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Ever Cursed

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Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World in this incisive and lyrical feminist fairy tale about a princess determined to save her sisters from a curse, even if it means allying herself with the very witch who cast it.

The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.


Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.

But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.

Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published July 28, 2020

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Corey Ann Haydu

19 books408 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 436 reviews
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,334 reviews352 followers
August 17, 2020
This fantasy was an interesting read. I liked how simple this story was with easy to pronounce names and places. The story read slow for me. It stressed out about how loving the King and his family was. The story was also about the Witch and how they were punished for their use of magic. The punishment on the 5 Princesses were severe, especially Jane. Those Princes from different kingdoms were awful.

This book is told in the first person point of view following Jane, 17. Her mom, the Queen is frozen in a box. She's convinced herself that she's going to free her mom today from a spell that kept her from movement. The Witch casted a curse 5 years ago starting when Jane turned 13 and on until her 4 younger sisters each turned 13 because that's when the Princesses come of age. When the last sister, Eden turns 13, which is today, the Witch will come back to undo her spell. Among the curses, Jane can't eat and Nora can't love. The second view was Reagan, the Witch who casted the spellbound on the Princesses. She wanted to punish the King. The King was known for his goodness and his daughters thought highly of him but they never ventured beyond their castle and therefore they never saw the truth. The Witch will send them on an adventure to uncover the truth and break the curse.

Ever Cursed was well written and different. I used to read a lot of YA fantasy and then I got so sick of it because every book seems to have a girl heroine who's good with bow and arrows. That's when I turned to thrillers for comfort. This young adult fantasy; however, doesn't remind me of other YA fantasies I have read before. I appreciate the new ideas. This book was an okay read for me. I guess if there were some romance I might have liked more. There was a hint that one Princess wanted to marry another Princess, but just scavenger hunts and a person who did bad things without remorse just didn't cut it for me.

xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details

Thank you Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review in an exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for A Book Shrew.
635 reviews145 followers
January 10, 2021
I've got 14 minutes left in the audiobook, but I'm calling it. I can't take it anymore. For the first time in many years, I don't want to leave a review for a book. I know what the author tried to do. I appreciate what the author tried to do. I hate the execution with a passion.

Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, rape, eating disorder, parent abuse

Because of the content matter, this review will have spoilers.

Profile Image for Middle Earth Bookworms.
9 reviews2 followers
May 23, 2020
I'd like to start by thanking Simon & Schuster for the ARC provided through @Edelweiss.

But that's about the most positive thing you'll find in this review. I have to be honest in reviews and I'd be giving this book 0 stars out of 5 if that was an option on Goodreads.

Seriously, how was this book published? It's pitched as being an 'inclusive feminist fairy tale retelling' that's all about taking down the 'patriarchal kingdom' they all live in (sounds FUCKING awesome right?????). But alas, I found nothing in the book that even remotely lived up to that claim. Sure, there's one mention of gender fluidity, one of the sisters prefers women and one semi-supporting character is of color. Apart from that everyone in the book is skinny, pretty and 'pale.' You can't just make the cast in your book 95% female and then call it feminism, nor can you blame all of the kingdom's problems on the patriarchy when no one wants to take him head on, instead all the 'lessons' for him were taught via the suffering of his daughters and the poor, innocent people in his kingdom (ARE YOU SERIOUS? HOW WILL THAT TEACH HIM ANYTHING???). Then there's the 'trigger-warning' themes this book deals with (eating disorders, sexual assault). They were so unexplored and brushed over it easy to miss or forget.

The plot is nonexistent - literally from page one to the last page NOTHING happens. The 'quest' they go on ends up not being needed at all (SERIOUSLY??!!!!!! WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE WHOLE BOOK IF THAT WAS THE ENDING??!!!! IT MADE NOOOOOO SENSE. IT'S AS BAD AS THE WHOLE 'THEN I WOKE UP... IT HAD ALL BEEN A DREAM' SCENARIO.)

Then there's the characters. You know nothing about them, nor do you feel empathy for them because they aren't fleshed out enough. Sure, the main princess Jane does show some signs of character development but it's incredibly limited. If you enjoy reading books with heavy character development or driven (looking at you Six of Crows) then this isn't the book for you. The characters here are as unforgettable as they are plain.

