Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
Expected Publication: January 27th 2015 by Egmont USA
An edgy fairy tale retelling of "Snow White" set in the world of Kill Me Softly for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.
Faced with a possible loophole to her "Snow White" curse, Viv goes underground, literally, to find the prince who's fated to rescue her. But is life safe in the Underworld worth the price of sacrificing the love that might kill her?
Perfect for the fairy tale fanatic like myself.
Just when I thought I knew everything there was there was to know about fairy tales, Tear You Apart comes along and proves to me that I couldn't be more wrong. Sarah Cross has taken carnal fairy tale knowledge to new heights by crafting the town of Beau Rivage, a place where these classic curses continue to play themselves out in a present day setting. This books was fantastic since it touched upon so many of them in one fell swoop. Some I knew by heart, while others I had grossly forgotten. I want to throw out there the fact that I had not read Kill Me Softly first and felt that there was no need too although, I did purchase it immediately upon completing this book.
Imagine fairy tales been passed down from generation to generation except they were fantastically twisted. The twelve dancing princesses still rose from their bed every night and were compelled to dance till dawn (one of my favs) except now they tatter their Jimmy Choo's. Balls have been replaced by nightclubs in the famed "underworld" & country clubs have replaced the palaces. Beau Rivage is a place where dreams come true or nightmares become reality depending on which side on the fairy's wand your on.
There is so many curses threaded through this story it is a fantasy lovers paradise. They range from East of the sun/west of the moon curse, diamonds and toads curse where the bearer spits up either, Goose girl curse, and of course the more classic well know Cinderella and Snow-white curses. Let us remember that Disney was not entirely accurate in their portrayal. As the book states, "Cinderella's step sisters had their eyes pecked out by birds. The stepmother in 'The Juniper Tree" was crushed and killed by a millstone. The false prince in "The Goose Girl" was stuffed naked into a barrel studded with nails, then dragged through the streets by horses." Last but not the least gruesome is the ending of Snow White, where the evil stepmother was forced to dance to death in red hot iron shoes at the wedding reception. These are the curses the residents are afflicted with. The fairies felt the mixed blood between humans and magical creatures centuries ago was reason to punish. Around the age of 16 is the time the fairy appears and brands you with the tale tail marchen mark, the mark that signifies which curse you are fated to.
Vivian is part of snow white curse complete with an evil stepmother and a huntsman who will one day spare her or cut her heart from her chest. The twist is the fact that Henley, the huntsman, has been Viv's best friend and boyfriend forever. They both the know the day will come when he will be propositioned by Viv's evil stepmother to kill her. As I'm sure it would in any relationship this causes a bit of turmoil. I couldn't stand Viv. I thought she was a selfish self indulgent lil' brat but, I also empathize with the fact that she simply doesn't know what is going to happen between her and Henley. It must be quite anxious making to constantly worry about your beau coming after your heart...literally not figuratively. Enter Prince Charming offering Viv safe harbor and all hell breaks loose. The characters were really fun to read about but mostly due to their curses, not their substance. I found them all to be a bit shallow.
I had trouble with the 3rd person narration as it kept pulling me out of the story. I know it sounds like I have many gripes but the good ultimately overshadowed the bad. There were more than a few of these minor annoyances but, they were heavily combated with snarky dialogue. Here are a few of the funnier quotes. (quotes are pulled from arc and subject to change)
"My chipmunks would bite the shit out of you. You might not want to risk it."
"You've got no figure to speak of - your ass is as flat as a squashed cockroach."
I love books set in other time periods but, they can tend to feel a bit stuffy so this humor was definitely welcome since it's paired with some pretty macabre scenes. There was a brilliant twist on the Rumpelstiltskin curse which you must look out for. All in all, I think that if you love fairy tales this will be a satisfying light read for you. It is like Once Upon A Time meets Beverly Hills 90210. In the end I really enjoyed it and will definitely be looking forward to revisiting Beau Rivage very soon!