Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: KILL ME SOFTLY by Sarah Cross

Kill Me Softly
Author: Sarah Cross
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: April 10th, 2012
Category: Fiction – Juvenile: Fairy Tales, Legends & Short Stories
Source: Netgalley for review
"Clever fun."—Kirkus Reviews

"Incorporating suspense and romance, this contemporary, edgy, Grimm-based novel is an entertaining and well-written entry in the crowded but popular genre."—Booklist

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.

My thoughts:
This is not your mamma’s fairytale! Disney meets Grimm meets Vegas... Kill Me Softly takes common fairy tales and brings them to life in the modern world within their own secret community.  Many are clearly recognizable while others remain a complete mystery until the final shocking moment. This is not simply a modern retelling of these fairy tales. The author breathes new life into the stories, characters and settings while keeping both light and dark fairytale aspects.
The characters, while representing their particular tales, also have their own personal twists. They also exist together in one society. Some are friends, some foes, and some are outcasts, but they all interact together within the Vegas type setting of Beau Rivage. Places like the witch’s gingerbread house come to life as the Gingerbread Café and fairy gifts like “animal magnetism” are bestowed on heroic princes. But it’s not all pretty, not by any means. There are curses, death and evil fairies that turn a sweet Disney tale into a Grimm type nightmare. Trapped by rules or destinies, the characters struggle to accept their curses and gifts.
This story is original and creative with dark consequences, cruel twists, and always a fear of “happily ever after.” I’m crossing my fingers for a sequel or companion novel set in this world. It was truly a fabulous read (it only took me a day and half to finish). I would definitely recommend Kill Me Softly to those who love fairy tales and underdogs, but also those who enjoy clever, dark twists on typically happy endings. Certainly a must read.
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