Title: Kill Me Softly
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.
A cross between Pinocchio’s island of lost boys and Grimm’s fairy tales, the teens of Beau Rivage carry the curses and blessing of fairies in their blood. Rather than making KILL ME SOFTLY predictable, familiar fairy tale themes gave this story a sinister darkness that enthralled me. Even better, Cross managed to find a satisfying ending without betraying her morbid source material.
Glamorous and damaged, the fairy tale teenagers of KILL ME SOFTLY love and suffer within the boundaries of their destinies. The offspring of forbidden fairy/human crosses, their lives are raw with magic that humanity was never meant to bear. When Mirabelle runs away to discover her past, it’s apparent that she’s bound to become entangled in this magical world. All of the teens she meets carry the world weary burden of their circumstances, and Cross doesn’t pull any punches with exploring the dark extremes that fairy tales imply. The result is a deeply satisfying book that is as disturbing and compelling as any of the Grimm tales from childhood. And just like those stories, I can’t help but question if the result is too dark for the intended audience. With references to underage drinking and sex and heartbreak, Cross’s teens may not be appropriate for all readers.
Despite the temptation for love and friendship to save the day, Cross doesn’t go for any easy solutions. Rather, Mira struggles to game the system within the boundaries of unbreakable rules. Blue never magically transforms into a prince, any more than Felix can be redeemed from the destiny he embraces. And surrounding these doomed brothers is a charming and dark cast: Rafe with his beastliness, Viv with her perfect skin and tormented huntsman, and Jewel with her magical voice. Any of these characters would make for a satisfying sequel, but I can’t help but hope that we’re not done with Mira’s own tale. Though her characters are sometimes uneven outside their magical natures (Mira in particular engages in some flirtation with Felix that didn’t seem to fit her personality), over all this book was interesting, romantic, and an auspicious first novel from Cross.
About the author
- Cover Art Coverage: 11 New Titles!July 23, 2014
- Deadly Destinations: Gina Rosati & win AURACLEAugust 8, 2012