By Jennifer L Armentrout
Available September 2012
Dying sucks–and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t?
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.
This Blonde’s Review:
What do you do when your touch can kill a person? When her little sister brought her back after a car accident that’s exactly what happened to Ember. So she chose to start wearing gloves and refuse to let anyone touch her. She had to be especially careful with her little sister, since she was the person responsible for her care since her mother was no longer fully functioning and her father was gone. Until one day when the unthinkable happens and someone touches her without her permission.
Soon Ember finds herself whisked away with her mother and sister and taken to live with a man she doesn’t trust and his children, who she knows don’t want her there. The family of gifted children have chosen to take her sister in as one of their own and look for reasons to get rid of Ember, seeing her abilities as a curse while their own are gifts. The only person who wants her around is Hayden. When someone starts to torment her by leaving disturbing gifts and messages for her she believes it has to be someone in the Cromwell family, even if Hayden refuses to accept it. As the threats escalate she can’t help but think someone is out to force her into a position that will cause her to be sent away from her little sister, something she will never allow to happen.
When Ember finds out that the accident that took her father’s life and her own wasn’t an accident she is determined to find out what really happened. She’s sure that that Cromwells had a hand in it, considering how determined they are to keep her sister in their home. Ember has to decide if she can trust Hayden enough to have his faith in his family or if he’s another one that can’t be trusted.
I enjoyed watching Ember try to piece everything together, whether she could trust the people around her or not and how to handle all of the new information she’d find. She handled life surprisingly well until the Cromwells show up and then she sort of flips out a little. Ember is angry at the world and the Cromwells are in her sights as people to be angry with. She does try her best to behave, not because she wants to stay and be in their good graces, but because she knows she’ll never see her family again if she’s sent away. Luckily she has Hayden to help her.
Hayden was hard for me to know, I wasn’t sure if I should trust him or think something was off with him. His power made him the only person who could touch Ember for any length of time and it also made him the one who could most understand that fear of accidentally killing people.
With so many around her that she’s unsure of Ember will have to learn who to trust. She’ll also have to learn whether she can learn to control her own power and to trust herself. Watching Ember’s path was great because I know that many of us would crumble, while others would react the same as Ember by striking out at those she sees as a threat. I found myself relating to Ember because I’m pretty sure I’d have reacted to some of those things the same way. The love story angle on this one wasn’t really here for me, since I couldn’t understand anything about why they’d have such an attraction for each other. It seems to have come down to she liked that he wasn’t afraid of her and he liked that she didn’t fall to pieces. Mutual respect and fascination can lead a couple far, but I didn’t really feel the connection there.
I enjoyed Ember’s story, so if you think you’ll want to see her figure out who is responsible for the accident that destroyed their lives and learn whether she can trust herself or the people around her, then you’ll want to read Cursed when it’s released in September.