if i’d known; a review

If I’d Known (Cursed Book #1), By Rebecca Donovan

Book 50 of 2017

“We’re all cursed—every single one of us.”

Protagonist and angst-y highschooler Lana Peri isn’t afraid of telling anyone exactly what she thinks, regardless of who she hurts. She can’t lie, and considers honesty her ‘curse’. Lana is loyal, a good daughter, and rough around the edges. She has an absent, dejected mother and two best friends who care about her, but may not be the best influences… life can be a struggle, but Lana is strong.

When Lana agrees to go out with her best friend and her date one evening, Lana has no idea where the night will take her. Sketchy characters, a robbery, drugs and sexual chemistry are just some the elements that make up Lana’s night… a night she is sure to remember, no matter how much she wants to forget it.

I wish I could say that I thoroughly enjoyed If I’d Known (Cursed, Book #1). I don’t like being negative in my reviews, so I will make this short and sweet.

The good elements: I liked how the novel felt current. The author wrote about drugs and incidents that are coming up with today’s high schoolers. I also liked how the story painted a true domino effect; the novel showed how one event set the tone for the night and how a chain reaction began. The novel was also recommended by one of my favorite authors, so my fingers are crossed that the series will continue to get better.

The not-so-good elements: It was hard for me to figure out whether there were magical elements to this book (as everyone has their ‘curses,’ but I was trying to figure out if the curses were just defining characteristics Lana pegs on people, or are actual ‘curses’) and the cover of the novel (featuring a crown) also seemed contradictory and confusing to the inside of the book. I also didn’t find the characters warm or deep, and the story sometimes felt like a wild goose chase. You can’t like them all though, right?

The novel did finish with a cliff hanger, and I do have unanswered questions about the brothers Lana pines after, so I may check out the second book in the series when it is released.

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