Title: Kill Me Softly
Author: Sarah Cross
On the Shelves: Young Adult Fiction> Fantasy/Re-tellings
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 (Goodreads 2014)
Kill Me Softly had been on my TBR on goodreads since 2012, and had been sitting on my actual physical shelf since summer 2013.. I finally read it. Kill Me Softly is a bit of a strange one. It follows a character who discovers that fairy tales are real. Or more like, their “traditions” are real. Babies and children are cursed by fairies to follow the pattern of the fairy tales. You have those who are cursed to be “somnolent” like the snow white or sleeping beauty curse, where they are destined to fall asleep forever until awoken one way or another. You have your “honour-bounds” who are destined to break the curses of others, either by heroic acts, true love or just pure chance. There are also those who are cursed to play the smaller parts in the roles, like being cursed to be the messenger who is sent all over the land to try and figure out the name of the troll to save the baby (Rumplestiltskin is used up, so it changes every time, poor guy).
I’m in a bit of a strange place with this book. I certainly had issues with it. I knew there had to be something not quite right with Mira and her sudden infatuation with Felix but nevertheless I was uncomfortable with the whole “you are fifteen and he is twenty one look at your life, look at your choices!”. I knew it had to be a curse of some sort but still, yeah it didn’t make it any easier to read. I didn’t identify or feel sorry for any of the characters. I didn’t care about Blue rebelling against his curse with his stupid “blue hair”. I didn’t even really care about Mira. Ironically, the only character I really felt bad for throughout this book was Freddie. I always have an affinity for the good guys. The “nice guys” who get pushed aside in favour for the “bad boys” trope. Poor, poor Freddie.
Saying that though, I read this book in one sitting. I zoomed through it. I think it took me maybe 3 ½ hours to read? So I must have liked it enough to at least do that. I wanted to know more about the different curses of the people in the town and how they had or hadn’t been resolved. Maybe I just felt like there wasn’t enough character development of Mira? I know I rolled my eyes instantly as soon as we met Blue because I felt he was trying far too hard to be different and stand out from the crowd, but then I had a similar reaction to Karou in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
I gave it a three star rating because while it wasn’t the best book and it certainly didn’t overwhelm me, I still enjoyed it enough to read it in one sitting and to actually care about the ending…so that’s something.