Author: Sarah Cross
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Egmont USA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from April 8 - 9, 2012
My rating: +
Summary: True love’s kiss just may prove deadly…. 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.
Grimm fairytales come to life, curses and gifts are awakened, and Mira is destined to meet her fate...
Kill Me Softly is the first fairy tale retelling that I've ever read. To me, it's really unique and intriguing and extremely amazing. It falls into the category of books whose synopsis you shouldn't read first, but should just dive right in for full effect. That's what I did, and I was glad that I entered the world of Kill Me Softly without a clue about what it is about and what's possibly going to happen. When things do happen, it totally blew my mind! But if you've already made the mistake of reading the summary, it's still totally fine. Now you know what this book is about, but you're still going to be knocked off your feet anyway.
Girls became victims and heroines.
Boys became lovers and murderers.
And sometimes... they became both.
We're first introduced to Mirabelle Lively, or Mira for short, just a week before her sixteenth birthday. She lives with two godmothers, Elsa and Bliss. Mira's godmothers are very protective of her, and insanely strict. They don't allow her to ride in a car unless an adult is driving; shave her legs; date; and most importantly, they refuse to let her visit the city where she was born. This she can't accept. While they are excited and planning the party for her, Mira is distracted. She can only think about leaving them and running away to Beau Rivage to find her parents' graves.
Of course, she doesn't know what she's walking into. In Beau Rivage she encounters a lot of strange things like places named after those in fairy tales, and meets strange people who will become her friends. Mira's always been aware and self-conscious about the mark that looks like a wheel at her back, and she is shocked to see that these people she now hangs out with have marks too, only different ones. She asks around and finds out what the marks are for, and what they represent, and then she knows everyone's destiny, including her own. And then she also realizes the reason why her godmothers don't allow her to touch anything sharp.
Sarah Cross' Kill Me Softly is absolutely breathtaking. I don't normally enjoy dark novels, but this one's an exception. It's just amazing. This book wastes no space in giving you what you're looking for in a good book: well-developed story, appropriately-paced story telling, awesome characters, and beautiful writing. Moreover, this book is packed with mystery and suspense and secrets and surprises that keep you on the edge of your seat (and keep me up until 4 am in my case)! How can you not love it? How? How?
This novel has a very well-developed story. Every information given is relevant at some points. No nonsense. I love how Sarah Cross drops hints and clues while building up the story but you don't know what they mean until they come together with something else later in the book! And you can't help but be like, I should've seen that coming! This book also has a good pace. It's not too long, and it's not too short; it's not too fast, and not to slow; it's just right. Just exactly how it needs to be. Not many books are like that, you know. This is brilliant.
I also love that Sarah Cross takes the Brother Grimms' originally and exceptionally dark fairy tales and blend them together to create such a wonderful book. Unlike Disney that softens everything, the author remains true to the original tales and makes them work. Bravo!
The characters in this novel are all great. None of them feels flat. Normally I'm not a fan of books with too many characters, but again, this is an exception. Every one of them adds up to the book very well, spicing it up and all that. Mira has a strong voice. She's different when she's with different people. I especially love when Mira and Blue are together. Either they're always bickering, saying sarcastic remarks, fighting, or they're being all sweet and honest and sweet and did I say that already? Well, yeah. If you read this book, you'll know what I mean. Blue's constantly warning Mira to stay away from Felix, acting like a jerk to keep her from liking him (for a reason), and all the while he's falling in love with her. Ah, the tension between these two! Love, love, love it! I'm pretty sure you'll like other characters as well. Someday-my-princess-will-come Freddie, Layla the Beauty, white-as-snow Viv, etc.
Other than a fantastic story and incredible characters, this book is also beautifully written. It can't get any better than this. Sarah Cross' writing had me going wow a lot of times. See this and you'll know what I mean:
It was hard to be honest, to open up, and reveal something that sounded crazy. Because once you told someone the truth, that person had a piece of you--and they could belittle it, destroy it. The could turn your confession into a would that never healed.That's my favorite quote from the book.
Also Mira and Felix' love scene (about 43% far into the book) had me melt into a puddle of goo. Seriously.
And now, we've come to the end of this review. I don't think I can say anything more about this book without praising it. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross deserves 5 shiny stars for its brilliance (there I said it again). Read this book. You won't be disappointed. You have my word. :)
This review is also posted on Goodreads.
I received the ARC of this title from Egmont USA for review.