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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

"Clever fun."—Kirkus Reviews
"Incorporating suspense and romance, this contemporary, edgy, Grimm-based novel is an entertaining and well-written entry in the crowded but popular genre."—Booklist
"Smart, romantic and inspired, Sarah Cross's Kill Me Softly is storytelling at its finest. She breathes new life into familiar tales, twisting them in fantastically unexpected ways. This book blew me away!"--Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series
 Description from Goodreads:
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.

My Rating: 3.8 of 5 stars3.5

Well hello! I didn't see you there! Come in, sit down, and lets talk books. Today is all about Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. It is a good book. Sarah Cross is a wonderful story teller. I enjoyed her new look at fairy tales. This book is a refreshing vacation from the real; it takes you to a place you used to know well: fairytale land. It was great fun getting to see familiar characters in a new light.I loved Cross's new take on fairytales. When I finished this book I gave the following appropriate reaction:

So why no five stars?
Well, first I would like to point out that if you were to take a look at the last couple of reviews, you would notice that I skipped using the star ratings. Well in those cases I was just too in love, too much in rapture, with those books to even concern myself with giving stars. How can you rate awesomeness? (Here is where you would say, "By giving it five stars!") Well thank you for that, I will keep that in mind for next time...however, I would like to point out that sometimes when you smack your face on a forcefield of pure awesomeness, it can be difficult to translate your feelings to symbolic stars...those books were, simply speaking, a slice of heaven with whip cream (a.k.a deliciousness). Also, I think that, through my excessive reactions, a five star rating in those cases was clearly implied...
Ok, well now back to the matter at hand. This books deserves to be rated on a star scale because I feel that is the best way to describe it. It was good. It is well written and beautiful. The story is refreshing and intriguing. I would have given it five stars if it weren't for one big reason--which is about to be explained more fully.

There are two problems I have with this book:
1) The main character, Mirabelle is annoying. If it weren't for her and her unreasonableness, her confusing logic, her hypocrisy, and her fickleness, Kill Me Softly would now boast a five star rating from me. I like, perhaps love, ALL the other characters, even the bad ones. The only problem is that the protagonist is difficult to comprehend. Her motivations seem shallow and unrealistic. I cannot understand what exacly is so special about her. I cannot, for the life of me, grasp any good reason for any boy falling in love with her. It just doesn't add up! The problem lies in that I do not like her as a person. It's completely personal. There were times when I had thoughts of the troubling kind directed towards this young lady. I will not go into detail... 
lets just say I felt she needed to ease up on the stupid and up her doses of common sense...
Important note: Even though the main character and I didn't see eye to eye, I still greatly enjoyed reading this book. It is really good. I like the tone, the style, and the story. I repeat the one thing I didn't like was Mirabelle. Everything and everyone else was bomb diggity. Sarah Cross has a gift for storytelling. She also has a beautiful imagination. I just expected more from the protagonist.
Now on to the second issue I have with this book...
2) Where the F*** is the sequel?!!
I think this book deserves, no NEEDS, a sequel. There were so many issues that remained unsolved and I would really, really LOVE to see where the characters go from here. Even though I just finished complaining about Mirabelle, her story interests me (damn her!). I really liked this book and I do not feel the story really came to a close. Sarah Cross is a beautiful writer and I enjoyed the world she created and yes I want MORE!!! GIVE ME MORE!!!! ("That's what she said" ... Sorry about that, I couldn't stop myself. I should probably delete that...)

On Sarah Cross's Website she addresses the sequel issue with the following:
Will there be a sequel to Kill Me Softly? Are you going to write more books set in Beau Rivage?

...while I don't have immediate plans to write a direct sequel, I'd love to do one eventually. BUT (and here's the important part) there's no guarantee that any of those books will be published. When a publisher considers turning a standalone book into a series, they want to know that there will be a big enough audience for those future books--and they determine that based on the sales of the first book. In this case, Kill Me Softly.
So if you'd like to read more books set in Beau Rivage, here are a few things you can do to help: 1) buy a copy of Kill Me Softly (or a hundred copies if you're a millionaire; that would be great, too), 2) tell other readers about the book (tell your friends, blog or tweet about it, leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon, etc.), 3) contact my publisher and let them know how much you'd love to read a sequel or companion novels, 4) check out Kill Me Softly from the library or request that your library order the book if they haven't already, 5) tell your local indie bookseller about the book. Basically, anything you can do to get the word out!
In the meantime, I will be posting some (free) fairy-tale short stories online so you can get your Beau Rivage fix. 

I thank her for posting the free short stories, but I still want a sequel. Give us a Sequel!Please.

Ugh! I guess I shall just have to wish upon a star and be patient...
Is there a sequel yet?
NO! But I've been being patient!
Ugh! This is really hard!

Well before you go, I want you to know that I believe this book is really worth reading. Sarah Cross writes with a voice that clearly comes from someone who was born to tell stories.
My personal dislike of Mirabelle did not deter me from enjoying this book and I think you can enjoy it too. It is a fun read. Revisiting the fairytales I grew up with was a pleasant and exciting experience. I like the new perspective on the familiar stories.
This book is good.
Try it.

Here are some "Free Samples" also known as teasers:
“They said every year was a gift, not a guarantee, and ought to be celebrated accordingly.”
“Because, if you could love someone, and keep loving them, without being loved back... then that love had to be real. It hurt too much to be anything else.”
“You couldn't hide from bad things and pretend they didn't exist–that left you with a dream world, and dream worlds eventually crumbled. You had to face the truth. And then decide what you wanted.”
“It was hard to be honest, to open up, and reveal something that sounded crazy. Because once you told someone the truth, that person had a piece of you—and they could belittle it, destroy it. They could turn your confession into a wound that never healed.”

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