Prepare yourself for a very fun and entertaining read. "Eternal Curse" is one of those books that can be read in basically one sitting, so much fun it is to be with its characters and so fast is the pace of the plot, with things happening here and here so boredom doesn't set in and with a not overly complicated and easily to jump in world.
It all starts with Chloe, whose mother just died, arriving to a new town, to start a new life with her aunt, uncle and cousin Abby. The story is seamlessly set up, with a start that allows the characters to have a background but also an environment for new opportunities and dangers to arise.
Chloe, of course, pretty soon meets pretty boy Trent, also new in town, and things start to get complicated. This relationship is well developed and it was fun to see these two together, and there is a nice streak of humor that keeps them relatable. But Trent and Chloe, even if the center of the story, are not the only two characters, and many others have a chance to shine, even if, being in the background, their roles are less developed.
The best thing is how fun it all is. From page one, the author does a great job in making the reader want to continue reading, to see what is going to happen and what new mystery or danger awaits Chloe. It was so easy to jump into this world and start to care for the characters and to want to know more of them. And the writing helps, the style perfect for this type of book and nicely reflecting the inner world and way of thinking of a young person, their fears and desires.
There are some shortcomings, though, that stop the novel from being more, something special. The first is the aforementioned similarities with some very famous novels/TV shows, which leave the reader with some sense of déjà vu. For some readers this will be a plus, but for others, it could be a little bit repetitive.
Otherwise, the story (and the characters' motivations) sometimes feels rushed, in such a way that, even if things never become boring, it feels that slowing down the pace a little bit would have given the characters a little more space to breathe and develop their feelings more. There is a very important plot development around one third into the book that plays a vital role in the characters' actions, but pretty soon it feels brushed off, as if it, almost, never happened. I think it would have been better to dwell a little more on the impact of those events in the inner world of the characters and their everyday life (the story would have been longer, though, and the pace may have suffered).
Also, there are sometimes when I, personally, wanted Chloe to be stronger, more independent. It is something that happens more than I like in these kind of YA books, and maybe it is just me, but Trent, as other male characters, feels too strong and overprotective compared with Chloe, who seems to need an anchor. Kudos, though, to the author, because those behaviors have a reason to be and it makes sense that Chloe behaves the way she does. But, stronger Chloe would have been better for me.
One last point that could be improved is a little problem with Chloe, that pops up a couple of times. Some character says: 'This happened to me' and Chloe compares that with her own situation and experiences. Doing that internally is normal, human, but then she seems to have the need to tell the other characters it, as if they were competing in difficulties or problems, and it makes her seem a little bit whiny, as if she was belittling the other character's feelings or experiences.
But, if you have the chance, and you like the genre, read it. It is fun, it is fast, the characters are easy to be with, and the story offers a lot to enjoy.
The best: the characters are easy to relate to; the story is read in a breeze; the beginning, that sets up things prettily, and the ending, which leaves the reader wanting to know more about the characters
The worst: feeling of déjà vu'; the story feels rushed in some parts
Alternatives: well, if I say "Twilight" no one will be surprised, right?; there are many YA out there, like "The Lunar Chronicles" or "The Hunger Games" that are also a lot of fun to read
(Read in English)
*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you to the author and booksirens for the copy*