Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Raven Review by Lauren
Source: personal copy; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: 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.
Review: First off, I really liked this book and I thought it was a quick, imaginative read. At the same time, I can see people getting frustrated with Mira. I know I did. She is thrust into this new world where fairy tales are real, and they aren't always beautiful, so she's understandably confused and seeking answers. However, she also ignores a lot of well-meaning advice, even when proof is shown to her that she is doing the wrong thing. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up before you get hurt! I guess it wouldn't be much of a journey if Mira always did the right thing though.
I loved how Mira met a variety of people who are fated to play out fairy tale roles. Some of them are excited about it, like a boy named Freddie, while others are afraid, like a girl named Viv. I won't tell you the curses these teenagers are afflicted with because figuring it out is half the fun. As is probably obvious, Mira belongs among this group. I think her fairy tale curse is a bit obvious, but again, I'll let you learn that on your own!
As for the two brothers mentioned in the summary, that would be Blue and Felix. Both of them share the same curse, except Blue seems unwilling to give into his and is desperate for Mira to stay away from his brother. The aforementioned annoyance with Mira definitely occurs during these encounters. In time, though, Mira's eyes are opened to the true reality she now lives in, but is it too late for her and those she loves?
The book is in third-person point of view, following Mira, with a few moments of Blue's perspective. I think this worked well. Mira might be in the dark about a lot of things, but some of it are things you can still try and work out on your own. As for Blue, his moments show you more of his curse and how it affected him, which also helps you understand Felix in a way.
Kill Me Softly is a great book for this time of year, but it's also great for anyone fascinated by the dark side of fairy tales.