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Peek Inside By a Charm and a Curse

Breaking the curse seems like their only chance at happiness—but no curse means no charm, either, dooming every circus worker they’ve grown to care about in the process.

By a Charm and a Curse

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Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.


Starred Review: "A dark idea for a YA story, executed deftly and with feeling." —Kirkus Reviews

"A real page-turner! I was so charmed by this book filled with mystery and magical mayhem that I wasn't able to put it down until the end." Brenda Drake, New York Times bestselling author

"What a ride! From the very first page, By a Charm and a Curse took me on a roller coaster of emotionsand I never wanted to get off!" Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author

5 stars: "Once I picked this one up I simply couldn't put it down until finished with it's fast pace and unique story."Carrie, Carrie’s Book Reviews

5 stars: "It's Pinocchio meets Alice in Wonderland only darker." Danielle, Chapters Through Life

5 stars: "If you can't tell, I really enjoyed this one. It's not out for a few months, but it's definitely worth a look." Kirsti, Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars: "Author Jaime Questell’s writing is flawless. This is a nail-biting page turner worthy of the sleep you’ll miss while seeing it through to the end." Jessica, Dreamer J’s Book Reviews

5 stars: "I found the book enchanting from the very beginning and immediately fell in love with the characters of Benjamin and Emmaline[.]" Sandra, Jeanz Book Read n Review

5 stars: "[I]t is unique tale and stands apart from the others with a distinct and fresh storyline. I would highly recommend this novel for anyone who loves magical stories with a touch of romance." Erica, Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars: "I have to say it exceeded my expectations. The circus part reminded me of The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern), which is a book I loved, but the story is simpler, the characters less complicated. However, that does not mean it is any less charming." Lola, Lola et La Vie

5 stars: "With each chapter from a different character perspective, it kept the story flowing and you didn't miss a thing! Would read this book over and over!" Cynthia, Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars: "I loved everything about this book-the writing style, the characters and of course the setting. I thought it was an extremely well written, original and enchanting story. It had its hooks on me from the 1st paragraph." Sharon, Netgalley Reviewer

5 stars: "I would highly recommend this to fans of carnival books. This one was done in such a unique way, it won’t feel like you’ve been to this carnival before." Kristi, Boston Book Reader

5 stars: "Somewhere between Pinocchio, Snow White, The Night Circus, and A Court of Thorns and Roses, Questell’s novel exudes mystique and splendor, her writing sharp, gripping, and captivating." Megan Parker, The Passed Note

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633759015
Release Date: Feb 6, 2018
Page Count: 300
Imprint: teen
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, young adult
Tropes: overcoming odds

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By C.G. February 03, 2018

I totally love magical circus settings so this just scored AAAAALL the points for me right there! Plus this centres around a kiss and a curse and magic. Oh yes please and thank you.

I also have no idea why I like circus books so much considering (a) I've never been to one, and (b) my mother told me ...more

By Chelsea February 13, 2018

Sorry, but if you don't like stories about carnivals or the traveling circus, we can't be friends. Just kidding, but I do have an affinity for all things weird, strange, and entertaining. In 2016/2017 I highly enjoyed both Caraval and Daughter Of The Burning City, and this book felt like a nice blen ...more

By Carrie November 15, 2017

To the casual observer Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic seems just like any other traveling circus with it's flashing lights, death defying shows and plenty of rides and games to entertain all who visit. But this traveling circus has existed for centuries benefiting from a curse upon one of it's own wh ...more

By Jasmine February 15, 2018

By a Charm and a Curse – Review & Blog Tour

About: By a Charm and a Curse is a young adult fantasy written by Jaime Questell. It was recently published on 2/6/18 by Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing and distributed by Macmillan, hardcover, 291 pages. The genres are fantasy, young ad ...more

By Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk November 29, 2017

Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
So, i really had different expectations from this book. I thought it was something like Caraval or the Night Circus (even though i haven’t read the last one yet). It had less magic in it, so it wasn’t a book full of magic. Just a bit to sparkle things up.
In the story after a really ex ...more

By Alyssa February 04, 2018

Confused by all of the low ratings. Y'all over here complaining about "love" being thrown around so quickly, when in fact that word was not thrown around until the 75% ish mark... like TWO MONTHS into the story. Fam. Two months is definitely enough time to fall for someone. Or did y'all not realize ...more

By Ardent Reader January 24, 2018

3.5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The main reason that I requested the book was because of the attractive cover. But, I didn’t enjoy it as I have expected it to be.

The story is being told by the two main characters point of view, so it’s not difficul ...more

By Elisa April 24, 2018

Let me preface by saying: this book is not perfect. The dialogue can be a bit flat, and the switching POVs don’t feature narrators with well-distinguished voices.


You guys, this was a really satisfying witchy/magical read for me!! After so many duds, this was a treat.

