Published: May 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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 Beautiful and the Cursed was an interesting and different look at Victorian Paris. Angels and demons abound, as do gargoyles. I don't think I've ever come across gargoyles before and it was rather refreshing. Gargoyles are humans who have sinned by killing a member of the clergy and have been punished by living a very long life protecting the 'humans' who come into the sphere of their church, or house, or building etc. The mythology of the gargoyles in The Beautiful and the Cursed was well thought out and very engrossing. As was the 'secret' society tasked with keeping an eye on the gargoyles.
Two sisters, Ingrid and Gabby were very different. Gabby is 15 and very spunky and ready for anything. Ingrid is a little more serious and careful, but both were relatable to and likeable. I loved the two society members who end up as love interests. Vander and Nolan. Luc, the primary gargoyle is a study in contrasts - hard and yet soft, loving yet also uncaring. He is punished for allowing harm to befall one of his humans - Ingrid and Gabby\s brother, Grayson, The five characters, plus a few others come into conflict with both angels and demons while trying to find him.
The solution to the mystery, while unlikely is yet nicely plausible and I enjoyed the conclusion. Everything ties up very neatly, but just enough is left dangling that we know there is going to be a follow-u[, which I am personally looking forward. All in all this was a nice change from the usual paranormal fare. Worth trying.