Author: Julie Smith
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Pages: Paperback; 264
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Intended Reading Group:
3 Keys to My Heart
Budding-psychic Reeno is the most accomplished teenage burglar in California, but one tiny screw-up and poof!—she's sentenced to Bad Girl School. And that isn’t even her worst problem. Her sister Haley’s dying of an illness no one can diagnose, and now she can’t even help.
But wait, maybe she can! The school psychics have found each other and formed their own club. With the help of her gay friend Carlos and the other Ozone Rangers, Reeno finds out Haley’s disease is the result of an ancient Mayan curse. And A.B., the group's sinister non-faculty adviser, claims he knows how to break it.
All Reeno has to do is time-travel to an ancient Mayan city and steal a little item A.B. needs to save the world. Since she’s an ace thief, he has complete confidence she can execute the task before the outraged Mayans can execute her.
But can she trust A.B.? Despite his cuddly appearance, she knows he’s a merciless predator and ruthless assassin.
And he's not even human.
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself in a boarding school? Now consider that said boarding school has very strict rules, and people who are....interesting. This is the situation that our main character Reeno finds herself in, and what ensues is a hilarious and intelligent romp of a story. Julie Smith has taken a few concepts that might seem a little, advanced we'll say, and woven them into a really fun story line. Complete with fantastically written characters and a nice dose of hilarity, Cursebusters was quite the read.
Reeno is one of those characters who steals the spotlight. To say she's impulsive is a bit of an understatement, but she makes up for it in motivation. See Reeno's sister is really ill, and Reeno knows that the one thing that can save her is way out of her family's price range. So she sets off for a heist and, through an interesting turn of events, ends up in boarding school. However what I loved about Reeno is that she didn't let this phase her, instead she took it as a challenge. In fact, she does that a lot throughout the book. Reeno isn't a girl who is going to take anything lightly. If she has the power to fix or change it, she will. Awesome right?
Pair her now with my favorite character, the wise-cracking and slightly stand-offish A.B. This darling cat, and don't let him catch you saying that or he'll swipe at you, just so happens to be the key to everything that is going on with Reeno. Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for us, that means they spend a lot of time together. Their banter is hilarious and it was by far my favorite part of the book!
Story wise, Cursebusters was a little confusing at times. I understood the overall plot, and you can definitely tell that Julie Smith did her research while writing. Her time travel and astral projection explanations are deep and extensive. When these concepts finally come into play in the book, there is no way that you won't understand how they tie in. However they are definitely a bit on the heavy side sometimes, and although I loved A.B. with all my heart, a lot of what came out of his character was explanation. I think I would've liked a little more action! Which is probably why I loved the end half of the book. Once everything is in place, things pick up and Reeno is out there kicking behind! Who doesn't love a girl with a strong personality and the ability to kick bad guy butt?
As a whole, I really enjoyed reading Cursebusters. I wouldn't say that it was exactly what I expected when I first went in, but honestly sometimes that is a good thing. The chemistry between Reeno and A.B. is fabulous, and if you are a fan of sweeping scenes and time travel you'll love this book! I'd definitely recommend you give Julie Smith's book a try! A butt kicking heroine and a snarky cat? How can you go wrong?
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.