And the writing...? The whole book was:
and characters repeating the same thing for pages and pages and pages and pages and pages....


This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,213 reviews11.7k followers
July 25, 2020
4.5 stars. I basically read the entirety of this novel in one sitting because I simply could not put it down. It’s really an incredible feat to tell a story that perfectly balances a compelling plot, honestly portrayed characters and rich themes with a fairytale vibe woven all throughout, and I’m really in awe of what Corey Ann Haydu accomplished here.

content warnings (which were included at the start of my review copy): sexual assault, may be sensitive for readers who are struggling with, seeking treatment for or recovering from eating disorders
Profile Image for Leo.
4,380 reviews405 followers
August 30, 2022
It had a promising premise but ended up being just disappointing.
Profile Image for Emily.
153 reviews40 followers
May 3, 2020
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a slow read. Nothing of note happens until about 30% in, and during that first 30%, you don’t really get to know the characters or the world. The subject matter is very heavy, and even though not much detail is presented until later in the book, you know exactly what kind of abuse is going on. It was depressing, and I never really connected with any of the characters. The sisters have some personality, but not much, and it’s hard to tell them apart other than their individual curses.

You won’t get an exciting, driven quest to save a kingdom. It’s more of a ponderous drag to escape horrible abuse. I would say this is definitely for older teens, although the writing style is simple enough for younger teens. The subject matter is just too dark.

Don’t pick this up if you’re looking for a fast paced, compelling story.
Profile Image for Melissa (Melissasbooks).
34 reviews677 followers
July 19, 2021
2.5 stars

TW: ED and sexual assault
(I am glad that there was a note in the beginning of he book mentioning it, because it's very much needed.)

I had to think about this one for a while to write a review. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I hoped I would.

When I read the synopsis I couldn't resist getting it because it sounded amazing. I hadn't heard anything about the book before so I didn't really know what to expect. I think the story has so much potential and the concept of all the cursed princesses was so interesting. But it didn't live up to the potential in my opinion.

The characters were very interesting. We follow Jane, a cursed princess and Reagan, the witch who cursed the princesses. I love how we get to follow both of them and hear both sides of the same story. and then there are a bunch of side characters who switched importance to the plot throughout the book. Characters that were barely mentioned in the first half of the book became very important in the end and vice versa. That saddened me a bit because all of them were so interesting and I wish I got to know them all a little better.

The world building overall was fine, but it was lacking a bit. We only stay in one kingdom throughout the book, which is totally fine, because travelling wouldn't add much to this story. however I wish it was described just a little more.


The plot was something I didn't really see coming.
In the beginning I really thought the book was going to focus on all of the curses of the princesses and them using them one way or another to get to a good and happy ending. throughout the book you get the idea that there a big plot reveal to come that kinda gives off magical/political kingdom (idk how to describe it really) vibes, but then book is about rape and the suppression of women. To be honest I still don't know how I feel about that. I'm glad the book didn't shy away from this topic because these things are really happening, but I don't know if I liked it as a plot point and the way it overshadowed the rest of the book.


Overall I think it was okay, but I don't think it's something I woud recommend to people unless they're looking for something very specific and this fits with what they're looking for.
Profile Image for Susana.
988 reviews247 followers
November 29, 2020
DNF at 10%

TW's for sexual assault and eating disorders

I'm just going to call it quits with this one.
I just can't wrap my mind around a supposed feminist story in which the main character, a girl, decides to punish other women for the crimes of a guy. The "logic" of it is completely lost on me.
Also the writing style was headache inducing.
Profile Image for Azi.
49 reviews4 followers
December 30, 2021
Promising premise that doesn't seem to deliver.
Profile Image for Miranda.
159 reviews4 followers
May 7, 2020
Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu


The princesses of Ever have been cursed for nearly five years when this story begins. Their mother has literally been trapped in a clear box on display for all of the people of Ever. Each princess has their own curse which begins on their thirteenth birthday. Jane, the oldest daughter, hasn’t eaten since she turned thirteen almost five years ago. Because of the nature of the spell, she continues to live a strained existence. Once the spell becomes final or permanent, Jane will suffer the full affects of not eating.

Jane must team up with the young witch who has placed her and her sisters in such a perilous position in order to undo the spell placed on each of them. In the process, Jane discovers what kind of queen she wants to be someday, and makes a plethora of new friends.


