Of Curses and Kisses – Book Review

Book : Of Curses and Kisses

Author : Sandhya Menon

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published: 18 February, 2020


For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. That’s why when she finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, a member of the rival royal family behind a humiliating scandal involving her little sister, she schemes to get revenge on the young nobleman in order to even the score between their families. The plan? Make him fall in love with her and then break his heart the way his family has broken hers.

Grey Emerson doesn’t connect with people easily. Due to a curse placed on his family by the Raos that his superstitious father unquestioningly, annoyingly believes in, Grey grew up internalising that he was doomed from the day he was born. Sequestered away at St. Rosetta’s Academy, he’s lived a quiet existence in relative solitude. That is, until Jaya Rao bursts into his life. Jaya is exuberant and elegant and unlike anyone Grey has ever met before, but he can’t help feeling that she’s hiding something behind her beautiful smile and charmingly awkward attempts at flirting. Despite his better instincts, though, he starts to fall for her.

Jaya’s plan isn’t totally going according to plan. For one, Grey is aggravatingly handsome. And for two, she’s realising there’s maybe more to him than his name and his family imply.

The stars are crossed for Jaya and Grey. But can they still find their fairy-tale ending?


Of Curses and Kisses is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The Beast is not technically a beast but a well-built introvert teenager.

This is my first read by Sandhya Menon. It was amusing to read. A simple romantic story which is often a secret pleasure for many.

The children of two warring families come face to face, their animosity turns into affection and love, is quite a cliche, especially among Indians because Bollywood has given us countless films on this premise. And of course we have the classic Romeo and Juliet. To this is added a family curse, another favourite Indian story.

I didn’t find anything new in the story apart from the setting, a boarding school for the rich among the mountains of Aspen, its beautiful, scenic, I’d love to spend my time there.

The writing is good, I read in almost one sitting. But we readers need something new, at least I do. I want my one book to be different from the other.

The characters seemed quite stuck up in one thing. Jaya with her family reputation and her duty as a princess, through India is a democracy. Her duty as an heiress seems only to follow etiquette and marry well. Only at the ending did she seem desperate to do something other than that.

Grey was always going on about the curse, about Jaya’s necklace, counting days of his death instead of doing something, like maybe reverse the curse. In modern times believing a curse doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, I expected more from an author who is so admired by readers.

My Rating: 3/5 🌟

P. S. I had received a digital review copy of this book through NetGalley. Thank you Hodder & Stoughton.

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