Title: Love and Other Curses
Author: Michael Thomas Ford
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Indigo Summer Preview
Release Date: April 9, 2019
The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies. Sam doesn’t plan to fall for anyone in the nine weeks before his birthday. He’ll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club. But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.
As Sam’s birthday approaches and he still hasn’t quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets. A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he’s only seen in a dream might have the answers he’s been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.
This book was so much fun to read. It was fast paced so I read it in two sittings. I read most of it in just a couple of hours. The ending of the first few chapters gave hints of what was to come, but kept me guessing. It was difficult to find a good place to stop reading!
The story reminded me so much of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved that there was even a reference to the series near the end of the book. In that series, Blue’s family is also cursed. Blue is told that if she sees a ghost it’s either because she is his true love, or she will kill him. Sam has a similar situation in this story. He is told that if he falls in love before his seventeenth birthday, that person will leave him forever. It’s not easy to prevent yourself from falling in love, so that’s a problem for Sam.
There were so many layers to the story. I loved the diverse representation. Sam is gay and his new friend, Tom Swift, is trans. Tom’s family doesn’t accept him, so they continuously refer to him as “Jennifer” because that is the name they gave him. It was so heartbreaking to read about that. They were cruel to him, forcing him to dress as a girl and wear makeup. There was also some representation of older people in the story. Sam’s grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother live with him. They keep his family history alive with magic. He is friends with some older drag queens as well, which added some entertainment to the story. One of those men was in a similar situation to his friend Tom, in terms of his family not accepting him. It shows how the same themes keep returning throughout different generations.
I loved this story! It’s going to be a great summer read!
What to read next:
Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Have you read Love and Other Curses? What did you think of it?