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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  73 reviews
An #ownvoices contemporary/realistic YA debut. 14 year old Erica "Ricky" Bloom, is newly diagnosed with a painful chronic illness and pretty pissed off about it. Her body hurts constantly, her family’s a mess and the boy she’s crushing on seems completely clueless. The best coping mechanisms she can come up with are cursing and cutting school. But when her truancy is ...more
Published June 25th 2019 by Charlesbridge
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Karol Silverstein I like to think they would! I wrote a fun "character questionnaire" blog post imagining many characters from Cursed going to summer camp together and…moreI like to think they would! I wrote a fun "character questionnaire" blog post imagining many characters from Cursed going to summer camp together and they were definitely friends. The blog, unfortunately, is no longer doing their "character questionnaire" posts, so I don't think what I wrote will see the light of day. But you never know. Ricky and Kendall may be together in another book some day. Thanks for your question.(less)

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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  131 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Yna the Mood Reader
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Yna the Mood Reader by: Charlesbridge Teen
Shelves: arc
"It’s just . . . why does it have to hurt so much? Why does it have to hurt at all? Why do I have to deal with this . . . stuff?"

Much thanks to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for this complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own.

Buy This Book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo
Series: No.
Genre: Young Adult.
POV: First Person.
Cliffhanger: No.

Content Warnings: Bullying. Cursing (Duh.) Divorce. Illnesses, doctors and treatments.
Read if: you are a
I initially wasn't exactly sure about this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. I found it quite engaging, the writing felt light and easy to read despite the fact that the subject it tackled at times was everything but light and easy to read. I thought the characters were well-developed, they had a nice dynamic, and they were definitely easy to connect to. The plot was interesting, paced well - it kept my attention throughout.
The story was realistic, captivating, and to me it was very
Dave Lee
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cursed by Karol Silverstein is an exceptional book. I read it in a single sitting over 4 hours on a Friday night because I couldn't put it down. As a high school special education teacher, I fully intend on purchasing a class set for my 9th and 10th grade English Support class to read.

The protagonist Ricky is a complex and multi-dimensional character with clear motivations and drives. The plot is engaging and every character adds an important dimension to the story and the development of the
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"Cursed is for those kids and others living with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities—as well as anyone who wants to better understand what it's like to live with chronic pain."

Ricky's story does just that. It covers what it's like to be diagnosed, to be in daily, hourly, moment by moment pain, to have others not get it, or worse, ostracize you for it, treatment, ups and downs, finding a doctor you truly trust, and feeling, well, kinda cursed. It also has a compelling, relatable, lovestruck,
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a refreshing read! It's one of the first books I've read with a main character who has chronic pain, where it's actually a central topic of the book. And seeing as the rep for this is own voices, I really appreciated that.

While I don't have a chronic illness myself, the title "cursed" - being used by the MC to describe her chronically ill body - seems a little iffy. But I did love seeing a disabled character portrayed in a way that's not stereotypical and in a way that centers her
McKinlay Dennis
May 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
ARC provided by edelweiss and the publisher, Charlesbridge Teen.

I am so dang excited to read a book with chronic pain that doesn’t have the MC addicted to pain pills. As someone who has been in pain every day since she was 12, I’m really effing stoked!
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
YA is not my usual kind of book but as someone with a chronic illness, I had to give it a read. I am all about having more Chronic illness/disability representation out there especially more stories that don’t revolve around that person being cured because that isn’t real life.

