From Apocalyptic SciFi to Teen Romance: The Downfall of Cured by Bethany Wiggins

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Cured (Stung #2)

Bethany Wiggins

Rate: 2.5

Stung was by no means perfect, but Cured was doomed to fail when Wiggins decided the protagonist of Cured would be a tertiary (if not lesser) character from Stung. Cured focuses on Jacqui’s experience in the Stung universe after the cure is revealed at the end of the first book. If you don’t remember Jacqui, that’s okay. She was only present in the first book for, at most, five minutes. Let me jog your memory. Jacqui is the person that gave Fiona peanut butter crackers in Stung. Yes, that person got a whole book in her point of view. If that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. The synopsis makes it seem as if we’re following Fiona, Jonah, and Bowen as they set out to find Fiona’s mother, who should be dead but whatever, with the subplot of them handing out the cure along the way. The synopsis makes it seem as if Jacqui and Kevin are new characters the trio meets along their journey and helps steer them in the right direction. I don’t know if the synopsis is simply bad or the story is just bad, but that’s not what happens.

The story stems from Jacqui’s suicide mission to find her brother, who left one day to help someone and hasn’t been heard from since (at least to Jacqui’s knowledge). She enlists the help of Fiona and Bowen, who only agree to it in the hopes of finding Fiona’s mom and distributing the cure. Jonah is dragged along to be a bodyguard for both Fiona and the cure and to be a pack mule for the cure. (Yes, you should feel bad for Jonah. He isn’t being treated like the human being he supposedly is now.)

Kevin is a new-ish character. He’s been stalking Jacqui for longer than I feel comfortable with and only reveals himself after realizing that he can’t remain on the sidelines and keep Jacqui safe.

The story quickly disintegrates from a find and rescue/reunite story into a romance as Jacqui becomes more consumed by her feelings for Kevin. Thoughts of her brother take a backseat to her internal dialogue about whether Kevin has feelings for her and if they could ever have a future together, especially since she’s supposed to be pretending to be a boy but she’s not doing that well anyway. What’s worse is that during this long ass journey (No I’m not going to excuse my language) they only give the cure to ONE FUCKING PERSON (again not sorry). This story quickly becomes a pile of failures as the romance takes over and nothing gets done. The story ends in HEA though if you’re into that.

Honestly, I would have preferred if the story had focused on Jonah even if it wasn’t from his POV. It would have been interesting to read his feelings on going from human to beast to human again and if he could ever imagine himself opening his heart to love. It wouldn’t have been appropriate for him to just enter a relationship and “fall in love” but that level of self-reflection would have been interesting.

Anyway, Cured shouldn’t exist. It’s not an adequate sequel to Stung. I think just the premise of the story threw the whole thing off. A super minor character shouldn’t get his/her own book unless s/he can prove his/her worth.

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