I’m just going to come out and say it: I ADORED Tiger’s Curse and I’m so glad I won a (signed, no less!) copy of it that I can cherish forever and 5-ever. Yep, that’s how much I loved it: enough to validate using 5-ever in a review. Sh*t just got real.
It’s actually been a while since I’ve fangirled this much over a book. The Selection came pretty close, but the last one that had me experiencing these exceptional levels of fangirling (with Twilight setting the bar, of course) was the Angel Trilogy by L.A. Weatherly.
So congrats, Colleen Houck: you’ve managed to write one of the few books that not only made me hand out 5 stars, but in rare addition actually made me swoon (not just because of Ren!) and *squee* en share share share my reading experience in the hope that others will follow suit and we can create a Tiger’s Army or something like that.
Let me tell you why. (Long and fangirlish review coming up ahead!)
I loved the pace of the story. Pretty much every minute of Kelsey’s experience is experienced by the reader as well, with the exception of a part of her time at the circus. We travel with her, eat with her, uhm – shower and sleep with her …
I love these kinds of stories because it’s simply pleasant to be in the MC’s shoes, even in mundane activities that other writers might cut to speed up the action. I find these stories the most relaxing to read because it’s like an out-of-body experience: the more you read, the more you become the MC. And it ain’t to bad swimming in the pool, eating delicious meals and traveling luxuriously as Kelsey does in Tiger’s Curse!
The pace is leisurely but for me, it had the perfect amount of action! It’s basically just a really a well-rounded, good-spirited and positive type of adventure. Like when you were a kid and you would dream about picking up your backpack and trotting out into the woods, off to discover great things and meet great people and just have an EPIC time. With some magic added into the mix of course.
(Gosh, sorry about all the fangirling …)
I really liked getting to know more about Indian mythology. This wasn’t a mythology I was familiar or even slightly interested in before, but after reading Tiger’s Curse I have to say I have a newfound appreciation for Indian culture. I still don’t like the food though, no offense 😉
Tiger’s Curse has few, but highly likeable characters. Our Mr. Kadam is such a sweetheart! I was genuinely pleased for Kelsey that she had him as a (grand)father figure during this experience. It’s nice when a YA character isn’t alone in the world battling demons or other kids in arena’s or evil trolls or whatever.
I was so scared Mr. Kadam might end up betraying Ren and Kelsey in the end, but luckily, this is not that kind of story. Colleen Houck seems to have similar morals as Stephenie Meyer in that respect. Or at least, I hope so, since that would mean we get a happy end in the final book 🙂
Because yes: Tiger’s Curse has a lot of similarities with Twilight. The one I was least appreciative of being the fact that the main character has a severe lack of self-preservation when it comes to her potentially lethal lover.
Bella: “Let me just get real close to this vampire, I’m sure he won’t drain me of my blood” (still love ya Bells).
Kelsey: “Let me just pet this random caged tiger, I’m sure he won’t bite of my hand or anything” (still love ya Kells).
Yeah. Not very smart, girls. But in the name of teenage love, I’ll forgive you.
Aaah, teenage love! The friendship and romance (but mostly friendship) in Tiger’s Curse was so adorable it actually made me go ‘awww’ a couple of times. Ren is pretty much a more easy-going and happy Indian version of Edward. Or at least that’s how I saw him. An unexperienced gentleman with a long guarded secret and a crush on a girl that doesn’t think she deserves his splendor. And of course he has a little Jake in there too, seen as how he’s cursed to spent the better part of the day as a four-legged animal and everything. Jep, keep those Twilight-comparisons coming!
Also not unlike Bella, Kelsey could say also some pretty stupid things at times, the worst one being something along the lines of “I didn’t mind being alone. But the problem with always being alone, is that you get lonely.” Uhm, really? Brilliant observation there, Kelsey.
In the first half of the book there was something weird about the way she talked to adults (she pretty much talked like a 5-year old) but either I got used to it as the story progressed, or her way of talking changed, because it didn’t bother me anymore in the second half.
If I had to change something about this novel, it would actually be Kelsey’s name. I don’t know why, but her name felt so fake to me? That is, of course, a very very minor point if criticism considering this is a 400-page novel. ‘Cause damn, I really loved every single page of this. *Happy sigh*
So if you’re in the mood for an exotic version of Twilight, this is the book for you. If you’re in the mood for something magical and sweet, this is the book for you. If you feel like traveling to exotic places and learning more about Indian mythology, this book is also for you. If you just want to read some honest, feel-good fantasy or if you like tigers or whatever: JUST GO AHEAD AND READ IT SO WE CAN FANGIRL ABOUT IT TOGETHER!
Add it to your Goodreads here!