Rating: 3.5 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.
I wasn’t too sure about this book for the first few chapters. The writing is nothing to brag about and Kelsey kind of disappointed me. I couldn’t relate to her, and I sure as heck couldn’t say that the things she says, the way she and everyone around her talks, is realistic. Everyone’s so happy-go-lucky at the beginning, and I got to a point where I started thinking “If someone says ‘Hmm’ one more freakin’ time . . . or if I see one more freakin’ exclamation point when one really, REALLY isn’t necessary, I’m going to throw this book at the wall.”
Please, PLEASE authors . . . be scarce with the use of exclamation points. They are annoying when used too much, and no, they DO NOT help you make a bigger point than your words already could.
Enthusiasm is fine, great, whatever. But Kelsey . . . girl, let’s bring it down a notch. You don’t have to be happy-go-lucky all the freakin’ time. Please. Just . . . stop. Get angry! I’d love that. Yell some more! Yell just a little bit, I’m begging you.
The story starts off with Kelsey getting a job at a circus for about two weeks, and during that time she takes care and grows close to the white tiger there. And red alerts are going off in my head already because firstly, she’s reading the tiger poetry and Romeo and Juliet. Sitting next to the tiger and reading quietly, I can understand, but it was just a little . . . odd to me that she’s just going to randomly sit by the tiger who, in normal circumstances, would probably be eyeing you a next meal, but instead you’re just oh-so randomly reading to it love stories.
“Ah. They don’t make men like Romeo anymore. Maybe there never has been such a man. Present company excluded, of course. I’m sure you’re a very romantic tiger. Shakespeare sure wrote about dreamy men, didn’t he?”
Along with this, Kelsey was just kind of . . . juvenile at many times. I was seriously questioning her life choices. For starters, what would be the first thing you would do if you were stranded in India, where you do not speak the language, with a loose white tiger that is quickly walking into the forest? Anybody? Anybody?
Well, I think it’s safe to say a normal person would run back into the nearest store, ask for a phone, ask for someone who speaks English, and call someone to come help. But NOPE. What does Kelsey do?
Runs into the freakin’ forest after the tiger.
And – of course – she gets lost, all the while the tiger is leading her farther and farther into the forest, and after about fifteen minutes of being brain-dead, Kelsey finally realizes that 1.) she’s not catching up to the tiger and 2.) she is now stranded in the middle of a forest with no help whatsoever.
The romance: I actually really enjoyed that part. There are two parts of this book that saved it for me, and that would have to be the romance and the adventure and how it’s described and the folklore included.
There is no insta-love. I was glad to read that Ren seemed to be the first one to be attracted to Kelsey than the other way around. I’m so used to reading about heroines who are immediately drawn to the guy because of how hot he is and blah, blah, blah. And while Kelsey isn’t blind to Ren, she also doesn’t really think about it besides initially noticing it. She isn’t blushing every other page, isn’t thinking about kissing him every other sentence.
But when the romance finally does start to happen, Kelsey lost some serious points with me.
Ren’s a chivalrous kind of guy. So he asks for permission to kiss her, and what does Kelsey do?
I babbled, “Girls need to be swept off their feet, and asking permission is just . . . just . . . old-fashioned. It’s not spontaneous enough. It doesn’t scream passion. It screams old fogy. If you have to ask, then the answer is . . . no.”
Because, Lord forbid a guy doesn’t just takes what he wants and kisses her. For crying out loud . . . this is the girl who envied Romeo and Juliet’s love tale, and yet when a guy who wants to be chivalrous and make sure it’s okay with her if he kisses her, she throws it back in his face.
I mean, yes, I do understand that in one of those moments when you want to be kissed, it can kind of ruin a moment when he asks. But Ren wasn’t even sure if she wanted to be kissed! He was trying to be polite and make sure he wasn’t crossing a boundary! What is so wrong with that? Some girls don’t want to just be randomly kissed spontaneously when they haven’t been kissed before, you know!
“Falling for him would be like cliff diving. It would be either the most exhilarating thing that ever happened to me or the stupidest mistake I’d ever make. It would make my life worth living or it would crush me against stony rocks and break me utterly. Perhaps the wise thing to do would be to slow things down. Being friends would be so much easier.”
Okay . . . stop right there. Can we please stop with this whole “I’m so plain and he’s so hot, so there’s no way he’d ever actually pick me” mantra we have going on in so many YA books? Insecurity is going to happen, yes, to almost everyone. But to the point were the girl isn’t going to accept the guy who she very much likes because she’s sure he’s going to become a spineless idiot who only wants the air-head girls who (apparently) are this century’s definition of “hot” just because he is not bad looking either is just . . . ridiculous. Why is it that we all have this preconceived notion that there are people out of our “leagues” and they couldn’t possibly want someone as “plain” as us? What is this?
But while Kelsey has all these problems with Ren, and are most of the reasons she decides she can’t be with him, I was rooting for them to end up together by the end. Because when Kelsey finally tells Ren the real reason she can’t be with him, it’s a good reason. One that I kind of agreed with.
So, she won me back. Just a little bit.
I liked Ren quite a lot. He wasn’t rude or smug to Kelsey, which is always a plus. And sometimes he would say something that I’d just really love, or love to read about the conversations between him and Kelsey.
Pulling the chair out for me, he invited me to sit.
I stood there wondering if I could sprint for the nearest exit. Stupid strappy shoes, I’d never make it.
He leaned in close and whispered in my ear, “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not going to let you escape again. You can either take a seat and have dinner with me like a normal date,” he grinned at his word choice, “or,” he paused thoughtfully then threatened, “you can sit on my lap while I force-feed you.”
I KNEW IT! I am still a hardcore believer in that men designed heels so women can’t run away. Ha.