A Curse So Dark And Lonely | Review

Greetings readers!

Have you ever pictured yourself living in a fairy tale?

I have, yes. On many occasions.

I mean just look at how much Disney goodness there is being offered. Have you never once dreamed or perhaps for even one millisecond considered what your life would be like if you were swept away on a magical, swinging adventure?

I have, yes. On MANY occasions.

The next question of course is…how would you fair in a fairyland? Think of it as an inverse Enchanted….that is *sort of* what this book is like.

A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub Date: Jan 29, 2019
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781681195087
Goodreads

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


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*Big thanks to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC!*

What I Liked:

Characters:

I really enjoyed Harper. She was a very interesting character and her already unconventional life turned even more complicated when she got transported to Emberfall. I liked her spunk. She had this ferocity and she was made of pure determination. She was not perfect, makes a few fatal decisions, but overall I really enjoyed seeing her growth. She has Cerebral Palsy, which is something I’ve never read before and it was very important to her character. Her leg and ankle often caused her a lot of pain, but that didn’t stop her from having a high-stakes adventure in this book. And trust me she runs a lot.

Grey was my next favourite character. I can’t help it, I have a thing for the tall, dark, broody ones. He was definitely more background, but under all that steel is a lot of personality. And while the end of his story was just a weensy bit predictable, I am really excited to see if the author will do more with it.

Ok Rhen. Aka Beastie. I liked him and yet he was kind of just there. He was the arrogant, jerk type that had to learn how to be genuine, which is understandable because that is how the tale of B&tB goes. Yet…I don’t know, he just didn’t strike me as amazing at the end there. He does go through some crazy stuff and I don’t blame him, but mmmmmmmmmmmmm I just…I don’t know. I like him, but I don’t think I would have fallen in love with him to save his kingdom….sorry.

The World:

The modern world is in this very little, which I am very thankful for. I can only take so much Urban fantasy at once (I’m a hypocrite for *reasons*), but I did enjoy the fantasy land. I especially loved the Disi joke *You’ll have to read it to get it. I mean Emberfall was pretty generic and it didn’t have anything I could pick out that made it truly unique, but it had good people to entertain the reader.

I especially enjoyed the quirks that the modern characters had to face in Emberfall, and the way that they explained their mannerisms.

It Stayed True to the Tale:

It’s at its core Beauty and the Beast only with a beast much more hostile and dangerous and an Enchantress that is not so nice and lots and lots of blood. This book is definitely more bloody than the Disney version. And since we are comparing to Disney there is no Gaston. Which I’m okay with.

The Romance is Slow Burn:

Because it has to be hello. The ending actually quite surprised me because I thought it would have held a different kind of declaration, but it was still cute. Not gonna lie though, there was some triangular action going on near the beginning with tensions between Grey and Harper and I was no, no, this cannot be. Rhen’s the Beast, he’s gonna get the girl, stick to the script!! But I actually ended up liking how this tension was handled.

Plus it added drama hehehe

What I Found Questionable (Not necessarily unlikable)

The Villain was really not explored enough. I mean she was vicious!!!!, but I would have liked more depth to her. And because of that lacking information, I really didn’t get the magic that was present–although very minimal, but it had an important history.

The Ending was not an ending because it sets up for a companion novel. It does a really good job of keeping the intrigue alive, but the characters’ stories were left far from finished, I think.

It’s got some cheesy lines, like those fantasy kingdom creeds that I sometimes can’t take seriously but okay, I’ll let them slide.

The Math confuzzled me. So Rhen has been through 328 seasons (I actually don’t remember if that is the right number, but somewhere there) and each season lasts up to 3 months, but some seasons are cut short and yet only 5 years have actually passed? Something here smells fishy. Like can a season last a day? I didn’t really get how this was possible. (I know I’m focusing on such little things, but still.)

AND I’VE SAID IT BEFORE I’LL SAY IT AGAIN.

