As posted on booknook - Young Adult book reviewsI have a confession to make. I picked up Tiger's Curse. I opened it up to the first page of actual text (passed the title page, copyright page, etc.). And I laughed.Yes, I laughed.Why? Because it started off with a poem by William Blake: Tiger! Tiger! burning bright in the forests of the night.. Has anyone here seen the TV show The Mentalist? If you have, you'll know why I laughed. If not, just know that there's nothing wrong with that poem, it's just that a psychotic serial killer is obsessed with it in The Mentalist. So my first thought while starting this book was of that psychotic serial killer.So, moving on!This is a giggle book. If you don't know what that means, see below.If a book is really good, I giggle while I read it. I don't necessarily giggle because there's a funny part in the book; I giggle because it's just that awesome. I giggle when something intense happens, I shriek and scream when the romance bits get swoon-a-licious, I giggle hysterically when the plot is progressing and heating up and getting OH MY GOD SO INTENSE I CANNOT FLIP THESE PAGES FAST ENOUGH!Yeah. That's a giggle book.Supposedly Twilight is what really inspired Collen Houck to write Tiger's Curse, so naturally there are a lot of comparisons between the two books. I'll just address that really quickly. :P If you just want to get on with the review, skip to the next paragraph! There are a few similarities between Twilight and Tiger's Curse, but they're mostly in the details. For example, both Bella and Kelsey love reading, poetry, and the classics. They both seem to enjoy just sitting around and reading. They're both also very independent. Then of course there's a love triangle, the whole thing with the girl falling in love with a very wealthy and generous mythical kind of guy, and so on. I also thought there were similarities in the writing style. It's kind of simplistic, but in a good way (I usually like that kind of writing). But I think that Tiger's Curse is written in such a way that Twilight fans will love it, but it's also so different from Twilight that non-Twilight fans will love it! I wasn't a huge fan of Twilight. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. And while I can see the similarities between the two, Tiger's Curse is still so different and so unique and I absolutely adore it! There's non of the controversial sparkly-vampire stuff, there is no totally overbearing controlling boyfriend (Ren is just pure sweet!), and at least so far, Kelsey hasn't had to give up her humanity for anything.I think Tiger's Curse is one of the coolest stories I've ever read! I mean, I had my doubts at first. If you think about it, it's basically about a girl falling in love with a tiger (even though he really is a man). Isn't that kind of weird? Yeah, a bit. But Colleen Houck totally pulled it off and in the book it wasn't weird at all! She has told a story about our world, but really amped up the mythology. As a huge mythology buff, I completely fell in love with the story.Another thing that I thought was going to be hit or miss with me was the setting: India. I have never read a book about India. I kind of had similar thoughts as when I read Cinder. Cinder takes place in Beijing and before reading it I knew it was going to be hit or miss with me. Why? Because the setting is so unique! On the one hand it could be too unfamiliar that it doesn't grasp my attention. But on the other hand, it could be a breath of fresh air. Probably 99% of the books I read take place in the United States or some post-apocalyptic version of it. But India.. wow, totally different. And it was totally awesome!Because the story takes place in India we learn a lot about the tigers in the region, the mythology, Indian culture, and old Indian stories. It was all very interesting and fascinating to read about. There's a fun mix between learning about modern Indian culture and the mythological stuff. One minute Kelsey is complaining about the crazy driving in India, and the next she's reading about an old Indian myth or listening to Mr. Kadam talk about his time in India 300+ years ago.I thought all the characters were unique and vibrant. For the most part, I loved them all. I'll talk about Kelsey later, but Ren was kind of your standard nice guy with an air of mystery. He's super sweet, definitely a romantic, but he has that princely vibe. He's confident, privileged, but not arrogant or selfish. It was super easy to fall for him and giggle like a crazy fangirl. Kishan is an interesting character because the first time we met him, I decided I hated him. He seemed like an arrogant jerkface. But it wasn't in a bad way, it was more like, "I love hating this character," rather than "This character sucks and I wish he didn't exist." But as time went on, I became more and more unsure of my hasty decision. He grew on me a bit! As for Mr. Kadam, he's kind of your cool scholarly character. He's a super nice grandfather-ish figure who has an insatiable hunger for knowledge. And after living for over 300 years, he's definitely full of knowledge!My one character issue is Kelsey. In a broad sense she was okay, but there were some random details that bugged me that I don't even really know how to describe. I just felt like some of her dialogue was awkward. I guess it felt scripted or something. She just said such obvious things and sometimes she didn't seem very impulsive or full of emotion (we all are at some point!). It's like she carefully crafted each sentence, which I suppose is what made it seem scripted. As an example, she's basically about to be mauled to death by a panther when Ren jumps in and rescues her. She immediately is like, "Thank you for saving me." No hysteria, no strong emotions, no like "Z0MG HOLY CRAP WHAT JUST HAPPENED," no life flashing before the eyes.. just a calm, cool, collected, "Thank you for saving my life." Maybe I'm just weird or maybe you see what I mean.The romance in this book was completely swoon-a-licious. It had me weak at the knees and begging the world to deliver my boyfriend to my doorstep so I could have some romantic cuddle time. Ren is so sweet and it's kind of funny to watch Kelsey blushing all the time since this is her first time being close to a man. So all the cuddling and kissing gets her a little flustered!But despite the awesomeness of the romance, there were two things that did bug me about it. First, there was no "chase." I really like the phase where both people aren't really sure how the other person feels. I love the uncertainty and the butterflies that brings. Although there was no insta-love in Tiger's Curse, it was obvious when Kelsey started crushing on Ren, and obvious that Ren was crushing on her back. There was no uncertainty.My other issue with the romance is the nasty turn it took halfway through. This isn't totally spoilerish, but if you'd rather not read about something that happened halfway through, skip this paragraph. :P I won't reveal too many details, but I'll just say that Kelsey decided that she and Ren weren't good together. She's afraid of getting her heart broken and does the whole self-deprecating "I'm not good enough for you because you're a sexy beast and I'm just average" thing. And no matter how many times Ren insisted that he did want to be with Kelsey and not any other supermodel-like girls, she just ignored him. That whole thing had me clawing at the book and screaming at Kelsey. But it was all very similar to how I felt about Kishan. It wasn't a story-ruiner, it was just something I loved to hate and scream about.Overall I thought this book was amazing. Tiger's Curse ties in so many unique elements: knee-weakening romance, fantasy, mythology, and adventure. And I love how the adventure and the romance play equal roles. This book isn't dominantly an adventure book, but it also isn't dominantly a romance book. The two seem to have very equal weights, and I think that's what can make this book enjoyable to so many people.