Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed
Author: Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed, book #1
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.


Gargoyles!  That's the only word I needed to see in the summary to know that I had to read this book.  And then, I immediately started picturing this:


What?  You didn't?  :P  In all seriousness, I'm usually a little squeamish about inter, um, species (?) relationships in books...I mean, how would that even work?  Especially since the gargoyle in his true form lacks any reproductive organs.  ;0)

Now that that's out there...I kind of loved this novel.  It takes place right at the turn of the century, in beautiful Par-ee (that's Paris for those of you who don't speak French), and though I've never been to The City of Light myself, it wasn't hard to imagine myself there among les grotesques, basking in the beauty and the culture, while hoping that this missing brother turned up unharmed.

This book was everything I was hoping for and more.  From the sometimes complicated relationship between siblings to the history of the gargoyles in Paris, I was utterly captivated.  Throw in shape-shifting gargoyles, a secret alliance that keeps their existence hidden, and crazy underworld magic, and I am a very happy girl.  I'm usually iffy when it comes to multiple third person perspectives because they tend to give away too many secrets while providing glimpses at each characters circumstances, but I rather enjoyed reading from Ingrid, Gabby, Luc, and yes, even Grayson's point-of-view.  Though, Luc was probably my favorite because he was such a tortured soul...I have a soft spot for characters that cling to their guilt and the remorse that comes with it.  Also, I loved his fierce protectiveness.

There is some swooning to be had from this book, as well...no chaste pecks on the cheek or hand, despite the time period.  It nicely counteracts the ugliness of the situation but doesn't detract from the overall plot.  But I feel I must warn you that a love triangle is afoot, if all indications prove to be true.  I hope that doesn't come to fruition, though.  It's the standard safe choice versus dangerous and brooding guy, and you can probably guess which one Ingrid is leaning toward.  Her sister Gabby, on the other hand, has no such decision to make.  If only she didn't love to hate her own swoon-worthy rogue.  *sigh*

Above all else, I loved the lush use of descriptive imagery, from the way the author describes the physical attributes of the gargoyles to the way she depicts their shifts.  The book cover immediately grabbed my attention.  The mention of gargoyles held it.  But the writing ensured that I will be back for more of this beautiful story and its tragic characters.  And that I'm going to be pestering the husband for a trip to Paris for months to come.


Rating:  photo 4-1.png 1/2


About the author:

Page Morgan has been intrigued by les grotesques ever since she came across an old, black-and-white photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle keeping watch over the city of Paris. The gargoyle mythologies she went on to research fed her imagination, and she became inspired to piece together her own story and mythology for these complex stone figures. Page lives in New England with her husband and their three children.

Find Page:

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23 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one Jen!! I fell in love with the concept and cover when I first saw it :) I love lush description and imagery and I'm so glad you highlighted the writing style!
    I'm also not the biggest fan of love triangles, but since it's not fully formed yet I'm hoping another road will open up, or that it'll be well-done. Awesome review! I love the pictures - and my sister & me used to watch that cartoon series every day when it was on German TV!!! :D

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    1. My sister always thought it was a "boy" cartoon, so she never watched with me, but I loved it. :)

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  2. I'm not reading this yet because it's on its way to me via trade with a friend..but I just want to say I saw your rating and I AM EXCITE.

    *runs away*

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Yay, I can't wait to see what you think, Wendy! No need to run away...I won't spoil it for you. ;)

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  3. I have to say I am very intrigued by this one. I love historical fiction. I'm a little leery of GargoyleLuv, but hey, I'm up for original story ideas so I'll try it..

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I was actually intrigued by the potential for GargoyleLuv. (See previous experience above. :P) And I love historical fiction when it's done right. :)

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  4. I have this one on my shelf. I wasn't sure about it when I picked it up but thought I would give it a try! I've never really read a gargoyle book so it sounds really interesting! Great review :)

    Jasmine

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    1. Yep, gargoyles are pretty new. I've seen a couple of adult books focused on the stone creatures, but I don't recall any YA with them as the focal point. Hope you enjoy the book when you get to it!

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  5. I'm very intrigued by gargoyles and that is what made me want to try this one. LOL I always wonder about the whole inter-species thing and especially how mermaids do it? hehe Love a Par-ee setting as well. But why must a love triangle always be afoot!

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    1. Ha, I've always wondered about that with mermaids, too. I think one of the characters in Of Poseidon may have explained it. :)

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  6. This sounds even better than I'd hoped. I love the Gargoyles aspect you just don't see that often. Seeing that gif reminded me how much I miss that TV show. I liked Goliath and Elisa's relationship. They just don't make cartoons like that anymore.

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    1. No, they don't. I miss it, too. :) Gargoyles FTW! :D

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  7. I have been waiting to see some reviews for this book. It looks so awesome. Great review. I often wonder about the inter species thing too but hey its make believe so I guess it just works. Love lots of swoony moments.Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Hehe...maybe so. But in this case, they only don't have genitalia in their gargoyle form. So, not too much to imagine, I guess. :P

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  8. This sounds like a lot of fun. I'm not a fan of love triangles generally, but there's enough else here that intrigues me that I might overlook that. ;-) Thank you for bringing this series to my attention!

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    1. Me, neither, but it's not too heavy-handed in this one. I'm hoping the possibility dissolves before it's given a chance to really take off in the next book. :)

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  9. It makes me so happy to see that a book with a cover as gorgeous as this one is just as good behind the pretty!

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    1. You and me both. I'm so sick of getting burned by my own cover lust. :)

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  10. Okay I keep seeing this book on amazon and I have the intense urge to buy it but, I am trying to keep myself from buying new books right now because I have to many that I need to read already but, the gargoyle aspect seems so interesting especially since it's something new that I haven't read about although whenever I think of gargoyles I think of the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame lol, awesome review hopefully I will read this one eventually!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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  11. The Beautiful and the Cursed is one fabulous book. It's unique, beautifully written, and completely captivating. I hope to read more of this story in the future!

    Marlene
    Visit my site for San Antonio Movers information

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