, independent and precise. 

Grey Emerson, is a broody 18-year-old teenager. While his peers are all out having fun, enjoying their typical teenage life – Emerson stays away from people as much as he can. I won’t say that you will be attracted to him immediately, but if his looks don’t get to you, his character sure will do it.

There’s so much he holds to himself under that broodiness. Despite him being an ass, he still has three very good “friends”, Leo Nguyen, Rahul Chopra and Daphne Elizabeth. I wouldn’t say they are the best of friends but, their friendship is unique.

There were many instances when my heart broke for Grey and there were times where all I wanted to do was ruffle his hair and get lost in his blue eyes.

I think that’s one of the many things I’ve always loved about Menon’s writing she always incorporates very tight family values and friendships.

There were parts or plot settings that reminds you so much of Disney’s B&B but, it comes with a twist! 

I am trying so hard to not spoil it for you guys, but I am afraid I might do so. There’s so much to talk about.



From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

Will the princess save the beast?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanour and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending. 

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