You’re gonna tell me that Harper gets:

A) Kidnapped and Taken to a magical land,
B) Locked away in a castle with a broody, arrogant Prince
C) Is told that the kingdom is cursed,
D) Has to fall in love with Prince-y to break the enchantment,
E) Later finds out that Prince-y actually turns into the beast that terrorizes that land

AND SHE DOESN’T ONCE REALIZE SHE IS IN A BEAUTY AND THE BEAST LIKE TALE???

Sounds fake to me. But okay.


Overall, I enjoyed this book. For being almost 500 pages long (it honestly could have been shorter), I flew through it, which I am super proud of! I am really looking forward to the companion novel because I have a big feeling it is gonna follow Grey (and I love Grey!!) and I am really curious as to what he is going to get himself into!

Rating: 3.85…heck, I’ll give it the 4 / 5 stars!

Recommend: A great retelling for those who like to stick to stories they know and love!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to reading it? What are your favour B&tB retellings? What fairy-tale/legend would you love to read about?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Beauty and the Beast (2017) Movie Review!

Greetings readers!

Today is going to be a little different. Only ever so slightly. We are talking movies.

And not just any movie.

THE movie of the year.

That’s right you know (it is in the title of the post!)

Beauty and the Beast

credits: Disney

A Disney adaptation of their 1991 adaptation of this tale as old as time….

Like most kids, in today’s age, yesterday’s age and tomorrow’s age, I grew up with Disney movies, but most fantastical of all I grew up with Disney Princess movies! A company which has graced us with a total of thirteen (or fourteen? correct me if I am wrong) Disney Princesses, which have been enjoyed by children everywhere.

Growing up, I watched Disney movies non-stop. My favourite (cliche…but oh so true to myself) is Cinderella. I’m telling you, I had that movie m e m o r i z e d. But today we are not here to talk about Cindy! This is all about Belle!

When I first heard they were making a live action Beauty and the Beast I flipped out! (Really I get excited over any Disney movie) I had been a fan of Beauty and the Beast as a child, it did not share the same grand love as I had for Cinderella, but still! A LIVE ACTION film! Considering, I really enjoyed the live-action Cinderella from 2015, I was so excited for this one and my expectations for it skyrocketed.

This movie had to be amazing. It could be nothing less than dazzling!

I was not disappointed!

 beauty and the beast GIF

What I liked:

The Backstory:

YES! YES! YES! In this film, we get to see the Beast become a beast as well as reasons behind why the town has no idea of this mysterious palace in the woods. All our Whys? are answered. We get to know more about Belle’s backstory with her family. There are new characters introduced that fill in the missing holes from the 1991 version.  I really liked how they explained why the things became the way they were. It made sense and added the extra depth the original adaptation was missing!

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The Oldies & Newbies: 

Alongside the original characters there were also new characters introduced. Let’s start with the old characters. Emma Watson’s Belle was (as expected) ever so clever and bookish. She has a grand affiliation with Romeo and Juliet in this movie, so be prepared to listen to a bit of Shakespeare. The Beast was just as hard-headed, stubborn and barbaric like the original. I mean, on the inside he is a softy and Dan Stevens did a great job of playing him. Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs. Pots were just the same. Nothing changed too much about them and I loved that! Then there are the new characters! Such as Cadenza and Agathe who added more humour and insight into the story! Some of the original characters got bigger roles in this movie like Madam de la Grande Bouche and Plumette. I really enjoyed watching their characters be involved more in the story and on Belle’s journey.

Also Chip is the cutest!

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The Be Our Guest Scene:

This was probably one of WAS the most important scene in the movie for me. I loved, LOVED, the 1991 version because of A) the song and B) the animation. It has so much colour, fun and magic that I was worried about how they were going to replicate it to look more realistic. THANKFULLY, IT WAS AMAZING! Thank the Lord for technology and animators and colours and magic! It was a great replication of the old song. It was just as fun and fantastical. The song was changed a little in that they slowed it down in some parts, but I still really loved it!

