It's been a crazy past couple of weeks in Rochester and around the globe. Social distancing and staying home has become the theme of the month. Libraries have closed (truly a terrifying development). It is in times like this that we all need a good book to transport us to another world for a couple of hours. Well, I've got the perfect suggestion of a book that accomplishes just that.
Book jacket summary:
"Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can't shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending."
|Cover courtesy of Amazon|
In all seriousness though, this book is so much fun to read. Princess Jaya is a strong willed, clever, and determined female protagonist. Menon makes her incredibly three dimensional, as she struggles with her own desires and the rules that her family has laid out for her. Grey is an absolute delight of a character, taciturn and morose, but with the perfect amount of gruff kindness. You really just want to give him a hug. The dynamic between Jaya and Grey is fantastic, with Jaya's plot to make Grey fall in love with her transforming into a genuine spark. You know what they say about best laid plans...
The secondary cast of characters is just as strong, with Daphne Elizabeth in particular standing out as someone that you just really would want to be friends with. Menon's plot is fresh and inspired, a unique take on a classic fairy tale. I can assure you, you've never heard a beauty and the beast story like this before. The importance of myth as an old curse plays out is intriguing: you really want to know how the curse can finally be broken. If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice, you'd like Of Curses and Kisses, as Jaya has Elizabeth Bennet's indomitable spark and Grey is quite like the standoffish Mr. Darcy. Their love story unfolds, shaken by past assumptions and a family rivalry, but it is something that you can't help but root for.
I would highly suggest that you get this book immediately and dedicate a couple of at home hours to it. This books is guaranteed to make you smile in these trying times. In fact, here's the link to Amazon if you want to buy it now:
Also, check out if Overdrive has it if you wanted to read an excerpt before you decide that you need a forever copy.
Stay healthy and stay cheery: reading books is the best cure for social distancing blues.