Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
January 29, 2014
Mirabelle has grown up in what feels like a box. A loving, beautiful box...but a box nonetheless. Her godmothers are so over protective, they won't even let her visit her parents' graves! She can't shave with a razor, or use scissors, or drive a car, or or or... So, for her 16th birthday, she's got a plan. She's going on an adventure, and this time, no one is going to tell her she can't. By the time they figure out where she is, it will be too late to stop her. (Note: Do not try this at home, kids!)
Setting out is easy enough, but arriving in a strange town with no idea where to start is less encouraging. The first person she meets is a horrible boy with blue hair who threatens to throw her out of the cafe she was planning on staying in all night (like she has money for a hotel!). Luckily, a very handsome boy comes to her rescue and offers her a place to stay. He even says he'll help her look for her parents! Oh, did I mention, he's the blue-haired boy's older brother? Beau Rivage is a strange place...
The longer she stays, the stranger it becomes. Blue (duh, blue-haired boy) introduces her to his friends, all of whom seem a little off. One is afraid of apples; one keeps spitting up what looks like petals and pearls; and one keeps getting followed around by woodland creatures...not your average teenagers. It isn't until she sees a mark on one of their backs when they are swimming that she really starts to put it together. It looks surprisingly like her own - could she be involved in this whole business too?
The mystery surrounding the brothers is strangest of all, and they both refuse to tell her what is going on. In fact, they insist that they cannot tell her. She is drawn to both of them in different ways, although Blue actively pushes her away and discourages her relationship with his brother Felix. At first she thinks it's jealousy, but could it be more? Mira is getting closer to discovering the truth, but it may be at the risk of her own safety.
"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." (Cross, 2012).
This was an interesting take on the fairy tale genre, and it made the Teens' Top Ten list this year. Admittedly, the character tropes are pretty obvious, but the author doesn't try very hard to make them difficult. (Some people may disagree with me on that...) Overall, I enjoyed the story and liked the concept of a fairy tale curse through the generations. I wasn't a huge fan of the main character. She frequently made me yell out loud at her...*ahem* interesting choices.
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South Independence Branch