Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

Series: The Dispossessed #1
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult, 12+
Pages: 340 (ARC)
Source: ARCycling
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.
 ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Some nightmares walk in the light.

Holy guacamole, I have never loved a gothic novel so much! I am beyond overjoyed that I was able to nab this book from ARCycling and I truly loved every minute of reading this one. Les grotesques are my new favorite paranormal creatures. I need me some more gargoyles!

The gargoyles featured in this novel is what really made me want to read this book. I was fascinated by the fact that a new paranormal creature was being brought onto the scene and I wanted to read more. Take the fact that this gargoyle is obviously hundreds of years old and introduce him to his modern British charge who recently moved to Paris and you have a delicious forbidden romance that was incredibly enticing despite its slow bloom. I loved every minute of it, made all the more powerful by the deliciously romantic historical setting of the 1890s in Paris. I think that what I enjoyed most about this romance and Luc, my new gargoyle book boyfriend that is full of immense swoon, is that this was clearly a case of selfless love. Loving our main character, Ingrid, was against Luc's very existence and loving a man that was half scaly stones is against the very thought of the nature of attraction. But she loved him because of his protectiveness for her and she was attracted to his gargoyle that showed his human features as well as his human form. I found it to be a rather powerful bond despite it caused a lot of issues in both of their separate worlds. I loved these two together so much that him simply declaring, "you're my human!" made my heart burst with joy.

I think that the historical aspect of this setting in beautiful, romantic Paris is what made this book even more captivating. What better place for young, forbidden love and the craziness of demons and hellhounds lurking under the protection of the night? Where else could the protection of gargoyles be so believable and welcome? This setting not only electrified the story-telling, the romance, and the overall plot, but it kept my attention riveted to the page because of my love of historical fictions. Truly, if you love historical novels or are looking for a book to get into historical fiction, this is a perfect book for you. The gothic feel and the darker aspects of this novel can only be described as delicious.

And, if you haven't already guessed it, I think that Morgan's characterization skills are absolutely magnificent. I loved Luc and everything he stood for, but what really blew me away was Ingrid and Gabby. These two sisters are fierce and have an amazing sisterly blond. They were amazing because despite being of the upper class, they didn't conform to societal standards. Despite being women, they did what they wanted. If they wanted to go out, they would go out whether it was proper or not. Sure, some of their actions were impulsive, but I had immense respect for them because they stood on their own two feet and held their heads high. Gabby, being the younger sister, had a tongue of silver and beauty that could be rivaled by nothing. And Ingrid had certain powers of her own, but together they make an amazing duo. And, while Ingrid had Luc and even Vander, a boy who can see the dust of demons, Gabby had Nolan, the delicious and hilarious Scot who posed as a detective when creatures from Underneath were involved in death. Watching the two of them go back and forth was both comical and believable, I loved every minute of it.

As mentioned above, this book has the traces of a love triangle, but this is a love triangle done right! Both boys are on two different playing fields and it's not as if they went head to head in a macho battle. This was two boys who wanted her attention and had two different ways of going about getting it, though it is incredibly clear that Ingrid has passionate feelings for only one of them.

I loved this book so much that this review can be never-ending, but I want to close out with one point. My ARC says that this book is marketed for the audience twelve years old and up. I think that this is a slightly young audience for this novel. This book takes place during a terrifying time in Paris where young girls are being abducted in the night and torn to shreds. When some remains were found it can be rather graphic, and there's even a scene where splashes of blood are described coating the outer walls of one of the girl's homes. I'm 18 and I actually had to put this book down after 11:30 because I began getting jumpy at any random noise my cats made. It's a creepy world, and I can't imagine many 12 year olds dealing with it well unless they had immeasurably thick skin and don't scare easy.

Full of plot twists galore, this gothic and historical paranormal ties together a delicious forbidden romance, a battle between good and evil, angels and demons, and two sisters stuck in the middle of it all. A must read for anyone willing to give it a try, I highly recommend it. Morgan's debut has not gotten the attention it deserves.


5 stars

~*~Links~*~

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation whatsoever in exchange for this honest review.

8 comments:

  1. Wow I am so glad you loved this one! i have seen it around a lot and have been dying to read it! I have seen a ton of mixed reviews though! Now I am definitely more interested in reading it because of your review!

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  2. This is on my wishlist for my birthday!!! I'm so glad that you had so many great things to say about it! Seriously this was a beautiful review that made me want to read this one even more!

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  3. Great Review! I have this on my TBR pile, hopefully I'll get to it soon :D

    Christy @ Christy’s Book Addiction

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  4. Yay, yay, Yeehaw! Thank you Lili; you have made my flippin day. Maybe the whole rest of my week. I have been going crazy for this book, summary and cover, all of it! Your review, which was a great review thank you, just made me even more antsy to read this book. I cannot wait. Thank you, thank you!

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  5. You are the reason I want to read this book. I had no interest AT ALL until I saw your status updates about gargoyles. Now? I NEED it. Definitely adding this one to the to-buy list!

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  6. I agree with Bekka above me, I really had no desire to read this before but you totally just sold me on it! Now the question is when can I fit it into my ridiculous reading schedule? :)

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  7. Wow, I need to start reading! The book has been sitting on my shelf since it released... And thanks for reminding me that this book is set in Paris!

    Great review! I love that las paragraph that basically had me salivating to open up The Beautiful and the Cursed and start reading :)

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  8. I had to comment again, now that I have had the chance to read the book. And let me tell you, I LOVED this book. I know that it has gotten some mixed reviews, but I adored every second of this story. I loved every character. I loved the story, the pacing, the plot. All of it!

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