Title: Tiger’s Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Published: 2011 by Sterling Publishing
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.Would you risk it all to change your destiny?The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
First Sentence:”The prisoner stood with his hands tied in front of him, tired, beaten, and filthy but with a proud back befitting his royal Indian heritage.”
So this book was rather fantastic.
Let me tell the ways. First we have the classic cursed-prince-is-now-an-animal story element. Throw this into the modern day. Add a circus as a starting setting. Then move the story to India. Oh and the prince is a superhot guy. Voila! Pretty much amazing!
So Ren, or whatever his Indian name is, was “cursed” or something and now has to spend the majority of his day as a tiger. He gets a few hours (I can’t remember specifics) to be human, and when those are up he changes back to the tiger despite his attempts to stay human. Oh and he’s immortal pretty much. Ren and Kelsey meet up at her summer job, a circus, where Ren is the tiger exhibit (He’s been in zoos and circuses for YEARS because of the curse). She develops a bond with this strangely calm tiger, and soon travels to India to “help care for Ren on the journey” AKA “help him break the curse.” She soon discovers that “OH MY GOODNESS, the tiger’s a man!” From here we have jungle adventures, temples coming to life and then caving in, magic Indian tattoos, the arrival of a mysterious brother (also tiger-cursed), and a fancy house. Regular Indiana Jones stuff.
Even though most people would have hated the ending of this book, I actually liked it because it left so much more for the rest of the series. I also liked it because it made sense. I understand why Kelsey would do something like that (trying not to spoil anything). So I felt it was more realistic to end this way. I respected Kelsey a lot more than I respect other heroines in YA fiction. She was hesitant to get into a relationship and didn’t just go “omgiloveyoumarryme?” Instead it took awhile for Ren to get through to her and for her to open up to him. Although, by then I was ready to shake her for not kissing him sooner.
My major problem with this book series is the love triangle I see developing. I don’t mind love triangles. While they aren’t that realistic, they let readers split and debate about the romance of the story, where in a book with an obvious ending couple there’s nothing to question. HOWEVER. I think that having the love triangle involve a girl (Kelsey), a guy (Ren), and HIS BROTHER (Kishan) is just kind of strange. I’m getting mad at the very thought of this happening (and I have started the second book, and can pretty much say that I think it’s happening. For realz. I dislike this).
So aside from the whole triangle thing, a slow beginning, and the weird parts where Kelsey thinks “but I love you as a TIGER, not as a MAN,” it’s a very enjoyable book. I will definitely continue reading the second book even though I’ll be hitting my head against the wall as I do it.
Content Warnings: Kissing