Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel (Blog Tour Review, Honest as Always)

I am so a sucker for a pretty cover.  I’ve admitted before that I judge books by their covers.  Don’t look at me like that.  You do it, too.  And Beautiful Curse has such a pretty cover.  So now you know why I signed up for this tour.

Of course, the danger of judging a book by its cover is that you run the risk of the book being crap (or at least not all that you expected it to be).  I’ll admit that Beautiful Curse wasn’t what I expected it to be (it most definitely was not crap), but it was different in the best way.

Allow me to explain.  For some reason it didn’t register with me; that last line in the blurb.  You know, about Beautiful Curse being a retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.  So I read the first few chapters with a furrowed brow.  The whole thing about Mya suddenly being fabulously gorgeous yet outcast?  Who knew that there was such a thing as too beautiful (especially in the cutthroat social world of high school)?  It was all just so over the top.  But wait!  Here’s the important part to remember: Beautiful Curse is a retelling of a myth.  When I pulled up my handy-dandy Wikipedia app and read the story of Psyche and Cupid it all made sense.  And then I was able to appreciate how much fun the book really is.

Here’s the thing; if you’re expecting some elegant metaphorical interpretation of the myth of Psyche and Cupid, you’ll be extremely disappointed.  But that doesn’t make the book any less enjoyable.  It’s kinda like Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin.  In my review I advise against expecting historical accuracy.  In Beautiful Curse I’m warning you against expecting realism.  Because that’s not the retelling that Jen wrote.  And that’s a really good thing.  I love that she just went with the myth as it was.  No elegant metaphors for Cupid and his castle.  No explanations for Mya’s sudden beauty.  Beautiful Curse is a straight-up retelling in the best sense of the word.

So if you’re a classical scholar or a stickler for realism in your mythical retellings, put all the expertise and credulity into a nice little box and set it aside while you read Beautiful Curse.  In this case it is so worthwhile to just sit back, relax, and enjoy a sweet, fantastical romance with a pretty freaking awesome ending.


jen mcconnel picJen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).

She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWINCWN, and SCWW.

A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga.

Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Ashley

    I know you said you weren’t in to C.S. Lewis, but if you liked this, I’d be very curious to see your reaction to Till We Have Faces, which is his retelling of the same myth. (I’m certain it’s very different than this book, but now that you know the myth, maybe it will intrigue you…)

    1. Leila

      You’re right. I am interested after reading this. Now to see when I can get around to reading it…

  2. Jen McConnel

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review BEAUTIFUL CURSE! I’m glad it surprised you in the best possible way! 🙂

    1. Leila

      I really enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  3. Jen McConnel

    Thank you so much for reading and reviewing BEAUTIFUL CURSE! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Jen McConnel

      Gagh. Sorry this double posted…this is what happens when I try to work before 7 am…

      1. Leila

        I forgive you. I’m often the same way. 🙂

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