When I first started reading Cursed, I was instantly curious as to what was in store for me. The style of the author while not a smooth or as polished as it could be, has a certain flow to it, that cannot be ignored
I am a firm believer that there are three types of books and writers. Those whose talent is innate, and who can put a pen to paper and produce gold from the first sentence, those that have the talent and the ability, but much like diamonds, they need to be cleaned and polished before they really shine, and then there are those that string words together, call themselves writers, and complain that they are not on the bestsellers list. In Georgina Hannan, I have discovered one such diamond. The talent of the writing is clear, and for a debut novel, she has put together a very tidy package.
We are introduced to four teens, who are heading away to Dartmoor for a holiday before university starts again. With one couple already existing within the group, it is clear from the start that there is a relationship brewing between the others. This soon develops, but not without the necessary to and fro of emotions. The author managed to accurately capture the swinging, hormone fueled range of emotions that most teens experience, and the relationships grew at a nice pace, and hit the right bumps in the road.
The main story is based in fact, and it is here that the true strength of the story comes into play. The group are treated to a session of local legend recitation during dinner one summer evening, and not long after the strange events begin at apace. First we have the Beast of Dartmoor, then Lady Howard and her devil carriage. The one legend that I felt did not really fit were the ´hairy hands´ and while I am sure they are a true legend, I think maybe, the story would have been strengthened even further had this legend either been embellished slightly, or changed for something of the authors own creation. Still, it should not be forgotten that the book is aimed at the Young Adult market, and when viewed from such a standpoint, it could easily be understood why the ´hairy hands´ legend made it into the final cut.
All in all, Cursed was an entertaining read and will certainly appeal to younger readers, for it breaks the mold of the current crop of YA Romance novels, and replaced the sparkly crap with real legends, real myths, and a dark undertone that does not patronize readers, but rather makes them advance themselves, to grow. With a careful re-edit and a few tweaks, it could also become a book for an older audience.
4 out of 5 stars.