Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

It is nothing new to re-imagine a story, which is exactly what this novel does. It takes the world of fairy tales and puts a modern day spin on the story.

Mirabelle is embarking on her sixteenth birthday and is ready for the truth. Her parents died when she was a baby and she has since been raised by her godmothers who have kept her away from the place of her birth. Given the fact that she's forbidden to return home and the secrecy around her parent's death, Mira's natural curiosity gets the best of her, and she hatches an elaborate plan to run away and discovery the truth by her birthday. When she arrives in Beau Rivage, she realizes that her plan wasn't completely thought out since she doesn't have a place to stay or any idea where to begin looking. She finds herself killing time in a casino and meets a boy named Blue who rudely warns her to stay away from her brother and get out the casino. When she finally leaves, she runs into an older boy who offers her a place to stay and turns out to be the brother Blue warned her to avoid - Felix. However, Felix is too nice and helpful to be bad, so she disregards Blue's advice. While she waits for an opportunity to search for her parents with Felix's help, she finds herself spending time with Blue and his friends, all of whom seem a little strange. When she notices the way animals flock towards one friend and another coughs up flower petals, she realizes that something isn't right with these people. Then she discovers that one friend has a mysterious birthmark identical to her own, which means she's somehow connected to these people. She learns that each mark relates to a curse or blessing, relating each marked person to a fairy tale. In her case, she is marked to prick her finger on a certain object by her sixteenth birthday and fall asleep until an honor-bound person with her same mark comes along to wake her up. Now, while she searches for her parents, she also has to discover what object will be her downfall. At the same time, she has to figure out what to do about her growing feelings for Blue in conflict with her undeniable feelings for his brother. Given the fact that these brothers are cursed and the women they love are affected by this curse, Mira's situation has just gotten a whole lot more complicated.

There are certain elements of this novel which are frustrating, like the fact that Mira is only fifteen and running around with complete strangers and ready to jump into bed with an older boy that she's only known for a day. Just because he's nice to her and helpful is no reason to be hopelessly in love with him. This novel definitely requires you to suspend reality for just a bit. I personally kept forgetting that she was only fifteen since all of them seemed to read more like eighteen or nineteen. Still, it was interesting to see how these fairy tales play out, especially when this novel toys with the idea of fate and how their destiny is already written out for them. She knows who her Prince Charming is, and, unfortunately, it is not love at first sight. Blue and Felix are horribly cursed and there's nothing they can do about it, which is something Mira will not accept. The novel created a really intriguing world and easily sets up future stories. At least one other novel is coming out in 2015- Tear You Apart - which is Snow White's story, but characters for Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid have been introduced. Her website (http://www.sarahcross.com) features a Cinderella story.

If you enjoy fairy tales and can overlook some literary cliches (head over heels in love with a near stranger, bad boy attraction, etc), this is a enjoyable book. It's fun taking a familiar story and setting it in new world with new twists. Come the end of the novel, you are rooting for the characters to have their happily ever afters and looking forward to more from this strange new (yet familiar) world.

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