Kill Me Softly
by Sarah Cross
available April 10 2012
received from NetGalley for review
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
When I was a kid, I used to watch a Saturday morning cartoon called "Fractured Fairy Tales" where a funny dog explained to a small boy the true stories behind some of the fairy tales we read as children.
This book puts an entirely new spin on the 'fractured fairy tale' idea. All I can say is WOW. I really, really liked this book.
The main character is a 15 year old girl who was raised by her godmothers (get it?) far away from her homeland. She is protected from everything. She can't even use a pair of scissors because the godmothers are afraid she may get hurt. Sound familiar? Well, this isn't a Disney story.
She goes to a town called Beau Rivage to look for the gravestones of her deceased parents. She meets all sorts 'cursed' individuals who also lead not so fairy tale lives. A beautiful girl whose stepmom wants her dead, a 'prince' who must wait for his princess and wake her with a kiss, and several other bizarre characters.
Not really a spoiler, but I have to add this part. I must have a warped sense of humor because I found this just hilarious. Two sisters who tried to 'make the shoe fit'. One cut off her big toe, and the other chopped off a piece of her heel. They limp around town with bandages of their feet.
By the way, forgot to mention, the main character's name is Mirabelle. How's that for a fairy tale name?
The one part of this book that truly bothered me, Mirabelle, at 15 years of age contemplates having a relationship with an older man. He is Felix, the manager of a local casino. He is also a strange fairy tale character in this bizarre group of characters.. I know, I'm probably just a prude, but the idea of a 15 year old girl sleeping with a 21 year old guy just bothered me.
Anyways, I loved this story. Loved the characters. They were colorful and downright fun. I had to laugh at Beauty and Snow White, while cringing at the character of the beast. I loved the prince who comes to the rescue, but.....my favorite character? Blue. Wait till you read his story. He's a funny, wise mouthed, snarky kid who tries hard to keep everyone at arms length.
Overall, this is an incredible book. A wonderful story with an idea so different from everything else on the bookshelves right now!
I think most YA and teens would love this book. The characters are wonderful, and the writing is just amazing.