Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Release Date – April 10, 2012
Publisher Website – Egmont USA
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 331 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.The young woman who was woken by her prince only to find out he liked her better catatonic and drugs her so they can have a happy marriage, or the step-sisters who mutilate themselves to try to fit into a glass slipper are some examples of your happily ever after being a nightmare. Sarah Cross takes your favourite fairytales and has put her own dangerous twist on them. Each of the fairytales mentioned in the novel are darker and more intense. In this world of curses, fairies and destiny your happily ever after often comes at a price, and it may not be the fairytale you're expecting.
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.
The way Sarah makes these fairytales her own was quite interesting. They way she ties them all together by using curses, and fairies to create a spin on fairytales that felt authentic to the genre but also new. I don't want to give away the full details because it's part of the journey but it was one of my favourite parts of the novel.
I ended up really liking the characters. Each of them is trapped in a fate they can't escape no matter how much they want to. Viv knowing the young man who will eventually try to kill her, Blue desperately avoiding love for fear of the consequences, Layla knowing she'll have to tame a beast, and Freddie needing to be prepared to rescue his fair damsel in distress. Each of the characters reacts differently to their fate and curse. Some embrace it, some fight it, and some let it consume them. The overall theme of fate, destiny and how much you can fight what is slated to happen was perfect for the twist Sarah put these classic tales.
The secondary characters were really bewitching. You not only fell under Mirabelle's spell but theirs as well. Each of them, even as flawed as they are pull at your heartstrings because they are victims of their destiny. Even the villains invoke some feelings of compassion or understanding for the most part.
As much as I love the characters it is the setting, the town of Beau Rivage itself, and the mythology behind the magic that captivates and pulls you in. Part of it's charm is that it feels like you are reading one of those olden fairytales that this novel is paying homage to. The writing has an almost musical, lyrical quality that is often found in old fairytales. It flows effortlessly while weaving the plot towards it's own contorted version of happily ever after.
This twistedly dark fairytale where a kiss can kill, the prince may not always save the princess, and fate is unstoppable will appeal to anyone who is currently enjoying Once Upon A Time. I really hope this is not the last we see of Beau Rivage. I would love a book about Viv and Henley, and one about Rafe and Layla and even Caspian and his not yet met mermaid. The characters that we got a small taste of were able to win me over so completely that I am wishing for more companion novels.