Of Curses and Kisses: St. Rosetta's Academy, Book 1

Book review by
Lucinda Dyer, Common Sense Media
Of Curses and Kisses: St. Rosetta's Academy, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Sparkling modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast."

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers will learn a few facts about the time when Great Britain ruled India and that even today, when India is a democracy, the old royal families still have a prominent and sometimes revered place in society.

Positive Messages

Never judge someone's character before you really get to know them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jaya worries she might be doing more harm than good by going along with the stereotype of what a royal princess should be -- always being the "keeper of the rules." As the novel unfolds, readers see her grow into a young woman who respects her culture and her future role but is determined to forge her own path and her unique identity as a princess.


A few enthusiastic, passionate kisses.


Occasional strong language: "f--k," "damn," a--hole," "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A teen is photographed drinking and some students sneak alcohol into a school dance.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Of Curses and Kisses, by Sandhya Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi There's Something About Sweetie), features a beautiful Indian princess, a troubled young English nobleman, and a centuries-old curse. When Princess Jaya Rao learns that she and her younger sister, Isha, will be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson (aka Lord Northcliffe), she's determined to take revenge for what his family did to hers in the mid-1800s and for Grey's role in a recent tabloid press attack on her sister. Jaya decides the best revenge will be to make him fall in love with her and then break his heart. Characters share some passionate kisses and there are a few instances of strong language ("f--k," "damn," a--hole," "s--t"). This modern fairy tale will delight fans of Menon's previous novels and captivate those new to her books. 

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old May 30, 2020

Pretty good

good, some cussing, and no adult content.

What's the story?

As OF CURSES AND KISSES opens, Princess Jaya Rao of India and her younger sister, Isha, have just arrived the St. Rosetta's International Academy, an elite boarding school outside of Aspen, Colorado. Her parents have chosen it as a refuge for the girls after an Indian tabloid published pictures of Isha drinking and kissing a young motorcycle mechanic. When Jaya discovers that Grey Emerson (aka Lord Northcliffe) is also attending the school, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to exact revenge on the Emerson family. In the mid-1800s, the Emersons had stolen a priceless ruby from a temple in the Indian state ruled by Jaya's family, and she's certain that Grey's behind the tabloid attack on her sister. Jaya decides she'll make Grey fall in love with her and then ruthlessly break his heart. But the plan goes astray when she gets to know Grey and discovers he's been tortured by a secret he's never revealed even to his closest friends. Grey believes that Jaya's great-great grandmother put a curse on the ruby and that the curse means he'll die on his 18th birthday. As that birthday approaches, Jaya will learn who's actually behind leaking the photos of Isha to the press. 

Is it any good?

Author Sandhya Menon blends a sweet and engaging opposites-attract romance with thoughtful storylines about friendship, forgiveness, and never being quick to judge. Although the cast of characters in Of Curses and Kisses are rich and privileged teens, Menon focuses on the things they may have in common with most readers (making bad choices in dating, broken friendships, and dealing with parent's expectations) rather than portraying them as stereotypical jet-setting teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role judgment and forgiveness play in Of Curses and Kisses. Have you ever made a snap judgement about someone that turned out to be wrong? What did you learn from that experience? Has anyone ever done something to you that you've found hard to forgive?

  • When you see what seems to be a scandalous photo of a celebrity online or in a magazine, do you ever think there might be an innocent explanation for what's going on in the photo? Do you believe famous people have a right to privacy when they're out in public?

  • Do you have a favorite fairy tale? How would you update the storyline and characters for the 21st century?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

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