The location reminded me ...more

By Inge January 27, 2018

I always love it when a book has a circus setting - there's such a specific atmosphere around it, that hint of whimsy that leaves you filled with a sense of amazement and wonder. The circus in By A Charm and a Curse has real magic, the kind that comes with (you guessed it) a charm and a curse. The c ...more

By Beth September 07, 2019

I’m quite surprised I enjoyed this as much as what I did, but here we are!

- Carnivals
- Creepy Doll Like characters
- Romance
- Rivalry
- Friendship

Yeahhhhh I’m kind of here for it! ...more

By Melissa February 17, 2018

I received this YA Fantasy for free from Entangled Teen for an honest review.

I have hit another jack pot with Entangled Teen books. I recently saw this book on a YA upcoming releases list and thought it sounded very much like The Night Circus, which is one of my favorite books. I immediately request ...more

By Nicole February 08, 2018

This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Who doesn’t love a book about a magical circus? A circus with both a charm and a curse? Sign me up!

What Fed My Addiction:

The circus atmosphere.
I don’t know what it is about a traveling circus or carnival, but I just love ...more

By Li February 04, 2020

I LOVED this book. Definatley a 5 star from me. Such an unusual storyline with its plots and twists. I've never read a story before about a carnival but now I'm hooked and will be reading more carnival based books.
I loved how it was about a curse a charm and the friendships / relationships even fam ...more

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars!
Same Review Also Posted On My Blog: Dreamy Addictions

By A Charm and A Curse was an entertaining read! I have set low expectations before jumping into it because I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about it, but honestly I didn’t find it that terrible instead I really enjoyed i ...more

By Sabrina February 05, 2018

Checkout my full review on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot....

This book was very unique and unexpected. The idea is totally original. However, there are some parts of the book that are thrown around and it becomes too fast. I really wanted a build up. By a Charm and a Curse is like Ali ...more

By Danielle's November 29, 2017

Down you go little Emma into the rabbit hole. Que Cheshire Cat grin.

Roll up, roll up, come and visit the Le Grand's carnival. Daredevil stunts, performing dog, Ferris wheel, fortune tellers and all the cotton candy you can eat.

The carnival is full of mystery and magical experiences, but the Le Grand ...more

By Elley January 30, 2018

I just watched The Greatest Showman in theatres and was so amazed that I was desperate for more circus/carnival action. By A Charm and a Curse is everything I was hoping Caraval would be and was disappointed in (sorry, Stephanie Garber!!)

The world building is great. I love the way the charm and the ...more

By Richelle February 05, 2018

Emmaline gets tricked into a curse by a kiss. This just adds insult to injury because she is forced to stay with her father for a year while her mom is doing research. She feels like an outcast even though she’s with family and friends. So a night of fun at the local carnival turns into anything but ...more

By Lisa February 10, 2018

Personally, I loved this story. I'm always a sucker for a good story that takes place in a carnival or circus. This one hit all the points that I love about stories like this. The characters were really great, I felt so much for Emma, and couldn't help but like Ben so much. When I picked this one up ...more

By (Love, Stars and Books) November 29, 2017

I received a eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“You’ll sacrifice bits of your soul all under the umbrella of the curse.”

Title: By a charm and a curse
Author: Jamie Questell
Format: ebook (eARC)
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
[Synopsis] (Taken from goodreads) 

Le Grand’s ...more

By Flor January 15, 2018

I had no idea of what this book was about, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

Things started to happen really fast to come with the main plot, so few pages in and I was already invested in the story. It felt like a fairytale and that’s both a good and bad thing for me.

It’s good becau ...more

By Erica February 19, 2018

I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

5 Stars.

Young Adult age-range: 13+.

I'm going to preface my review by saying I didn't even read the blurb before beginning By a Charm and a Curse, so I was pleasantly surprised by the content, especially with this being Jaime Quest ...more

By Lia January 20, 2018

The story is set at a magical carnival, has romance and curses and overall seems not very original from The Night Circus, but from the first page on, I knew it would be completely different (and not in a bad way). It's about two characters, one resident of the carnival and then there's Emma, who com ...more

By Lulu // the Book Rookery October 22, 2018

Traveling carnivals and a life balanced by good and bad, plus a beautiful cover, were all the reasons I picked up By A Charm and A Curse by Jaime Questell. Something about the transience of carnival life that is both sad and romantic absolutely piques my interest. This idea of something that is mean ...more

By Lena January 20, 2018

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

A kiss is never just a kiss.

This book seriously deserves a big hype!
It was really really really good! I loved it from the first page until the last! It was enchanting and a very smooth read.

I love books were magic has a very steep prize and every magical thing has major co ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.49 avg rating
Jaime Questell

About the author

Jaime Questell

JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.

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