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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  144 reviews
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 discovered she must struggle to catch up in school t ...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 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  373 ratings  ·  144 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:
Claude's Bookzone
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I think it is great that books about little known teen illness get written. Ricky has juvenile arthritis and is at times in a huge amount of pain. It affects her mobility and therefore restricts her ability to participate properly in many activities.

I had to push through the first half of the novel as her anger at being cursed with this illness made for unpleasant reading. She is 14, but some of her tantrums and hissy fits read more like a 10 year old. I know she is in pain and frustrated yet s
Aug 02, 2020 added it
Dnf'ed @ pg 102

This books is not for me. I picked it up as someone who suffers from chronic illnesses and I like to find rep on books, but I just couldn't relate to the main character. She came out as bratty, and yes, I know, she is struggling and learning to live with a disability, and she begans to change, but... the books is not for me.

Probably it's directed to a more junior audience or sth.
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 pr
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 re
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 a
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, sa
First and foremost- I am so grateful this book exists! I’ve never seen chronic pain so accurately, honestly, and fully represented in a book before. Honestly, it rarely seems to come up even in books with disability/chronic illness rep. We ultimately learn that Erica, who goes by the nickname Ricky, has juvenile arthritis but I also thought it was neat that this isn’t revealed right away. I liked this both because it helps keep the book open and so relatable to people with a wide variety of pain ...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
Brandy Franklin
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I have taken a very long time to sit with this book and review it and while it's been a while since I have read it, every part of the story has stuck with me. If you have a chronic illness/condition or if you know someone who suffers from that (a classmate, friends, family member, etc.) this is a MUST READ. I was originally drawn to this book because I too suffer from chronic pain. Therefore I can say first hand that the portrayal of the conditions which people with chronic conditions ...more
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 McDowell
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
TLDR; “Cursed” features AMAZING disability representation that had me either bawling my eyes out or on the verge of crying for most of this book. However, although the disability rep was great, it was still a very much white, cis, straight, middle class centered narrative with limited and very poor nods to diversity. (Also beware of frequent casual use of ableist slurs related to mental illness) The book took a while to get into because the way Ricky was mistreated at the beginning of the book ...more
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I never thought I'd see myself represented in a YA book this way. I don't have juvenile arthritis like Ricky, so our experiences aren't entirely comparable, but I do have a different chronic illness that involves joint pain. I found myself recognizing so much of Ricky's life, from the making adjustments in the way she sits so that her joints will hurt less later (and sometimes forgetting and facing the consequences) to the anger and frustration towards her illness that sometimes takes over. So m ...more
Laura Beam
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book! As someone who has an autoimmune arthritis disease/ physical disability and chronic pain, this book made me feel so seen. I have never before found a book about a young person with arthritis. The protagonist's experience was so relatable and aligned so similarly to ways that I have experienced arthritis and chronic pain. Though the protagonist was a somewhat unreliable narrator, was sarcastic, and sometimes unlikable, I could understand what lead her to feel that w ...more
Paulina Sinder
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favourites
This book brought a lot of things to light. Ricky is so... angry for basically half of the book, and I don’t blame her. When you think of the word “Arthritis” you don’t realise how serious it is. It’s not just some sore bones. This was a really enjoyable read about finding yourself and accepting yourself for who you are and adapting. 5/5
I loved this book and could not put it down. Ricky was the perfect mix of teen angst, humor, pain (physical and emotional), spunk, and more. I liked the friendship she develops with Oliver to understand different sides of youth medical conditions. And sometimes when called to do so, kids can be kind, not just total bullying buttheads! And Ricky has the best big sister!
Joanne Kelleher
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the attitude 14 year old Ricky, and how strong she was in dealing with her chronic pain. I also enjoyed the Philadelphia setting.
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, disability
A YA novel about chronic illness written by someone with chronic illness, and it shows! I totally get why this won the Schneider Award. As someone with a chronic illness myself, it was beyond refreshing to see the experience, especially those first disorienting months after onset/diagnosis, so candidly portrayed. More like this please!
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 an
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." ...more
The writing just didn't do it for me. It was incredibly stilted, and very obvious an adult trying to write like a teenager. Dashes were overused, as were teen buzzwords and slang. I DNFed this with a quickness. ...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 p
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, yo ...more
Maitland Johnson
I've been searching for a YA book that deals with chronic pain for such a long time. I stumbled upon this book while at the library btw the tag line of the cover is brilliant.

Representation matters. Whether this is for religion, race, and yes illness. Books have made major strides when representing mental illness (we still have a long way to go) but I've noticed a lack of books dealing with chronic "physical" illnesses. Sure they're some who have diabetes, I've read a handful of books on Cystic
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 st
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
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