Review: Nancy Drew: The Curse

Title: Nancy Drew: The Curse
Author: Micol Ostow
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Rating: ★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Based on the TV series Nancy Drew, the most-watched new show on the CW!

In this prequel novel, the beloved teen sleuth investigates a sinister, once-dormant curse that may be threatening her town once more. This is Nancy Drew for today, perfect for fans of RiverdaleThe Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Stranger Things!

A curse is just a mystery dressed up in a sharp, stern warning. 

And everyone knows that I love a mystery.

Nancy Drew isn’t one for ghost stories. So when the annual Horseshoe Bay Naming Day celebration is threatened by eerie warnings of an old curse, Nancy is sure someone—someone human—is behind them. And no way is she letting this person stand in the way of her best friend, Daisy, finally getting her day in the spotlight as the lead in the much-anticipated Naming Day reenactment.

But as Nancy begins investigating, the so-called marks of the curse become bolder…and more sinister. A vandalized locker and ominous notes are one thing, but soon enough lives—including Nancy’s own—are at stake. Though the dreams and eerie visions plaguing Nancy are certainly just products of her own mind…right?

All old towns have their traditions and histories, but as Nancy will soon discover, they don’t always tell the whole story. 


The town of Horseshoe Bay is having their annual Naming Day celebration, where they celebrate the creation of their town. Nancy and her friends are excited for it, especially since one of her friends is going to participate in the play because she is a descendant of one of the founders. However, someone starts to pull pranks, trying to get the celebration cancelled. The pranks escalate until students go missing. Nancy has to figure out what has happened to save her friends.

This was an interesting mystery with Nancy Drew. It takes place a couple of years before the show is set, so we see Nancy in high school when her mom was still alive. She was interested in investigating mysteries even back then.

The main problem with this book is that it had nothing to do with the show. This story was advertised as a prequel to the TV series, which is technically true since it happens before the show starts. However, the characters in this book don’t exist on the show. Nancy’s friends on the show briefly appeared in the book, while people who were her lifelong friends in the book haven’t even been mentioned on the TV show. There was even a part where Nancy said that the story of Lucy Sable wasn’t worth investigating, even though that was one of the main mysteries on the show. It was quite confusing, because I kept trying to connect this book to the show, though they seem like completely different stories.

If this book had been advertised as a new, original Nancy Drew book, it would have been so much better. It really doesn’t work as a prequel to the TV show.

What to read next:

The Day Before (Riverdale #1) by Micol Ostow

Have you read Nancy Drew: The Curse? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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