I actually really enjoyed this book and I thought it portrayed being a teenager with a chronic illness really well. It showed how difficult everyday things such as getting up and dressed can be as well as how hard we have
Kara J McDowell
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a perfect "gap" book... a book that bridges the gap between Middle Grade and Upper YA. I think a lot of kids in the 14-15 age range will identify with Ricky, even if they don't deal with chronic illness. Speaking of which, Silverstein's portrayal of arthritis was unflinchingly honest. My heart broke for Ricky as she dealt with daily pain that I've never experienced, but the end was so happy and hopeful and real that I was tearing up. I hope this book finds it's way into the hands of kids ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cursed is a book about chronic pain without noble suffering and soapy dramatics. It's simple, frank, and angry, and as a person with chronic pain, it absolutely hit home. Ricky is angry that her arthritis hurts her, causes her to get bullied at school, and that her doctors won't listen to her. But as she begins to seize control of her own treatment, she realizes that even though her chronic pain won't go away, she can make the best of a situation that will never be ideal. Cursed is never preachy ...more
Keri (KeriBetweenPages)
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and wished it was on more reader’s radars! Can’t wait to review it on my blog and read her next book!
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here is a marvelous and heart-rending debut by Karol Silverstein, the story of Ricky (Erica, Roo or Ricky Raccoon), newly struggling from a chronic illness and newly starting a 'junior high' as a ninth-grader after a move because of her parent's divorce, thus all new kids. According to Ricky, she is definitely CURSED!
It's hard for me, an older adult, to understand that every movement can be excruciating for a young teen and perhaps even harder for classmates to 'get it'. That's what makes this
Maggie Tibbitt
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received an advanced reading copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This book had it all. An unforgettable main character, a beautiful and important message, and a lot of entertaining anecdotes along the way. This is the most genuine YA book I've read in a while. Ricky feels so real to me with all of her quirks and sayings. She was also painfully relatable because I remember being a 14 year old and I was not rainbows and sunshine all the time. I was stubborn
Rachel Artenian
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever felt cursed? You know you have. Now, imagine that you are a fourteen year old girl whose parents are getting a contentious divorce. Feeling cursed, right? Imagine you are a fourteen year old girl whose parents are getting divorced and you have to move into a tiny apartment and start a new school where 9th grade is part of junior high when you thought you’d be in high school. Yup, feeling really cursed. Imagine you are a fourteen year old girl whose parents are getting a divorce, ...more
Annette Jordan
A hugely impressive contemporary own voices YA book, Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein is an empowering and emotional read that will speak to people of all ages.
Erika, better known as Ricky, is 14 and trying to come to terms with her parent's divorce, but even worse that that she is coming to terms with a diagnosis that will impact every day of her life. It's only been a few months but she's already changed schools and lost all her friends , embarrassed herself and had to deal with unendurable
Eve beinguniquebooks
I wanted to review this book after seeing the main character surfers from a chronic illness, totally relatable to myself in some ways.

Only I suffer from fibromyalgia and other rheumatoid illnesses where as Erica or Ricky suffers with severe arthritis at just fourteen causing her to skip school and struggle with daily life from waking to sleeping, all day is a struggle to walk and be in endless pain.

As she deals with her parents divorce and her health she loses her way with school work, has to
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun and funny book and a great example of contemporary YA. The romance is sweet and so satisfying, the characters are well written, and the overall plot draws you in well. This is also a book about chronic illness. Unfortunately when people think of books about teens with chronic illness they expect things to play out like an old school after school special or with overly sappy upbeat cheesiness. This book is like an antidote to that mentality. The main character Ricky is amazing. ...more
Jacqueline Firkins
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cursed is such a fantastic read. The writing is witty, sharp, emotional, and deeply immersive. Silverstein's heroine is wonderfully complicated. She's far from perfect, which keeps her from being a symbolic hero or martyr and makes her land on the page with the kind of complexity anyone can relate to. She makes some bad choices and some good choices, like everyone else, and she does so while dealing with a challenge most of us don't have to face.

This is a book about a teenager dealing with
Actual rating: a STRONG 4.5 out of 5

I really enjoyed this book. Ricky (short for Erica) is a 14 year old girl who has been sent to live with her dad after her parents' divorce and her own arthritis diagnosis. Living with her father allows her to live in a place without the need for stairs and closer to a school, but it means transferring from the school she has always gone to (with "friends" who no longer talk to her) and going to a place where middle school ends AFTER 9th grade. She skips 6
Dai Guerra
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy how angry Ricky is at the world and how sometimes she even recognizes that her anger is misplaced. I know that this can sometimes throw you off as a reader but more me it made me find her relatable. She reminded me of having to go through multiple doctors and many tears before someone finally realized that the problem was asthma and that it wasn't going away.

I love when she doesn't want her arthritis to keep her from enjoying things and how hard she tries to keep doing things
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgally for review purposes.

