Published by HarperTeen on April 9, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies. Sam doesn’t plan to fall for anyone in the nine weeks before his birthday. He’ll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club. But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.
As Sam’s birthday approaches and he still hasn’t quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets. A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he’s only seen in a dream might have the answers he’s been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.
Love and Other Curses was a bit of a surprise read. It wasn’t a book that I had initially requested, so when it turned up I had some reservations. The idea of picking up a book that I wasn’t aware of was slightly unappealing, so when I did start reading it was amazing how quickly I got hooked.
From the very first page it was so easy to immerse myself with Sam’s world. To follow him around on a daily basis.
I liked how Sam and Tom met. It left like a meeting just at the beginning of summer with endless possibilities. Tom is a boy that Sam has a crush at first sight on. But because of the curse he is wary of his feelings.
But this is less a love-story and more about finding yourself. Sam is good at keeping secrets. He keeps the secret of the curse from everyone. A curse that means that anyone he falls in love with before he turns seventeen will die. Its happened to every generation of his family. Then he hides the fact that he attends the only gay bar in town and experiments with his drag persona from his family. And then there are the records from his mum.
I liked how supportive Sam’s family was in contrast to Tom’s. But I do wish that he had opened up a bit more about the above. Maybe some of the scenes would have played out differently
The style of Love & Other Curses means that it is so easy to pick up and read. And the idea of the curse and magic gave it a twist on the tale. And presented a more realist story (despite the magic) and allowed for a satisfactory ending.
This was a different read, and despite not being in my normal comfort zone, was surprisingly easy to read. There was a lot of lessons to learn throughout Love & Other Curses, yet was one of the most approachable books I have read for a long time.
If you are after a book that dares to be different then this is perfection.