I obviously requested this book from NetGalley because the title is thought-provoking and the cover is beautiful. The book itself did not disappoint!

Haydu begins by letting readers know about the triggers in the novel, and I think this is wonderful! Teen girls (the target audience) are living in a trigger filled world, and this story is full of girls who overcome some difficult situations that these teen readers can relate to. Don’t let these triggers keep you from reading. That was not the point of the trigger warning (in my opinion) - this trigger warning should encourage girls to be strong and continue reading for inspirational purposes.

Pardon my language, but this book is filled with some badass women. Obviously our characters all have their flaws, but together they overcome their flaws in order to better their community. Haydu created beautiful female characters and explained the use of magic in this society flawlessly.

I will force our children’s librarian to purchase this book for our teen section. It is an absolutely necessary read.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,721 reviews260 followers
July 20, 2020
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu is an outstanding and lyrical feminist fairy tale. As the blurb states, it is a great combination of Damsel by Elana K. Arnold and A Heart in the Body of the World by Deb Caletti. If you've read either of those two novels, that description should give you an idea of what you're going to be in for with this new release. The story of the cursed princesses of the Kingdom of Ever is brutal and spare yet lyrical. The dual perspective between Jane, one of the cursed, and Reagan, the witch who cursed the family, is absolutely fascinating decision on the author's part. I was swept up as we begin to learn more of the details of the nature of the curse on the sisters, the cost of casting a curse on the witches, and the horrifying reason the curse was placed on the princesses. Although, this story is presented as a timeless fairy tale it still feels all too timely. Overall, I highly recommend Ever Cursed if you're looking for a tough but ultimately hopeful fairy tale. I'm going to need to try more of Haydu's work in the future.
July 28, 2020
A beautiful, poignant and timely fairytale fantasy.

The Good
– Clean, accessible writing style
– Tidily includes and covers several important issues
– Lots of secrets to uncover and truths to speak
– Beautiful, emotional, meaningful story
– Inclusive and LGBT+ friendly

The Bad
– Writing style can be repetitive
– The necessity of Abbott
– Won't appeal to everyone

(Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!)

Haydu has written about a great number of important issues and fits them all into a surprisingly compact story. Most impressive: she ties these issues together tidily and builds up the story so they all unravel neatly for the reader. From the beginning it is an emotional story, and that emotion builds to tidal proportions as the characters reach the end of their quest and near the moment when the curse will either break or become permanent.

However, I don't think Ever Cursed for everyone. Those who want a smart, warm, painful, wonderful story, yes. But those who prefer the loud, hot romances and fast, dramatic stories of those in the mainstream might find themselves wanting.

Jane and Reagan are both likeable, flawed protagonists struggling to find the right answer and do the right thing in a situation they don't have all the information. They both challenge what they believe to be true and struggle to find the best way to fight for what they believe to be right.  I found Haydu characterized both Jane and Reagan—and the rest of  the cast of characters—with an attentive hand.

Something important for both girls was how neither could move forward until they knew the truth and that they realized the people in charge weren't always right. The decisions those people made were based on human motivations like fear and desire.

The only area I found lacking was in Jane's imprisoned mother. Everything we learn about her and who she is comes from Jane's memories as a child, so when there is a sudden thing involving her, it's hard to gage her portrayal.

Writing Style—★★★☆☆
Ever Cursed is told in first person, present tense in alternate points of view between Jane, a cursed princess, and Reagan, the witch who cursed her.

Haydu has a wonderfully clean, accessible writing style. Her prose, as promised, has a rhythmic, musical quality and her word choice is simple but powerful. In its pages, Ever Cursed contains so many beautiful, powerful lines and so many little pockets of truth and strength. My only gripes are that sometimes Jane's voice and Reagan's voice sounded a bit too similar, and there were points the prose pushed a little too far and became repetitive, but Ever Cursed is still by far an incredibly beautiful and readable book.

Themes and Representation—★★★★☆
Ever Cursed includes black and mixed race characters in the supporting cast; trans and lesbian characters in the supporting cast, along with nonbinary and poly relationships among background characters.

