I’m happy to have Jaime Questell on my blog today answering some questions about her upcoming book, By a Charm and a Curse. I will also be sharing my review of the book.
By a Charm & a Curse by Jaime Questell
Summary from Goodreads:
Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.
Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.
Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.
Q&A with Jaime:
I really enjoyed reading By A Charm And A Curse. It had great pacing and a story that pulled me in right away.
Emma was visiting a carnival with her friend when she met a boy, Sidney. Emma did something she normally wouldn’t do and went off alone with him. Sidney had her drink wine with him on the ferris wheel and then they kissed. That sealed Emma’s fate. Sidney was “the boy in the box”. This curse was now passed on to Emma. She became something odd. Not really human anymore, but still her personality. Emma is hard, I guess sort of plastic. She can’t eat, sleep, cry, etc. The circus workers take Emma in and explain to her that she now has to stay with them.
The circus was cursed years before by Pia and Duncan’s great aunt. She was hurt by a boy and tried to kill him. Her mom and sister tried to save him and in turn, he became tied to the carnival somehow. He could only pass the curse on by finding someone to kiss and almost kill. Sidney had been in the box for 50 years before passing this curse on to Emma. But most people would pass it on to someone else within a year or two. But to pass it on, you are ruining someone else’s life. This becomes a problem for Emma. She has such a good heart and can’t imagine hurting someone else.
The curse is also tied to charms that protect the carnival workers. They don’t fall, get hurt, get sick, or really age. But something is wrong this time and workers start having accidents.
Benjamin is a labor worker for the carnvial, just waiting to turn 18 and leave. This changes when he meets Emma. Benjamin and Emma become friends at first, but a romance starts to grow between them. Both become desparate to find a way to break the curse.
“With Emma by my side, I can actually see the carnival for the thing of wonder that it is…And it’s beautiful.”
I really loved all the side characters in the carnival. The author did a great job including them in the story so that it wasn’t just a romance. Pia and Duncan were favorites, but I also really loved Gin and Whiskey. I didn’t want to like Sidney, but he grew on me.
The only negative for me with this book was the death of an animal. Animals dying in books just break me. Other than that, I enjoyed everything about the book.
I gave this one four stars.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Entangled Teen) through Netgalley for review.
By a Charm & a Curse is expected to be published February 6, 2018 by Entangled Teen. I hope you read and enjoy it!
Thank you again to Jaime for your time and thank you to everyone reading this.