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The Cast:

Belle: Emma Watson, although not my first pick as actress, did a splendid job of acting as Belle. She was smart and brave just like Belle should be.

The Beast: Dan Stevens, did a great job as the beast. The voice was on point! The transformation is always a little odd to see because I am so used to seeing the beast!

Gaston: Luke Evans was perfect for this role! I really enjoyed his portrayal of Gaston. Evans does justice to his cocky, brute and selfish personality.

Le Fou: Once again. Perfect casting for this character. Josh Gad was amazing. They did change his character in that he had more of a conscious and was actually able to think for himself and not simply  be a fool. I really enjoyed that bit.

Mrs. Pots, Lumiere, Cogsworth: JUST PERFECT!

The rest of the cast was great too! I really enjoyed the acting and portrayal of all the original characters and the new ones as well.

The Animations:

A huge congratulations to the animators of this movie. This film required a lot of hard work in animation and special effects. From the Beast, to the live kitchen and house hold items, these people had a lot of work ahead of them. They did an enchanting job! There were so many elements that were executed perfectly and they really enhanced the beauty of this movie. (i.e. the be our guest scene)

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The Music/Soundtrack:

I know that Disney released the soundtrack on YouTube before the release of the film, but I didn’t dare listen to it. I wanted to be surprised. Okay….maybe I listened to one song. But it was sung by Josh Groban and not a replication of one of the original songs. ANYWAYS….The music was amazing! Watching the film and hearing the melodies of the songs I knew gave me chills! I didn’t know all the words, but I knew enough to silently sing-along to myself. The music had a little old-french flare as well, so that was neat to hear! The only tiny thing that maybe bugged me a little was that everybody sounded a teeny bit auto-tuned……I understand that not all actors are singers and that Watson, Stevens and the rest of the crew only had a few short months of training, but still. I could tell.

The soundtrack has some extra songs that are not in the movie but still related to it! I have some favourites that I would love to share with you:

  1. Days in the Sun sung by the cast (New song added to the movie that makes me tear up)
  2. Evermore sung by Josh Groban (So good)
  3. If I Can’t Love Her sung by Josh Groban (Can you tell I have a thing for Josh…)

It is still A Tale as Old as Time:

Despite the changes made, this film was true to the 1991 version. It was magical, funny, romantic, and adventurous. The changes that were made did not take away from the story and I really enjoyed them. Watching this movie literally gave me chills! That is a good sign.

 beauty and the beast GIF

What I Disliked:

There is just one, that probably you will disagree on with me…but I speak my mind so…

THE DRESS WAS NOT UP TO STANDARDS!

As soon as I saw the movie poster, I already did not like it. Belle’s dress is one of my favourites and the version they made for the live-action is nothing compared to it. Sorry Emma Watson, but I did not like it.It is a pretty dress, but it is not Belle’s dress. It does not have the same poof, sway and pick ups. The neckline is wrong and those layers on the side are not the best, in my taste. I did like how they added extra shiny designs to it and the making of the dress was magical in the movie. However, it did not change my mind about it.

Feast your eyes on what it should have looked like…

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

 beauty and the beast GIF

All that poof and swoop and sway….

But in reality they made it look like this

Image result for belle's dress 2017
credits: Entertainment Weekly
Related image
via Pinterest

It is nice, but it was just not up to my standards of dress.

*End of rant*

Overall, this movie was great! I really enjoyed and I would love to watch it again. Of course, it will never replace the 1991 version, but it still gave me chills and nostalgia from watching it!

4.75 Stars! (0.25 knocked off because of some audible auto-tuning and the dress)

I’m not even gonna say I recommend it because I know EVERYONE is going to watch it. AND EVERYONE MUST WATCH IT!

So, GO ON AND ENJOY! Let your inner child come out and savour this movie that takes a childhood classic and brings it back to life!

Happy watching!

~ Rendz

*All gifs via giphy.com*

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