By a Charm and a Curse By Jaime Questell [Review]

By a Charm and a CurseRELEASE DATE: February 06th, 2018
Jaime Questell
Young-Adult, Contemporary-fantasy, Magic, Romance.
Entangled: Teen

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.




MY REV (Copy)

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By A Charm and A Curse was pretty entertaining! I have set low expectations before jumping into it because I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about it, but honestly I didn’t find it that terrible instead I really enjoyed it. This was really a good read with an interesting plot, and enjoyable characters. I’m a great fan of books with Carnival settings and this didn’t disappoint me. Despite its flaws, the story was entertaining enough to enjoy it.  I loved the magical concept, it’s the first thing that intrigued me and also the appealing title. The characters Emma and Benjamin were really good and I liked both of them. 

Seventeen Year old Emmaline King is the new girl in town who recently moved with her father and three brothers to Claremore, Oklahoma. When Le Grand’s carnival visits their town, Emma and her friend Jules decides to enter so they could have a fun time together but no one knows about the magical curse and charm that is keeping them bound together. Emma meets a charming mysterious boy at the carnival whose cold kiss turns her whole world pretty much upside down. Bound by a curse, Emma unwillingly joins the circus. She needs to do her job as the new girl in the box until she can find someone that could replace her. Then she meets Benjamin, the guy who makes her heart flutter but she can’t even kiss him even if she wants to. Breaking the curse means breaking the charm that protects everyone in the carnival. Emma don’t want to pass her fate to another innocent but it looks like it’s the only way to her freedom.

Emma is a pretty likable character. I’m glad that she isn’t a typical annoying teenager, her feelings felt realistic.  I liked her character growth. She was pretty much devastated, angry, and lost at the beginning when she learns of her new situation. She starts to grow strong as she accepts her situation and makes some new friends. I loved Benjamin. He is a super sweet boy who works at the Circus. He wants to help Emma despite her mother’s warnings to stay away from her. The relationship between Emma and Benjamin was cute and sweet. I’ve seen some people complaining about the insta-love but it didn’t felt like insta-love to me. They’ve an attraction but their relationship does grow from friendship to love. I also liked the secondary characters especially Gin, Whiskey, Sidney, Pia and Duncan. Gin and Whiskey are fun characters. They’re both sisters who deeply care for each other. I hated Sidney at the beginning, but later I felt sad for him. Pia and Duncan were pretty enjoyable characters. They’re twin psychics and together they’re  hilarious. 

I really liked the Plot, It was entertaining and engaging. The concept is very unique. I liked how the curse and the charm are co-dependent on each other and how it really works. The ending was satisfying and also a bit sad. The pacing was good. Some parts felt slow but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment. I enjoyed the writing style of the author, It was pretty good and easy to understand. The story was told in Emma and Benjamin’s first person POV. I’m glad it has a alternative POV because I really enjoyed the story from both sides. The carnival Setting was simply great. I wish there was a bit more magic in the story because the magic in this book seemed very light to me, but nonetheless I loved it.   

Overall, I really liked this book! It’s not perfect but it was a good read filled with magic, romance, friendship and some family dynamics.  For a debut, I think it’s a great start and I look forward to more books from the author.

Recommend it?
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I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves YA contemporary books with a magical twist.

4-stars14-stars14-stars14-stars1[3.5/5 Stars]

So, What do you think of this book? Have you read this yet? Do you want to read this book?
Please Feel Free To Comment Below. ❤

See You In The Next Post and Have a Great Day! 🙂


31 thoughts on “By a Charm and a Curse By Jaime Questell [Review]

  1. Ashley @ Book Tales February 28, 2018 / 4:27 am

    Love your review of this! I’m glad you liked it! It sounds really cool, and I love carnival settings as well! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie @ Too Much of a Booknerd February 28, 2018 / 5:36 am

    Oh I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this book! I’ve seen the mixed reviews and I wasn’t sure if I’d pick it up but I just can’t resist books with a carnival/circus setting! Definitely adding this to my TBR now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelly G February 28, 2018 / 11:17 am

    Yay, great review! I have also heard some mixed reviews about this one, but I want to read it so I think I’m just going to jump in. I’m so excited that there are alternating POVs here – it makes stories so much more fun when you get to see both sides!


    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions March 1, 2018 / 5:22 am

      Thank you, Kelly! I love alternative POVs too and yeah they definitely make books more fun to read. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the book! 🙂


  4. bforresterauthor February 28, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    From your review this book sounds a lot like The Night Circus. If you’ve read The Night Circus can you tell me if they’re similar? I read The Night Circus but I didn’t think it was worth the hype around it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • bforresterauthor March 1, 2018 / 2:43 pm

        I thought it might be. I might still try and track down a copy. It sounds really interesting and I was disappointed in The Night Circus. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • bforresterauthor March 3, 2018 / 2:37 pm



  5. Beware Of The Reader February 28, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    Yes it’s a winner! Lovely review Raven!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aila @ One Way Or An Author February 28, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    So glad you liked this one Raven! I also heard mixed reviews, but I might just pick it up when I’m looking for a lighter read with an entertaining plot and interesting setting. Your review makes me much more open to reading it!
    (Also, I can’t believe I wasn’t following your blog before?? Fixed!! 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions March 1, 2018 / 5:36 am

      It was really a good read and I hope you enjoy it when you finally get to it.
      Thanks for the follow and hope you have a great day! 😊❤️


  7. The Candid Cover March 3, 2018 / 12:44 am

    I have been on the fence about this one myself. I really enjoy carnival themed books as well, but I have seen all of the mixed reviews as well. I am so glad that you enjoyed it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Poulami @ Daydreaming Books March 3, 2018 / 1:40 am

    Oooooh this sounds sooo much like goosebumps, I am definitely intrigued!!! The plot sounds amazing! Also, why are twins in 99% the books hilarious?? Though I am definitely not complaining. 😀 Oh and btw, Is this a standalone??
    Anyways, loved your review Raven! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions March 4, 2018 / 5:16 am

      I think you’ll definitely enjoy this book Poulami. It was a fun and sweet read with interesting magical twist. I don’t know either but they do bring more humor to the plot and I always enjoy them. Yeah, it’s a stand-alone novel and I hope you give it a shot.
      Thank you! ❤️😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Marta March 5, 2018 / 3:00 am

    Lovely review! ❤ I'm so interested in this book, especially since it's been pitched as having many similarities with Caraval and I adored it! Your review only made me even more curious about this book, it sounds great! I'll put it on my TBR right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions March 5, 2018 / 4:19 am

      Thank you, Marta! Caraval and this book are not very similar and the magic is also very light compared to that one but it’s still an enjoyable read. I hope you like it when you get to it! 🙂


  10. Jen March 5, 2018 / 9:56 pm

    Oh I love relationships that grow from friendship to love, it always feels so real to me! And I also love books that alternate between the two love interests. So this definitely sounds like something I would enjoy. I’ll keep it in mind when I’m craving a carnival setting. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions March 6, 2018 / 5:41 am

      I think you’ll definitely enjoy this book, Jen! The magic was very light in this book and I liked the sweet romance. Give this a shot if you’re looking for a fun read with little magic. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer March 6, 2018 / 8:36 am

    Is this a stand alone Raven?! I feel it is it sounds fantastic! I’d love to find more paranormal stories that just stand alone, no series necessary. Great review, this sounds fun! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions March 9, 2018 / 1:36 am

      Yeah, it’s a stand-alone novel! Me too, they’re pretty rare these days. This book was fun to read. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a shot!
      Thank you! 🙂


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