If you follow my Bookstagram or my Twitter, you may have seen me already yelling about this book a lot. It is one of my favourite books, one of the few books I have ever pre-ordered, and I really hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did!
This is also the Book Of The Month for the South Asian Reading Challenge put together by Fanna @ Fannatality and Nandini @ Novel And Nebulas, so check that out and check out Sandhya’s Instagram for quote graphics to get even more excited!
I attempted to put together a playlist below (with added playlist cover!) and of course, was very tempted to just put in many Bollywood songs because of reasons. My spoiler-free review is also at the bottom of this post, so be sure to check that out for more reasons to read this wonderful book!
Title: Of Curses And Kisses
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: YA, contemporary
Publisher: Harper Collins
Series: St. Rosetta’s Academy
Publication Date: 18 February 2020
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble
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 demeanor 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. Sparkling and elegant, Jaya’s unlike anyone Grey has ever met. Still, 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.
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast set at an elite boarding school in the mountains–think Beauty and the Beast meets Gossip Girl! It’s out February 18th, 2020 and even has a map in the hardcover. Featuring an Indian princess and a misanthropic British aristocrat, it’s immersive, glamorous, and full of smoldering kisses! I hope you guys will order it wherever you get your books!
- Thinking Out Loud; Ed Sheeran
- Say Something; Alex & Sierra
- Gravity; Sara Bareilles
- Not Yet/Love Run (Reprise); The Amazing Devil
- A Thousand Years; Aimee Proall, Lindsey Sterling, Kurt Hugo Schneider
- Dust To Dust; The Civil Wars
- In My Veins; Andrew Belle
- Hold On; Chord Overstreet
- Red; Taylor Swift
- What If; SafetySuit
- Darmiyaan (Reprise); Shreya Ghoshal [Jodi Breakers]
- Manchala; Shafqat Amanat Ali, Nupur Pant, Vishal-Shekhar [Hasee Toh Phasee]
- Preet; Jasleen Royal [Khoobsurat]
- Meri Aashiqui; Palak Muchhal, Arijit Singh [Aashiqui 2]
- Sab Tera; Armaan Malik, Shraddha Kapoor [Baaghi]
The full playlist – not in this order – can be found on Spotify here!
Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Of Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen Vogue, NPR, BuzzFeed, and Seventeen. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado.
Visit her online at SandhyaMenon.com, on Twitter @smenonbooks or on Instagram @sandhyamenonbooks.
This was everything I wanted in a (contemporary) Beauty And The Beast retelling. It was a recognisable storyline with just enough of a fresh spin on it that you are engaged throughout. And the characters!
I would like to start by saying Jaya Rao is my child and I would die for her. She is strong and yet scared. She is fierce and yet frightened. She is stubborn and vulnerable and confused and reserved. She is unapologetically Indian. She loves so passionately that you can feel it. I relate to her – her protectiveness, her loyalty to family, her desire to help her friends, her love for reading – so much. She is willing to acknowledge her mistakes and yet also scared of the consequences, but willing to face them. She is just everything to me.
And Grey? He is such an intriguing character. I want to wrap him up in a blanket and tell him he deserves to be happy. He’s frustrating, yes, but the insights into his background and his mindset make all his decisions so understandable. He is a complex character that matches Jaya so well.
And the side characters are also well-developed and fun. I’m hoping one of them will be the focus of the next book in the series.
There was just enough foreshadowing and hints to make the story unfold so believably. Nothing felt contrived or forced. This was equal parts intense, fluffy, fun and passionate, and I loved it so much.