Book Review | Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy, #1) by Sandhya Menon

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The Emersons and the Raos have been feuding since the British Raj when the Emersons stole a ruby from the Rao family. This resulted in the Rao matriarch to curse the Emersons until the prophecy is fulfilled.



A hallowed dream stolen,
A world darkly despairs
A storm, a life, a sudden death
Heralds the end, the last heirs

As the glass rose dims
So does the hope of redemption
Eighteen years, one by one,
Until what's left is none.

Mend that which is broken
Repair that which is severed
Or the Northcliffe name is forsaken
And shall vanish, at last, forever.



Of Curses and Kisses is a Contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and stays true to the beloved OG fairytale. It brings forth the curse and the family and ties it with friendships and cultural and historical influences.

Jaya Rao is an honest-to-god, Princess of Mysuru, who has landed herself in St. Rosetta's Academy in Colorado with her younger sister, Isha. Her sole purpose while in the Academy is to make Grey Emerson fall in love with her so that she can break her heart.


'Heavy is the head that wears the crown'.
As the older Rao sister and heir to the throne, Jaya has been raised with certain expectations that she needs to live up to. An heir to the family throne, a person to look after the people of her Kingdom and a person to uphold the family name and the values that come with it.

For years, she has assumed the role of the Jaya that her parents wanted her to be. She believed that that was the only identity she could have.

This is such an Indian mindset. An individual's happiness lies in those of their family members and their values. Independence comes with strings attached, where every step you take is scrutinized and checked to see if it crosses the arbitrary line that has been set by our society.
In this society, everything is black and white; there is no space for the colour grey to exist.


Now, for the main man, the MVP, one Mr Grey Emerson. The broody boys are my kryptonite and Grey just landed himself in that list. This dark, reserved, handsome, book-loving (*Le sigh!) boy is carrying the weight of his family name on his shoulders.

But when this broody boy smiles! *QUIT PLAYING GAMES WITH MY HEART*

As the story progresses, we see Jaya and grey's relationship moves from haters to friends and then lovers. We also witness the progression of their relationship with their friends and frenemies, Isha, Rahul, Leo, DE, Catarina, Alaric and Kiran.
Every character added their spice to the story.




She couldn't break his heart. Because if she did, it was her, not him, who was the beast.



I enjoyed the story and the winter wonderland vibe that was ever-present, I needed a few more pages of Jaya breaking free from her family and her image. I also need a few more pages after that ending. I just wanted to see Jaya and Grey as a couple, even if for one chapter.

My favourite parts of his book were every scene that happened in the snow, especially at Mt. Sama.
Then there is a pool scene — oof! the tension!
There is also a dance scene that has been swooning and sighing.
Oh! How can we forget the momentous first kiss and everything that happened after that!! *heart eyes*

Sandhya Menon brings a light-hearted, feel-good, picturesque winter wonderland romance with diverse characters that just make you happy.







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