So anyone who follows my reviews probably knows I'm a little harsh on YA. I keep reading it then get upset when I don't like it, so clearly I'm a glutten for punishment .

That being said, I really really enjoyed this. From start to finish. Maybe I'm a little biased because being about a girl with chronic illness, I related heavy. I'm also a spoonie and though I'm not out of HS I also was barely there and was told I wouldn't be
Courtney Pate
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cursed definitely got better for me as time went on. It follows the story of Ricky, short for Erica, who has a chronic illness. She's been skipping school for SIX WEEKS and finally gets caught.

We follow Rickey as she goes back to school, tries to connect with her crush, and tries to find acceptance.

The writing seemed juvenile at first - but that was just
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cursed took me by surprise. I was expecting a rant of a teenage girl who lives in self pity and eventually would have the popular boy of school falling in love with her towards the end of the story. How wrong was I!
For one, it wasn't about a ranty bratty teenage girl. Sure she had anger issues, but who could blame her. After all, she had a chronic illness. We see Erica mature emotionally and socially in the book. We see Erica with her flaws and her achievements. We see Erica appreciate the good
Sophia B
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Middle grade reads can be so difficult to find! (this review caters to that demographic and star rating is specific to that age group). It's really hard to find appropriate, not too racy reads for this age group and this book was perfect. It offered real life lessons about a girl experiencing both common and not too common difficulties in her life. Ricky sees herself as "cursed" mostly because of her juvenile arthritis and the fact that her parents are separating. Ricky's anger and pain cloud ...more
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this own voices book about a teen girl with chronic illness. Ricky is a great character, and I especially liked how the book charted Ricky’s journey to accept her arthritis and learn to ask for help.

However, what I really loved was how the book pointed out how the school had to be pushed into giving her accommodations, that the medical profession weren’t always listening to Ricky, and then gave us examples of how much better she coped once the accommodations and the right
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-literature
This is a great story for a few reasons:
-It is funny
-It made me cry
-I learned a lot about chronic pain and arthritis

Ricky has been diagnosed with the type of arthritis that changes your life. In Ricky’s case, she feels cursed and has resorted to cursing to deal with life. The cover gives fair warning that there are swears so the reader should not be surprised that there are a lot of them. Part of Ricky’s journey is to learn how to handle her arthritis and her swears. I liked the realistic view
Cassandra Federman
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the main character Ricky so much! Thankfully I did not suffer from a chronic illness as a teen, but I getting into her POV really brought me back to middle/high school. The relationship between Ricky and her teacher feels authentic and the romance between Ricky and Oliver—that was right in front of Ricky’s face the whole time!!!—was also a pleasure to escape into. This book is a must read for anyone suffering from chronic pain or anyone who likes a great story.
Kira Brighton
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm really grateful for the few novels out there, like this one, that look at being a young person with chronic pain. I hope we keep getting more MG/YA books with disability/chronic illness representation!

The character in this one is, with the exception of having a chronic pain disorder, very different from me. She's quite angry and abrasive, and it startled me a bit. But I suppose if, when I'd gotten sick, I'd been 14 and in middle school (instead of 15 and in high school) with a bad doctor, no
Nikki Barthelmess
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Karol Ruth Silverstein has created a fantastic, thought-provoking novel that encourages compassion while providing a lot of laughs along the way.
CURSED is a must-read for not only anyone suffering from a chronic illness or from being misunderstood, but for anyone who wants to learn a little about having empathy for someone who is struggling – which should be EVERYONE. Read this book! I’m so glad I did.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Silverstein tackles a challenging subject with sensitivity and a great deal of humor. I don't read a lot of YA and was completely absorbed by the story and by Ricky, the engaging and irreverent main character. Although Ricky is unusual in being a teen with a serious illness that causes chronic pain, she nevertheless is a typical (and, I think, relatable) teen in many other ways, including desperately wanting to fit in and be accepted by the "cool kids."
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This amazing book immerses you in the life and mind of 14 year old Ricky, a girl dealing with juvenile arthritis, her parents divorce, and all the ups and downs of being a ninth grader. Instead of another tale of a heroic teen stoically overcoming her challenges, we get a real person who curses and cries, makes mistakes, loves bath bombs, and deals with all to fallible parents and peers. A must read for teens and adults.
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