The Cursed Girl
This is a story about a teenage witch that gets many things right and just a few things wrong. First, I really enjoyed the plot; it was a bit cliché with the gutsy main character falling for the prince and teaming up to take on evil, BUT it was entertaining and kept me reading for over 100k words!
All that said, I found Eva to be a great protagonist and I really admired her fire, drive, and personality. The romance was not so heavy, though I don’t think I would have minded if it had been! Fantasy romance is always something that gets me, I’m a sucker for a human/supernatural cross-over love! But Eva and Jonathan are more than starry teens in love, they are partners on equal ground which is something I really appreciated. Eva was not a damsel in distress nor was she overly enthusiastic to jump headfirst into battle. In fact, I found every character to be well balanced and helpful in carrying the story along.
Now, some of the things I didn’t like about this book: for a fantasy, the length was understandable but with the target audience being teenagers and the pace being somewhat slow, I think this book could have easily been chopped in half. OR some of the rambling on Eva’s end or random descriptions of outfits and food and everything else that does nothing to progress the story could have been cut out. As much as I enjoyed Eva as a character, I feel like reading from a first-person perspective for the entirety of this incredibly long book grew tiresome at times. This is really a matter of personal preference, however, as I tend to lean toward third-person narration when it comes to fantasy.
My last, and strongest, complaint is about the writing itself. While there were no egregious errors in terms of grammar and punctuation, I feel like the writing was not as strong as it could have been. Vermisoglou is definitely a creative artist with an interesting story to tell, but I think spending just a bit more time with other books and maybe reading more fantasy novels would help strengthen her writing to take this wonderful novel to the next level. It WAS enjoyable, but I feel it was weaker than it should have been. This is just a case where the story, the characters, and the world-building is all very excellent but the writing that brings it together is not.
In the end, despite the writing and the length, I did enjoy this book and I would recommend it to readers of all ages. Anyone who loves magic, dark fantasy, and female protagonists will certainly want a copy.