Audiobook Review: Of Curses and Kisses

Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy #1)
by Sandhya Menon
Narrated by: Shiromi Arserio and Jason Carpenter
Published February 18th 2020 by Simon Schuster Audio
Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
ISBN13: 9781797101910


From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

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.

My Thoughts

I have a confession to make: I'm a sucker for retellings. You could call it a guilty pleasure, but I feel no guilt in reading this genre. So it should be no mystery as to why I was drawn to this book. Every detail in the summary piqued my interest. A contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast that is set at an elite international boarding school, an evil plan to seduce her nemesis, a cursed piece of jewelry, what more could you ask for?

I listened to the audiobook format of Of Curses and Kisses. The audiobook is narrated by Shiromi Arserio and Jason Carpenter, who do a fantastic job. They both took on the difficult task of having to do accents from all over the world. I am impressed. There are some books that are better as audiobooks, and this is one of them.

I loved Jaya Rao. She is fierce. Family and duty are the most important things to her, and when the opportunity to get revenge on the boy who is making her sister's life a misery, she takes it. Grey Emerson is a character I have lukewarm feelings about. Where Jaya is a dynamic character, Grey is just a mediocre one. And that kinda ruined the story for me because I didn't really care about him at all. When he wasn't in the scene, I forgot about him. 

While I didn't hate this book, I didn't love it either. The overall plot was decent, but not great. Several times in the book the pacing was a bit too slow. I think for a contemporary take on the classic tale, it was okay. I had high hopes going into it, but they were dashed. Too many things just didn't work for me.