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Me on Books

Me on Books features reviews of young adult novels, the occasional middle grade or graphic novel, and promotes Canadian young adult authors as much as possible. :)

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For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
Perfect Ruin
Lauren DeStefano

Kill Me Softly

Kill Me Softly - Sarah Cross Mira's past is shrouded in secrecy, but that doesn't stop her from running off to the town she was born in a week before her sixteenth birthday. But in Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems, from the pale girl and her morbid interest in apples, to the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, to the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. In Beau Rivage, fairy tales come to life and curses are awakened. But tales don't always have happy endings. Mira has a role to play, and as she struggles to take control, she's drawn to two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own. And she'll find that love, like fairy tales, have hidden thorns.Kill Me Softly was slightly darker than your average fairy tale and so much more mysterious. This book attempts to break the mold of fairy tale princes and princesses, showing the complicated side, the dark and dangerous side, the deadly side, the side that doesn't end "happily ever after."As far as retold fairy tale princesses go, Mira actually had some guts. She made the difficult decisions, got wrapped up in some weird stuff, but she's got the guts to try and work her way out of it. The other fairy tale retelling characters had their own quirks to stand out from the original, but the awkwardness stood out the most for me. It wasn't that it was bad awkwardness on the part of the author, but more of an awkwardness stemming from them knowing which fairy tale character they were and which part they were fated to play. Like, awkward in the sense that they knew that at some point they'd turn into a beast or be forced to cut out a girl's heart.This book was written in third person but focuses mainly on Mira and her experiences. The only times we don't see Mira was to see the other side of the plot, moments when Mira wasn't around but the reader needed to know what was happening. It seemed a little convenient to me, and I would've liked more glimpses of other characters like Viv, Blue, and Freddie.What felt different about this book as opposed to other fairy tale retellings is the life and death aspect. There seemed to be more focus on how the fairy tale roles were more like curses, and that the consequences were far more deadly than expected. It wasn't just that Mira might end up cursed if everything doesn't pan out, she might end up dead. The actual dead, not the fairy tale dead that you're brought back to life from. It made for a more immediate story, one with actual and painful consequences.While Kill Me Softly read as a stand-alone, I hope that there will be more, possibly a companion book or two. There are other fairy tales besides Mira's to be explored, other characters you only get glimpses of. I'm curious as to how they will play out.