The Tiny Curse (Werewolf High Book Two), by Anita Oh

A few months ago, I stumbled upon the product page for this (at the time) yet-to-be-released book. The synopsis of the book clearly told that a curse had fallen upon the main heroine, shrinking her down to two inches tall. Shrinking is a fantastical plot device that has intrigued me since I was small (see what I did there?), and I’m always on the lookout for books that handle it well. Since it was the second book in Anita Oh’s Werewolf High series, I’d have to read the first book first. I enjoyed The Truth Spell enough to give it 3.5 stars, and definitely enough to preorder and read the second book.

Like always, I try to be spoiler-free in my reviews, but I’m going to have to mention some events and character details about the first book.

Our plucky—and extremely likeable—narrator is Lucy O’Connor, who has received a scholarship to the magical and secluded Amaris High. She’s somewhat of an outcast at school because of her social status, though she has one or two close friends. On the other end of the social strata are the werewolves of Golden House, particularly Tennyson Wilde, his sister Althea, their friend Nikolai, and Lucy’s childhood friend Sam (who Lucy had believed died tragically with the rest of his family).

It’s now winter of the same school year after the events of The Truth Spell. Lucy has been associated with Tennyson, and she’s looked down upon even more by her classmates. How could a commoner such as her deserve to be in the presence of the Goldens? That kind of thing. But the teasing has escalated to full-out bullying—even cyberbullying with fake social media profiles—and Lucy’s classmates develop a mob mentality against her.

Tired of feeling so small and insignificant, Lucy just wants to disappear. And then it happens; the curse strikes, and Lucy is reduced to about two inches tall. The outdoor winter environment is quite a treacherous place when you’re that small, and I found her first chapter or so at that size to portray the danger quite effectively.

She is eventually found by Tennyson, and he and the rest of his werewolf pack protect her—not only from the classmates bullying her but also from whoever cast the tiny curse upon her. With so much time spent with these characters—in their sock drawers, pockets, top hats, and so forth—author Oh develops them much deeper than she was able to in the first book. It was fun and intriguing to see how differently each member of the pack handled Lucy’s condition, and these character interactions were among the strengths of the book.

Lucy’s narration is loads of fun, and there were several times I laughed out loud at some of her snarky side comments. But first-person narration is a double-edged sword. The reader can only experience things through the narrator’s eyes, and I would have liked more description of what the world looked like at her size. Lucy took much of it in stride as if it were commonplace; magic may be so at her school, but being tiny isn’t. Some of the tasks Lucy faced at her size were accomplished with a phrase like “somehow I managed to…” I want to see the ingenuity and determination of our heroine in those situations rather than being left unshown with somehows. Also, her exact size wasn’t mentioned as early as expected. A reference/scene or two with her standing by a ruler would have been nice, especially with the implication she could be getting smaller (a possibility I’m on board with, as it really raises the stakes). However, these were only minor pet peeves and not enough to affect my overall enjoyment of the story.

Just like the first book, The Tiny Curse is a fun and quick read with clear, solid characters. The plot really builds to a page-turning climax, which felt resolved a little abruptly. But it is resolved, and there are some hints at the longer story arc of the series, along with a shocking final reveal that guarantees I’ll read the next book, The Body Swap. And just like the first book, I wish there was a little more detail—this time in describing Lucy’s oversized world—but it’s definitely at least a tiny bit better than the first book and earns its FOUR STARS.

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The Tiny Curse is available at Amazon.

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