The Cursed Series
Parts 1 & 2
By Rebecca Donovan
“Trust no one. Everyone lies. You can only save yourself.”
It was supposed to be a Friday night like any other for Lana and her best friends. Three girls out to cause a little trouble. Break a few hearts. And try not to get caught. Except on this night, Lana Peri is the sole witness to a horrific crime, and she can’t say a word. Not if she wants to protect her friends. No one will believe her word over his, so he gets away with it. And she’s forced to pay for her silence.
Instead of serving time in juvie, Lana is sentenced to a boarding school for privileged teens. Removed from everyone she knows and cares about, she’s abandoned at Blackwood School in Vermont, where everything is an illusion, including the lives of those who attend the elite institution. Lana isn’t wealthy or privileged. The only thing she has in common with the sons and daughters of celebrities and politicians is that she’s a delinquent, just like them. And they’ve all been forced to grow up much too fast.
Just when Lana begins to feel accepted, mysterious notes start showing up in her belongings and ominous threats are painted on her wall. Only someone she knows could have done it. Someone she thought was a friend. As the pieces fall into place, secrets begin to emerge, leaving Lana with too many questions and not enough people to trust.
The Cursed Series is a thrilling and tangled mystery that explores the sacrifice of love and the secrets kept to protect friends. How do you know who to trust when no one is telling the truth?
“This is Screaming Point.”
“That’s what it’s called?”
“It is now. As of today. Because it’s what we need it to be.” She takes my hand. “Ready?”
I look out at the dwindling light dancing on the dark surface like the lake is capturing every last bit of the sun before it disappears. I close my eyes and find that place inside that is always angry. That hates my curse. That needs Allie to live. And Vic to burn. That wants to hurt every man who has ever broken my mother’s heart. Or touched what wasn’t theirs. And every person who has ever lied when they claimed to love. I don’t have to search for long, because it’s always there, waiting to explode.
I open my eyes to look into Ashton’s sapphire blue ones, and nod.
We face the water and inhale deeply, giving our anger, frustration and sadness a breath of life before we unleash it onto the world in the most powerful scream that’s ever been launched from this cliff. And it’s freeing. More than I ever thought possible. I allow my heartache to take flight, releasing it into the setting sun to be dragged down beneath the horizon.
And what’s left when there aren’t any more screams to give is a radiant smile. Ashton and I face each other, our hands still clasped, and we start laughing. It’s a true, bonding laughter because we just shared something sacred. If anyone were to witness it, they would think we’re insane. And maybe it’s that crazy within each of us that makes the laughter louder and deeper until I have to wipe away the tears creeping out the corners of my eyes.
“Thank you, Ashton,” I tell her as we start back across the field. “My soul needed that.”
The Cursed Series by Rebecca Donovan is one readers don’t want to miss. The release of Part 1 and Part 2 are taking the reading and blogger world by storm. All who have read the book are praising the series and begging for the next two installments, myself included. This series grabbed my attention within the first few pages and held me captive through both parts. Although this series is considered mature YA geared for the 16 and up age group, I think this series steps out of it’s “specified genre”. It will appeal to all readers because of it’s mature content mixed with intrigue, mystery, and romance while still capturing the freshness of youthful optimism. The writing is superb. The plot is delivered in an interesting and subtle way by blending two worlds together in an unique way. The main characters are defined by their strongest virtue which is also their biggest weakness and flaw. Their personal curse is what propels and defines each of their roles within this story.
Pay attention to the headers at the beginning of each chapter in both Part One and Part Two. Part One is the perspective from Lana’s grandmother. Part two is from a fairytale story. All of these chapter headers propel the story in a new direction.
Part One – If I’d Known
The readers are introduced to Lana, the narrator of The Cursed series. Lana has been brought up to believe that virtues are the curses that destroy lives. She’s the only child of a single mother who conceived her at a young age. They were abandoned by the baby daddy before she was born. Her mother has spent her life searching for love and happily ever after. Her search has left Lana somewhat emotionally neglected. Lana was mostly raised by her grandmother until she passed away.
Her life experiences have taught her that virtues are the downfall for everyone she has loved. She has witnessed Belief, Trust, Kindness, and Boldness destroy those she holds dear.
Lana has been brought up in the rougher side of a small city in Massachusetts. It’s obvious that Lana and her friends have had to grow up fast and learn street smarts in order to survive. Although they are one step away from crossing the line to the darker side, they have each other’s backs and protect each other no matter what. In a sense they all know they will cross the line at some point. It’s just a matter of when or how. Loyalty to each other is how they survive in their world.
Lana’s biggest problem is her virtue. Her virtue is absolute “HONESTY”. She cannot lie no matter how much it can hurt someone else or herself. This is what leads her to her demise ( Part 2) when she is in the wrong place at the wrong time and very bad, unspeakable things happen that could destroy them all. Rather than lie about what happened she chooses silence and takes the punishment.
Part Two – Knowing You
Instead of being convicted and sent to Juvenile Detention, Lana is sent to Blackwood,an exclusive correctional boarding school for troubled rich kids. Rather than punishing the troubled students, they are managed and guided to make better life choices. The students are cut off from social media, technology, and the outside world. Their time is managed to fit their personal needs for improvement in all aspects of their lives including academic weaknesses to personality flaws. They are all required to work to pay back restitution for the damages they have done prior to coming to Blackwood.
Lana arrived at Blackwood at the beginning of the summer session. There are very few students on campus. The students that are attending quickly become her tribe although she doesn’t really trust any of them. They all work at the local country club and socialize with the other kids from town working there. Lana quickly realizes that although these kids are from privileged backgrounds they are all basically the same. They are all defined by their Virtue.
Lana becomes a part of the Blackwood life even though she misses her friends from her old life. She is learning that people are people no matter where she goes. There are good and bad things everywhere. She still doesn’t trust easily but she is also learning life lessons about the true meaning of love and friendship. Things seem good on the surface but she is getting threatening notes that are escalating into something sinister and dangerous. As the threats escalate it becomes apparent that her past world is connected to her new world. It may not be the VIRTUE that destroys her. Two worlds are colliding. Virtues are colliding. Her life is spiraling out of control.
Rebecca Donovan knocked it out of the park with the Cursed Series. She delivered an enthralling story that readers cannot get enough of. I highly recommend this series!
Enter to win the Giveaway HERE!
Rebecca Donovan, the USA Today and Wall Street Journalbestselling YA author of The Breathing Seriesand What If, lives in a small town in Massachusetts with her son. Influenced and obsessed with music, Rebecca can often be found jumping around at concerts, or on a plane to go see one. She’s determined to experience(not just live) life. And then write about it.
♦ ♦ ♦