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By a Charm and a Curse

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  629 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel throug
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Entangled: Teen
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Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  629 ratings  ·  250 reviews

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C.G. Drews
I totally love magical circus settings so this just scored AAAAALL the points for me right there! Plus this centres around a kiss and a curse and magic. Oh yes please and thank you.

I also have no idea why I like circus books so much considering (a) I've never been to one, and (b) my mother told me a story of when she was a little girl going to one and someone fell and nearly died, soooooooo. Cait, why fore art thou so interested. But it is what it is. Here I am. I will wear a festively fabulous
Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
Sorry, but if you don't like stories about carnivals or the traveling circus, we can't be friends. Just kidding, but I do have an affinity for all things weird, strange, and entertaining. In 2016/2017 I highly enjoyed both Caraval and Daughter Of The Burning City, and this book felt like a nice blend of the two while doing it's own thing. I can dig that. I enjoyed this one so much that I finished it in a span of 36 hours; it was that type of compulsive read that begins as a slow burn (as most fa ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
To the casual observer Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic seems just like any other traveling circus with it's flashing lights, death defying shows and plenty of rides and games to entertain all who visit. But this traveling circus has existed for centuries benefiting from a curse upon one of it's own while the others enjoy a charm that protects them. All those who perform and work for the circus stop aging at adulthood and accidents never happen to their group as long as the cursed one stays in the ...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
By a Charm and a Curse – Review & Blog Tour

About: By a Charm and a Curse is a young adult fantasy written by Jaime Questell. It was recently published on 2/6/18 by Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing and distributed by Macmillan, hardcover, 291 pages. The genres are fantasy, young adult, romance, magic, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up. This book is the author’s debut.

My Experience: I started reading By a Charm and a Curse on 2/7/18 and finished it o
Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
So, i really had different expectations from this book. I thought it was something like Caraval or the Night Circus (even though i haven’t read the last one yet). It had less magic in it, so it wasn’t a book full of magic. Just a bit to sparkle things up.
In the story after a really exciting night Emma gets magically trapped inside of a circus. There she meets a lot of interesting people working in the circus and Ben who’s trying to help her get out of there.
It’s a really short bo
Rusty Grey

DNF at 30% (31% actually)

I wasn't expecting this from me . My first dnf book . Which has received rave reviews from many of my fellow reviewers . But this is not my cup of tea . It is just sooooo boooooring .

What is a charm and a curse after all . Aren't they just like pros and cons ? The only pro of By a Charm and a Curse is that it is a standalone novel (I couldn't even complete it) . And the cons . They are many .

I mainly disliked this novel due to its protagonist Emmaline . A fi
Yusra  ✨
2.5-ish stars ✨
This book has me extremely conflicted. I’ll give you a wrap up of the pros & cons.

+ Pros +

-carnival setting, world building
-writing style (very descriptive and realistic)
-ALL THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS. so much love for all of them

- Cons -

-main characters (Emma & Benjamin)
-cringe ass romance
-unbelievable (not in a good way)

let’s elaborate, shall we?

the story goes as so;
-Emma’s sad because she’s in a new town
-Emma is having a perfectly
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
Confused by all of the low ratings. Y'all over here complaining about "love" being thrown around so quickly, when in fact that word was not thrown around until the 75% ish mark... like TWO MONTHS into the story. Fam. Two months is definitely enough time to fall for someone. Or did y'all not realize that two months passed? Didn't pay attention? *headdesk* This book was pretty good. It has a lot of potential and could have used some improvement in some areas, but definitely not two-star bad. And i ...more
Cindy ✩☽♔
Rating 2-2.5?

This book is somewhat hard to rate for me. Did I enjoy it? Sure, I guess. But I enjoyed it the same way I might enjoy a Wendy's cheeseburger. It is generic, standard and I know exactly what to expect.

