11 July 2013

Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1)
Author: Page Morgan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 352 Pages (May 14th, 2013)
From: the Publisher via Amazon Vine
Format: ARC
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Review: 4.5 Stars - The Beautiful and the Cursed is the first in The Dispossessed series from debut author Page Morgan. Set in Paris, Morgan’s vivid imagination takes readers on a breathless story down a dark fork in the road. I found its dark beauty captivating.

When the Waverly’s move from high society London to Paris Ingrid is happy to be out from under events that make her an outcast. She’s eager to see her twin brother Grayson who was sent ahead to find the perfect place for them to live and her mother to work on opening a gallery she’s so far only dreamed about. When they arrive at the location, an abandoned abbey. It leaves Ingrid and her sister Gabby wondering why of all places their brother chose this as their new home. Quickly all that is set aside when they learn that Grayson has been missing and there are no leads in finding him.

Ingrid and Gabby have a rough few days. Things happen to each of them that make them see the city and the people around them in a new light. There are girls missing, people murdered and there’s no end in sight. Ingrid is a bit older than Gabby and has more book smarts, while Gabby is stubborn and wants others to see her as older than she really is.

And then there’s Luc, the servant who catches Ingrid’s eye and the mysterious Vander and Nolan who in turn find themselves helping the sisters in understanding the truth of what’s really out there in the world. I think I should mention that while I had a soft spot for Luc, I think I was asked which boy I liked the most out of the three I’d have to say Nolan. He was snarky to Gabby’s feisty. I smiled a bit bigger when he was on the page. And then Vander kind of gave me the creeps. Not sure, but he just wasn't my cup of tea.

The story is dark and gothic and Morgan writes in a way that makes you feel and see the characters and their surroundings. Set in the late 1800s, in a time so long past I often felt lost in the pages and it’s all due to Morgan’s story telling. If there’s one book that’s easy to get lost in, it’s this one.

The main twist of the story, which not to worry I’m not giving anything away is about Luc and his fellow Dispossessed. They died and returned to live out their days as servants of anyone who lives on their territory which for him happens to be the rectory that Ingrid and her family now reside in. Luc takes his job seriously and when Grayson, one of his charges goes missing he’s punished and intends to not let it ever happen again.

He’s drawn to Ingrid and Ingrid to him and when a turn of events unfolds he shares his secret with her. This part of the story was extremely unique and I was captivated. Talk about breath of fresh air! I've never read anything like this before and I’m sure I won’t find anything like it again… except for the sequel which I’m more than looking forward to.

All in all Morgan’s novel delivered such a beautifully captivating story that I hated it to end. There wasn't a time while reading that I didn't feel whisked away to another time and place. Her characters were interesting beyond words and her story so unique that readers everywhere should take notice of this thrillingly dark tale filled with danger and romance set in the streets of the city of love – Paris. If you haven’t heard of this one, take note and get a copy today, if you have a copy and have yet to start it, you might want to now. I for one will be watching Morgan and be thrilled to read what she writes now and on into the future. Happy reading.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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