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.My favorite thing about this book was the storyline--I thought it was really original. I mean, it has a circus, India, and tigers, which makes it a lot more exotic than most YAs. And I LOVED that it takes place in India. I’ve had a fascination with the country for a while, and this book gave me my fix. Although, it did seem more like a glossed-over, fantasy version of India. I mean Kelsey keeps trekking through the jungles and never gets hurt. Plus, she eats all this native food and fruit and drinks, but she never gets sick at all . . . which seems a bit unrealistic to me.
Kelsey herself didn’t annoy me, but the way the author wrote her dialog and thoughts did. She doesn’t sound like a 17-year-old at all--she sounds way more adult. And Ren . . . I liked him better as a tiger than a man, honestly. As a human he’s overbearing and childish at times, and I just can’t handle that very well. Also, even though he’s 21, he’s been that age for, like, 350 years, so he seems way older than Kelsey, and I never quite got over the skeeviness factor of that. I did really appreciate that Kelsey doesn’t let Ren just sweep her off her feet. She knows that she’s attracted to him, but she keeps a level head and doesn’t let him make her decisions. So kudos to her for that.
Honestly, I think this book would’ve worked better as adult fiction. I mean, there’s nothing in it that makes it HAVE to be YA, and it being adult fiction would allow Kelsey to be older (so she could actually BE 30 instead of just sounding 30) and it would make the whole Ren being so much older than her way less weird to me.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book--more because of the story than because of the characters, but still, I think it’s a worthwhile book to read. I’m undecided about whether or not I’ll be reading the sequel, just because I hate the way Kelsey’s written, but I’ll probably give it a shot eventually.