Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Kill Me Softly
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.

Thanks to Netgalley and Egmont USA for a copy of Kill Me Softly. 

I'm so torn about this...it was definitely not what I expected. I thought it would be better than it turned out to be. Not to say it wasn't good. It just wasn't as fantastic as a hoped it would be. 

Let's start off on a positive note. The characters of this book were delightful and engaging. The new take on fairy tales is unique. I've seen a lot of fairy tale retellings (anyone watch Once Upon a Time? You should) but this take was very interesting. This book did manage to surprise me with a twist towards the end. Blue was...a conundrum but in a good way. He was abrasive only because he wanted to protect Mira but he still showed his unbelievably adorable and sweet side. I'm SO happy with how things ended for him. The poor guy deserved it. 

Now let's talk about the bad :( 
First, the whole love affair with Felix. I just do not understand why in good god's name Mira "fell in love" with him. This isn't even insta-love, this is way beyond that. After only having two or three VERY SHORT conversations with him, the second of which involved him taking her to his room, she decided she was totally in love with him and refused to listen to anyone who told her that he was dangerous. She is still stubbornly claiming her love after she finds out the truth about him. I just...didn't get it. I didn't see why she loved him. They barely spoke and always under sketchy circumstances. I know she was sheltered by her godmothers and, as a result, naive but this was just...bizarre. I couldn't justify it. 

Next is Freddie, the boy with the Prince Charming spell. He was fated to be Mira's prince and save her. Now, I'm all for fighting fate and all but Mira was mean about it. She didn't even give poor Freddie a chance and was downright mean to him even though he was nothing but nice. I got so irritated with her because of her harshness to the sweet guy. 

Then there's the issue of Mira's parents. We learn something very important about them but it was never looked into, never expanded upon. Mira just forgot about it and never looked into it again. The ending was somewhat of a disappointment. It was cute and sweet and all but I had hoped for it to end with a bigger bang after being so slow and sometimes boring. I seriously had to skim and skip a few times because I got bored. 

The worst part was the wasted potential. The way fairy tales were formed-people are cursed at birth with a certain spell to play a role in one of the fairy tales and their fate is determined from there (this also means that there is more than one Snow White because several girls are cursed with the Snow White spell)-is extraordinarily unique and interesting. But it wasn't expanded on, it wasn't handled in a way that lived up to the full potential. I never found out if one can truly break away from the curse or really the full dynamics of it. It was explained on a superficial level but I felt like there were holes in it. For one, can a prince charming meant for one Snow White break another Snow White's curse? Isn't the whole magic of true love's kiss what breaks the spells so the two people have to be in love and therefore Freddie kissing Mira shouldn't have worked? Why are these random witches casting fairy-tale spells on people (the whole "if one insults a witch" didn't truly explain it)? There were just too many holes to justify. 

Let me clarify that I did like Kill Me Softly. But just "liked." Nowhere near "loved." It was okay but I couldn't get passed the problems. I would still recommend it to anyone who likes fairy tales with a twist because it is fairly interesting. Just make sure to proceed with caution because, though Kill Me Softly is a good book it isn't a perfect book. 

After much deliberation and fretting, 3/5

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