Ever Cursed is about so many things: the duality of fear and bravery; believing voices of victims; victims supporting one another; how grief isn't always loud or obvious; how the supposed best, trusted men can be perpetrators of heinous acts; the power of community; safety in stagnation vs fear of changing for the better.

I am torn mostly over the seeming importance of Abbott Shine. Ever Cursed needed a non-witch and non-royal voice—the voice of a regular subject of Ever—but what bothered me about Abbott was how Ever Cursed seemed to say the women and witches can't achieve things without men. Abbott is always correcting Reagan or setting her in the "right" direction, and there is a point where a crowd led by the women and witches is dismissed until he, a guy, speaks up for them. It seemed to clash with the message of the necessity of vulnerable people making the change themselves instead of waiting for men and those in power to suddenly care about them.

Another thing that bugged me was how the royal princess of the other kingdoms participated in sexual harassment with the royal princes. I know part of it is about privileged women being complicit in the crimes of their male peers, but the part about another princess leering and sizing the Ever Princesses up strikes me as out of place. I'm not saying it can't or doesn't happen, but this small part was presented without the necessary nuance.


Recommended For...
Anyone who wants a fairytale with deep meaning or an inclusive fairytale-style story.

>>More book reviews at Feathered Turtle Press<<
Profile Image for Jessica Harrison.
558 reviews37 followers
July 31, 2020
2.5 Stars

Ever Cursed is a book that readers will absolutely love or wish they’d never read. Truth be told, it’s a book that deals with important subjects, but it’s also one I wish I’d never picked up.

There’s a note at the beginning of Ever Cursed from the author, Corey Ann Haydu. It notes that the book includes content involving sexual assault, and that it could be triggering for people who have/have had eating disorders. And while I appreciated the disclaimer upfront, I still wasn’t prepared for what I read.

At first, Ever Cursed comes across as a somewhat juvenile fairy tale. The characters, the world they live in, their manner of speaking — they all felt somewhat middle grade. There are hints leading up to the story’s big plot reveal **SPOILER ALERT** and then suddenly the entire book is about rape and the suppression of women. While the author doesn’t go into great detail as far as the assault elements go, it does weigh over everything else.

I wanted to leave Ever Cursed feeling vindicated, like something had changed. Instead, I finished the book with an unnerving feeling. The overall tone is that men are bad. No one wants to or is willing to change. And even the token “good man” felt one dimensional.

The token “good man” isn’t the only one who feels one dimensional. The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of Jane and Reagan. I never felt a deep connection with either, and because the supporting characters are flat, there wasn’t much to tether me.

My other problem came with Haydu’s world building — or lack thereof. I never got a sense of where and when the story took place. I initially got the feeling of a 17th or 18th century vibe, but then, all of the sudden, there’s talk of photographs, which seem completely incongruous technologically with the setting. Add to that the almost middle-grade prose where the f-bomb surreptitiously pops up, and it becomes an odd mix that never really finds its groove.

I did read Ever Cursed in its entirety. I wanted to finish. That’s a sign of a good writer. She just lost her way somewhere.

Ever Cursed is a dark book hidden inside a beautiful cover. It will bring some readers a renewed sense of peace and serve as a rallying cry to others. For me, it was the opposite. I recommend borrowing this from the library before purchasing it.
Profile Image for Annette.
2,798 reviews120 followers
September 17, 2020
From the moment I saw this book I knew I wanted to have it. Everything about it screamed my name. The fairytale like elements, the princess, the witch, the curse and the beautiful cover that is really intriguing and fascinating. I tried to get an ARC from Netgalley, but didn't get that one. I had high hopes the book would be in a book box, but that wasn't the case either. So, I didn't have much of a choice, I had to buy the book myself.

And from the very first page I was sucked into the story. Firstly because of the writing style. It's hard to describe why it worked so well for me. Most likely because it's not too flowery and complicated, but it seems to be written with emotion. It's not just about the words. It's also about the meaning behind the words, why the characters use those words or think those words. And yet, it still breaths the fairytale vibe. It was like reading an old fairytale.

What surprised me the most however was the plot. I probably missed it, but I loved the feminist themes in this story. And what I loved most is that the themes only become clear when we're further in the story. It's growing. We get the time to take in the society and world and then when we start to feel at home we're confronted with all its issues and problems. And just like in real life, once my eyes were open I felt the need to get back to all those old scenes and read them with new eyes.

