Tuesday, 5 February 2013

REVIEW: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Pub. Date: April 10th 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 336
Readership: Young adult
Genres: fantasy, fairytale retelling

Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.  
In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.  
But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own... brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

Fairytales and more fairytales! I can't get enough. I love them. I collect fairytale books. Grimm, Hans, and everything in between. I devour them. I would read fairytales and their retellings all day every day if I could. I had first heard of this book through GoodReads and put it on my to-read and to buy list. Then I stumbled upon a blog on Tumblr called fairytalemood and learned that it's run by the author. I finally managed to find a copy of the book and I quickly devoured it.

My favorite thing about the book was it's creativity. The plot reminded me a lot of the television show Once Upon a Time, since there are so many fairytale characters in once town. There are Snow Whites, Sleeping Beauties, Beasts, Belles, Red Riding Hoods and everything in between. And there are curses. With so many different fairytale characters and their stories in one place, it had the chance of being clustered, of being a mess, but the author made it make sense. It flowed and blended together perfectly that didn't leave me confused at all.

In Beau Rivage, some residence are cursed. Some are Romantics, some are Honour-Bound, as well as a slew of other little categories they could fit into. Mira, the main character, has a tale of her own. A curse of her own. But she had no idea. She had absolutely no idea who or what she was when she entered Beau Rivage. She only went to the city because in search of her dead parent's graves. It was interesting to follow her on her path. She found out who and what she was and she took measures to protect herself from it. She fell in love. Though, admittedly  I thought the insta-love was a bit nauseating but she learned from it and I suppose that is the point. Still, it annoyed me greatly that she always crawled back to Felix, even when she learned something not-so-great about her prince charming.

The other people she met along the way were equally fascinating. Blue, Viv, Freddie, Jewel, Henley, Rafe, Felix... all of them cursed, all of them equally complex and interesting. I hope that in sequel or companion novels we learn more about them. Blue and Felix were a very big part of the plot in Kill Me Softly but I would still like to know more of their history. Especially Felix's for reasons I will not say because that would lead me to spoil and I don't want to do that! But he's fascinating. He seems to accept his curse, rather than want to change things. It's a part of him and he let's it come. I think he even enjoys it, to be honest. The brother relationship of him and Blue was also curious. They share the same curse but they could not be more opposite and yet they still love each other and look out for each other.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I thought the ending was a little rush, and a little too neat but the story and the characters were so great that it was merely a little scratch on my overall enjoyment of it. There is mystery, there is good humor, love, darkness and everything in between. Kill Me Softly was a fun novel to read that leaves you turning page after page. If you love fairytales, suspense and good characters, definitely pick it up.



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