Cross, S. (2012). Kill me softly. New York: Egmont USA. ISBN: 9781606843239
Annotation: Mira’s godmothers have forbidden her from visiting Beau Rivage, where her parents were killed when she was a baby, but as her 16th birthday approaches, she decides to disobey their orders and return to the place she was born.
Reaction: I really enjoyed this book, and once I really got into it, I couldn’t put it down. I think Cross did something really clever with fairy tales, through her creation of a world in which fairy curses and blessings are real and passed out to people descended from fairies. In this world, the cursed/blessed are destined to reenact the original story from which the curse came.
The heroine, Mira, battles against “fate” and falls in love and finds herself and new friends in the process. All the other characters are great, and I love seeing how they deal with their own curses. Blue (as in Bluebeard) is delightfully snarky and tragic. Freddie Knight, a Prince Charming in waiting, is sweet and innocent, almost to the point being insufferable. And you just can’t help feeling sorry for the Beauty whose Beast is awful and whose father is clueless. Not to mention watching the interactions between Snow White and her Huntsman and how Jewel deals with actual jewels and flowers falling out of her mouth.
I’m sure I could find nitpicks with the story, plot and structure if I wanted to, but I don’t want to. I enjoyed this book almost without reservations, I would probably be willing to read it again someday, and I would totally recommend it to friends of mine who are into fairy tales or urban fantasy.
HOWEVER, I do have one major issue: WHY does NO ONE care that 21 year old Felix is hooking up with a 15 year old girl?! Everyone warns Mira away from Felix because he is also of the Bluebeard get and has embraced his role in the story, but NOT ONCE does anyone say, “Dude, that’s illegal.” I get that the dream of an older, college age boy is alluring to 15 and 16 year old girls: they’re mature and wise in the ways of the world, but it’s still icky. Ladies, just say NO to statutory rape.
Also be wary of men with naturally blue hair.
(Sidenote: Here’s a great retelling/reworking of the Bluebeard story by Ursula Vernon.)