Let me try summarize it for you guys, avoid this section if you hate any sort of spoilers, but I will do my best to be generic and vague.
1. Girl is in the new town/not her hometown
2. Girl feels lonely and misunderstood
3. Girl ditches her friend in an unfamiliar place
4. Girl gets tr
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Initial reaction (4 March 2018)

I don't knowwwwwww

Actual Review (5 March 2018)


Here’s the deal: This isn’t a bad book. It has a cool premise and kind of a unique setting. Unfortunately, I was rather underwhelmed by the execution of it all. There was nothing new, original, or even engrossing about the story.

Side note:
I have read both The Night Circus and Caraval, both of which I have heard this book be compared to. Apart from the similar setting, I don’t really think this has anything in
Natalie Monroe
Aug 25, 2016 marked it as to-read
All the blurb is saying is it's Snow White meets Pinocchio. To which I say, "Shut up and take my money." ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A cursed kiss and a magical carnival told in a more modern day setting than other circus type novels, this may have been better if I hadn’t read a lot of YA before. Unfortunately it all feels very familiar and the characters are a bit flat and stereotypical.

The carnival itself is developed well, and the story itself is reasonably well written. It’s colourful and full of a character all of its own, I just wish the same could be app
Ardent Reader
3.5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The main reason that I requested the book was because of the attractive cover. But, I didn’t enjoy it as I have expected it to be.

The story is being told by the two main characters point of view, so it’s not difficult to understand the story.

I quite enjoyed the relationship between Emma and Benjamin. The writer was able to convey their lives in a very interesting manner.

The story line is somewhat unique and dif
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always love it when a book has a circus setting - there's such a specific atmosphere around it, that hint of whimsy that leaves you filled with a sense of amazement and wonder. The circus in By A Charm and a Curse has real magic, the kind that comes with (you guessed it) a charm and a curse. The charm: none of the circus performers ever get hurt. The curse: the circus has to have a Boy or Girl in the Box as its anchor, one person doomed to live as a human-like wooden puppet. Our main character ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface by saying: this book is not perfect. The dialogue can be a bit flat, and the switching POVs don’t feature narrators with well-distinguished voices.


You guys, this was a really satisfying witchy/magical read for me!! After so many duds, this was a treat.

The location reminded me of the show Carnival, which was dark and creepy and awesome; and let’s face it, it’s an intriguing location, no matter whether it’s been done before. (Also the cover really sets the mood, so well done
This book had potential! With an interesting backdrop and an intriguing curse, there was a lot that could have been done with By a Charm and a Curse.

But things moved waaaaay too fast. It didn't feel fast paced and full of high stakes; it felt rushed, and that's partly the reason the execution failed. Considering that this is a pretty short book, there's not nearly enough time to fully immerse yourself with the characters and the world.

Had this book been longer, I think the issue might have bee
Melissa Chung
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 52-in-2018, owned
I received this YA Fantasy for free from Entangled Teen for an honest review.

I have hit another jack pot with Entangled Teen books. I recently saw this book on a YA upcoming releases list and thought it sounded very much like The Night Circus, which is one of my favorite books. I immediately requested the book from the publishing house and was included on the book tour.

I must say this can definitely be considered a little sister to The Night Circus. A Skipper to Barbie kind of comparison. It's
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This book surprised me. I didn't think that I would like it as much as I did. There were many elements to it, romance, magic, family dynamics, friendship, carnival to name a few. Now that I have let it soak in I find that days later I am still thinking about the story. I still keep thinking about the unique setting of the carnival and the vibe that the book had. Now, in saying that there are definitely problems with the story. The main issue that I had was that you did not get much back story o ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
“Things that are linked cannot be unbound. Things set in motion cannot be stopped…”