It are however the characters stealing the show and leading the way. Both of our girls have so much growing and learning to do and it's so lovely to watch them grow and learn and figure out this world. I think both girls are in a way very different, just like all girls are different, and yet it's so beautiful to watch them getting to know each other, understanding each other and realizing that together that are so much stronger than apart.

If you don't shy away from feminist themes and love a fairytale vibe, this is the perfect book to get!
Profile Image for Whitney.
367 reviews31 followers
December 21, 2020
Ever Cursed is about five princesses who were cursed to be without something - Jane, who can't eat, Nora, who can't love, Alice, who can't sleep, Grace, who can't remember, and Eden, who can't hope. Determined to break the spell cast on them, they set out into their kingdom for the first time and learn what they've been told isn't actually their history.

I was in a HUGE slump before I started this and this book turned it around significantly. I read it very quickly. The book is told in alternating perspectives between Jane, the eldest princess, and Reagan, the witch who cast the spell, both of whom learn there is more to their story than they were each separately taught.

Haydu's take on classic fairy tale retellings discusses themes of the patriarchy and sexual assault. I found it very ambitious for what I expect from a YA novel. I loved how female friendships were explored, the discussions of what makes a character "complicit" in the crimes of their father, the discussions of actual ignorance v. willful ignorance (or not knowing vs. not wanting to know), etc. The female characters are not wholly "good" or "bad", but more nuanced.

And that cover 😍

This was a really intriguing book. If you like classic fairy tale retellings, I'd recommend. I'd also recommend to fans of The Grace Year, as that book discusses similar topics.
Profile Image for Alex.
457 reviews146 followers
May 27, 2021

This is so good, I really loved this book. I literally couldn't put it down. If you want to be sucked into a book with AMAZING World building and SO SO GOOD character development, BUY THIS BOOK! I don't want to spoin anything so I will just say this. SOOO FANTASTIC I ALREADY WANT TO REREAD!
Profile Image for Chelsea.
1,325 reviews45 followers
March 30, 2020
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with an eARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I do not think words can describe how much I needed this fairy tale without knowing how much I needed this fairy tale. WOW.

The story mainly focuses on two characters: Princess Jane, a royal in the Kingdomn of Ever who lives within the confines of a stone castle with her father and four sisters, and Regan, a young witch who rashly cast a spell five years ago to punish the royal family. Reagan's spell caused the Queen of Ever to be ensconced in a glass case, while cursing the five princesses with "Without", a spell which slowly takes away a piece of each girl. Once Reagan turns 18, the spell becomes permanent, but the only way to break it is for the princesses and Reagan to work together. This book is feminist and egalitarian, but it is also the best representation of woman power that I have ever read in a fantasy novel. It delivers a heavy message, but it is a necessary one.

Ever Cursed is A LOT to emotionally unpack. Haydu buries the reader under an avalanche of bold claims and astute observations about society, particularly expectations on female roles, and unashamedly takes an opinionated stance in the process. YAS & GOD BLESS. I wanted to scream and cheer because it finally, FINALLY feels like someone sees me, sees the way that I (and millions of other women) unquestioningly live my (our) live(s) everyday. I want every young girl on the planet to read it, but I also want to support Haydu with their warning: there are many, many triggers for readers who have suffered from body dysmorphia and/or sexual assaults, so please consider your mental health before picking this up!
Profile Image for ellen .
222 reviews2 followers
October 11, 2020
Eh. This story was a slog to get through. Languid pacing, unnecessarily long exposition, and short inserts of the actual action of the plot that moved the story forward. The climax wasn't climactic at all, and the second ah-ha big reveal was weighed down with repetitive narrative over and over again. The topic of sexual assault is just thrown in as a weak plot device for a severe subject matter that wasn't utilized in a way that made any sense to the story and wasn't substantial enough. There isn't a resolution to the trauma and issues that the OTHER kingdoms inflicted on the people of Ever. The story ended, and I guess I'm supposed to assume that the healing process has begun for everyone. Still, it's a feeble ending once again, just doing the bare minimum giving a superficial conclusion for survivors and victims of sexual assault.
Profile Image for Daniela.
4 reviews
November 18, 2022
it has some plot twists and some sensitive topics, but it's really good and yeah idk
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,903 reviews437 followers
July 24, 2020
I’ve had a lot of trouble with fantasy and books like this recently, but this one I had no problems picking up and getting sucked into immediately. The story itself was so unique and different from most fairy tales, and even how the curses went and how the witches’ magi worked, all of it was so new and interesting. Every time something was tried to fix the original curse, it seemed something else popped in to either take its place, make it worse, or make it more understandable why the witch had made it in the first place.

