I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
The plot actually started out not with angels and demons, but with gargoyles. I got the idea for the story based on one photograph. I have it on my Pinterest board if you want to take a look at it. It’s a Notre Dame gargoyle. It’s actually the gargoyle on the cover, and they included it. It was a total surprise. As you can see he’s sort of hunched over, you can see the Eiffel Tower in the background. To me, that one photograph looked like he was watching over the city of Paris, protecting it. I didn’t know anything about gargoyles, so I didn’t know exactly what that exact gargoyle meant, so I went and did some research and I found that my instinct was right. Because gargoyles are a symbol of protection. So when they’re on a church or something, they’re said to scare off evil spirits or evil demons. They’re water spouts, you can see sometimes fancy water spouts and sometimes they’re a statue. It’s just a symbol of protection, so I went with that. I just wanted to tell that gargoyle story, so it spiralled from there, so I just thought if there are gargoyles in the world, then lets have this whole underworld of demons and bring in the angels and it sort of just unravelled. The more I thought about the story, actually it took a couple of years to piece it all together, it just sort of came out. I didn’t intend to write a book about gargoyles or demons, it just happened.
A lot of research, I hadn’t been to Paris before, I’ve always wanted to go and I knew it was going to be set in Paris, but of course it’s a huge city and I knew very little about it. So I did a lot of research for Paris using a lot of maps and walking tours and I would use historical maps, anything that I could find online and there’s so much you can find online. I’ve actually used Rick Steve’s walking tours of Paris, so I used that and it was almost like I was there. And he also had some videos. But I knew the best way to do research was to actually go and I did and ended up going and it was amazing! I tired to find as much as I could about gargoyles but they didn’t have a set mythology behind them so a lot of that was my own imagination. I also did a lot of research for fashion because it was set in the 1890’s. I had two society girls come from high society and obviously they’re going to be fashionable, so I had to touch on that as well.
The names just come into my head when I first think of a character. I want the names to suit their personalities so sometimes Ingrid for example, I really wanted a stiff, disciplined, proper sounding name. So for some reason Ingrid fit the bill and I pictured a blonde, that goes with my main character. I want it to look like she’s weak, but she’s really not. I wanted her to look refined, gentle, a perfect English girl but not at the core of who she really is. Then Gabby, I just wanted a more feisty name and it fit the personality, so sometimes the names can even shape the characters. So sometimes the names come to me and then the characters comes next. Other times, the characters are there but I don’t know what the character is called. One of the characters Vander was actually named Nathaniel, then Nolan, then the Ns were bothering me so I ended up changing his name. I like it and it’s different and it ended up suiting him. I think Nathaniel would have suited him as well because it’s a down-to-earth name, but I think Vander suits him too. Sometimes they come to me and sometimes I just use a baby book. I like to know the meanings of the names which is fun.
I would be Gabby. I feel like I’m more like Ingrid. I think more about things and I like to plan. I think I would really like to be like Gabby. She’s feisty. She just decides that she wants something and she goes and do it. And I’m more of a person that goes, “Oh wait a minute, maybe I shouldn’t.” I think Gabby has a lot of spunk and I would like to be her because she also has Nolan, so that would be good too.
My favourite author would have to be Jennifer Donnelly. There’s just something about the way she writes. It’s very detailed and full of rich history which I love. She’s very patient so she really makes you settled so you can understand what is going on. Another is Sara McClain and Libba Bray. The most recent YA book that I read and loved is Megan Shepard’s The Madman’s Daughter. One of my critique partners Maurissa Guibord, who wrote Warped and Revel.
I guess I would like to try writing a little bit of everything. I have an idea for a contemporary YA which would be totally new for me. I haven’t done that before. That would be a challenge but I think it could also be a lot of fun. I would love to write a children’s illustrated book. I think that would be a really big challenge for me because writing a short story within just a few pages.. You don’t have a whole lot. I’d even try historical non-fiction about something.
I was reading what my parents were reading, and there wasn’t YA or even a solid middle grade section. It would be children’s books and there would be adult. There really wasn’t an in-between. Now-a-days, I think it’s so great because I go straight to the YA, but back then I was reading what my parents were reading . I was reading Stephen King, Dean Kootz, Danielle Steel and anything that they were reading. They were big readers so I would just pick up their books when they were done and read them. It didn’t matter how scary od r how sensual so I was really exposed to scary things at an early age but I did read The Babysitters Club. I remembered reading Bridge to Terabithia, and it really struck me.. Someone my age dying and it was really traumatizing for me. It was a really important novel.
I’m working on the third novel and the second novel is in copy edits. It’s called The Lovely and the Lost and they’re working on the cover. So it’s going to be a blue theme and so I’m working on the third and final book. I’m excited but I also don’t want it to stop to end it. I outlined the third novel and now I’m just going through chapter by chapter. I just go through and flush it out. I’m also doing e short stories, and taking characters who don’t have their own point of view in the books and I’m giving them their own stories.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Ingrid moves to Paris with her family after a horrible incident gone wrong. Her new home is an abandoned church with gargoyle statues all around. As Ingrid and her sister Gabby explore Paris, they realize that the super natural creatures from legend and myth come to life. And the boy that she befriends may not be who he seems. Together they unravel one of the greatest secrets and are thrown into a world full of mystery and danger.
What can I say about The Beautiful and the Cursed? If I can sum it up in one word, it would be intense. The book kept me wanting more. The mystery was unraveled at regular intervals and I couldn’t help but want more answers. The cast of characters were just as strong as the story’s plot and I really enjoyed their dialogues and their relationships. And I also loved the setting! Paris? Who wouldn’t want to get lost in that city? I felt like I was there and that’s something I don’t find often.
Page writes Ingrid’s story with her beautiful storytelling, the violent murders, and the mysterious secrets that surrounds The Beautiful and the Cursed‘s world. Highly recommended for fans looking for a supernatural read.
Loved all the characters, especially the boys!
Great pacing! Super fast!
LOVE IT! Gorgeous and oh-so-pretty!
I love a good mystery and this one kept me asking questions!
Overall, a wonderful read that kept me wanting more!