I have some mixed feeling about this - I loved the humor that the story started out with, and the carnival setting, but the humor almost immediately disappeared and the characters fell flat. By a Charm and a Curse follows Emma King as she’s captipulted into Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic, trapped as the holder of a charm that helps the Carnival thrive. But the Carnival’s charm is Emma’s curse and she’s
Xiomara Canizales
Jan 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, 2018-read
Nope. Sorry. No!
The story is about Emmaline (Emma, Em) who catches a curse and has to get it out to get her life back.
Emma's life is SO DEPRESSING... her mom left her with her dad because she went to another county and now Emma has 'no home' she feels that she doesn't fit anywhere. So, there she is in this carnival with her friend, trying to be social. In the first place I don't understand what is she doing there, I got the sense that she didn't want to be there but anyways her friend wanted her
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m quite surprised I enjoyed this as much as what I did, but here we are!

- Carnivals
- Creepy Doll Like characters
- Romance
- Rivalry
- Friendship

Yeahhhhh I’m kind of here for it!
Aimee Ferguson
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
I was so excited for this book. I think that needs to be said immediately, because my expectations were quiiiite high. I think that's always a dangerous thing for any book, but I have a particular love of circus/carnival books that will not listen to rhyme nor reason. It's also very very hard to live up to, and I knooow I'm picky. So, you know, several grains of salt. 

Luckily, it absolutely had the circus vibes that I've been craving. I mean, it felt a little more Mr Galliano's Circus than Carav
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh... the premise was cool but it didn't live up to much. ...more
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
By A Charm and A Curse is magical. Jaime Questell takes you right inside the confines of the travelling carnival with an ensemble cast of carnies, the sights, sounds, smells, and day-to-day life as part of the carnival that is held together by the titular charm and curse.

With alternating POVs, readers get a thorough glimpse into the life of a roustabout named Ben and a new entry into the carnival entertainment with Emma as the newest curse victim, the girl in the box. It's also filled real emot

Come one, come all!

Ok, so Carnival's creep me out. They don't seem safe and there's clowns running around everywhere and no...I just can't deal with that. But I find that I do enjoy stories with a carnival setting. This one was no different. While I had minor issues with the book as a whole, this was a solid debut from Questell.

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic is a special carnival. It has both a charm and a curse placed upon it (hence the name). When Emma visits the carnival one night with her bes
Melissa Souza
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
3 stars!!!

I'm usually a huge fan of circus novels but unfortunately, this one just didn't do it for me. I guess I was expecting a whole lot of fantasy with exceptional worldbuilding but I just didn't get any of those things. Let me elaborate further.

Firstly, the book doesn't have much worldbuilding. Yes, the author describes the acts and the atmosphere which was pretty nice but it wasn't immersive enough for me. When I hear fantasy, I expect all weirdly wonderful things but since the story has a
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars-2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaime Questell
Jan 09, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi all! I'm the author of this book and I'm going to use this space to keep you up-to-date on all things CHARM!

CHARM is out in less than a month and I am crazy excited. To thank everyone who has preordered a copy, I have a preorder campaign going on now! Email proof of your preorder to, and I'll send you a bookmark, signed bookplate, and fortune teller fish. One person will win a grand prize pack including all of the items listed above and a Ferris wheel necklace, Ferri
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
By a Charm and a Curse was an entertaining and unique book! This was a quick read that definitely can be done in one sitting!

The beginning of By a Charm and a Curse was a bit chaotic and too fast paced for me. I actually had a hard time keeping up with everything that was happening and truly understanding what was going on. I liked that the author kept me on my toes, but I just wish the pace would have been toned down a little bit in the beginning. However, after the first couple chapters, the b
Sarah (thegirltheycalljones)
Well well well.
In one sentence : it was good but I didn't feel very involved with the characters and their issues.
Another carnival-circus book that I liked but didn't love, which is starting to become annoying as it may be my favourite setting ever...

I loved loved loved the idea of the curse and its...mechanism. It was handled really well and kept me at the edge of my seat for many pages.

Emmaline, the female MC, is a good character. She's not super special, she's not irritating, she goes throu
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JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to wr ...more

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