And then there was the big reveal at the end, the big twist that while I got a tiny inkling of something like that being possible, but only from the clues the author laid down throughout the story, and bits of the synopsis. It was a really, really great twist. There were so many things in that end of the story that really do reflect the world we unfortunately still live in at times as women. And even how easy it is to convince others by things looking good on the surface, them refusing to see what is right under their own eyes at times because of being blinded by what someone wants them to see.

I downgraded on my blog rating to a 4.5 stars, because while I get the symbolism, I don’t like that they had to end up with never-ending daylight, because I love the night, and also that they got rid of the forest. Again, I get the symbolism, nothing to hide the dark things, but forests are good! So, those are my only, probably silly, complaints. Because this book is as beautiful and intricate as its cover!

Review first appeared on Lisa Loves Literature.
Profile Image for Alex Nonymous.
Author 23 books420 followers
May 14, 2020
Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a digital arc of Ever Cursed via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am truly at a loss of words with this book, which is saying a lot because I rarely shut up. Every piece of Ever Cursed feels wholly its own. The way the magic works feels so simple and poignant that it blows my mind I haven't read anything similar to it before. The entire nature of the curse is so unique and interesting but that's not really what the stories about. I love the flipped view of what an expected hero and expected villain looks like and just... this book. It's perfect. I love it. And that's without even talking about the message it's used to tell because oh my god is this book powerful.

I feel like the main complaint will probably come from how predictable the story is, but I don't think it was ever supposed to be a mystery. Ever Cursed is basically the #metoo movement with magic and curses and kingdoms and the issues #metoo and this novel highlight were never plot twists or surprises. This book is predictable not because its poorly written, but because its a story that's existed in a thousand different ways for hundreds of years that is finally being told.
Profile Image for Michelle .
2,034 reviews239 followers
November 23, 2020
Well, that wasn't what I was expecting. Full review to come.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,189 reviews1,017 followers
July 29, 2020
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

I adored the feminist messages that Ever Cursed set forth. The story itself fell a bit short for me from time to time, but I absolutely appreciated the themes the author was incorporating into the book. So let's break down what I enjoyed versus what I did not so much.

What I Loved:

• Obviously, the "I am woman, hear me roar" chant is strong with this book! After so very long of being used, abused, and treated as lesser citizens, the women in this story rise up to stop the mistreatment and that is clearly fantastic.

• Getting the perspective of both parties, witch and princess, was pretty great. This way, we got to see why each character made the choices they did, and took the actions they had.

• The spells were intriguing, especially watching each of the princesses try to navigate life with them. Plus, the stakes felt certainly high, as many of them would have died had the spells become permanent.

• This is a dark book. So please do beware, there is a lot of triggering content (which is addressed by the author before the book begins). I do love me a dark story though, especially because that level of awful can be a very powerful motivator for change, and change is what the women in this book seek.

What I Didn't:

• I found the world-building to be lacking. I think maybe that was purposeful, so please keep that in mind (in the sense that "Ever" could be anywhere, if you will), but I am just too curious to not know more. That is on me, but here we are. If that isn't a huge issue for you, then you'll be fine!

• I didn't connect deeply to the characters. Of course they were going through a lot and it's probably hard to get to know someone when they're hangry from not eating for half a decade, but still. I just didn't get a sense of who they were, other than the hurt and wrong that had been done to them, which is obviously awful and provoked my sympathy, but not necessarily a true connection to them as individuals.

• Sometimes I felt like things were dragging a bit. Like- obviously there was a particular endgame at play in the plot, which was "uncurse the cursed".  Beyond that, and the message of the atrocities done to so many people in the kingdom, there wasn't much else happening.

Bottom Line:  Awesome message with a slightly less awesome execution, it's still worth a read if you can handle the tough subject matter.
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