Companion novel to Kill Me Softly
By Sarah Cross
Available now from EgmontUSA
EgmontUSA may be shutting down, but at least they're releasing their 2015 slate. The first one I just had to read is TEAR YOU APART, the companion to KILL ME SOFTLY. The first book introduced Beau Rivage, the town where descendants of faerie-human unions are forced to live out curses, curses worse than living in Mississippi for the rest of your life.
One of the big differences between TEAR YOU APART and KILL ME SOFTLY is that Viv grew up in Beau Rivage. She knows exactly what story she's living, and she fears it. She is Snow White, which means the Huntsman Henley will either kill or save her. If he saves her, her stepmother Regina will keep trying. Once Viv loved both Regina and Henley. But when Regina betrayed her true colors and Henley was cursed, Viv decided she couldn't trust anyone. She can't keep herself from Henley, but she can't bring herself to trust him again either.
TEAR YOU APART weaves together "Snow White," "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," and "Rumpelstiltskin" in a darkly romantic tale. Viv can be an utter spoiled brat, but getting out of her comfort zone and talking to people really forces her to take measure of her life. And even when she's in spoiled brat mode, I admire her dedication to her own survival. I liked the romance between her and Henley, but liked that she takes a chance when her prince Jasper shows up. Even more, I like that she grows into being her own rescuer (as much as she can).
TEAR YOU APART will satisfy fans of fairytales who aren't afraid of some rather large liberties and some of the darker endings remaining in place. Fans of KILL ME SOFTLY will enjoy that the cast of that novel makes cameo appearances. Also nice: a reoccurring character is confirmed as a lesbian and there is a princess and princess couple that no one remarks upon. Little details like that help the updated fairytale concept really work.
In other news, today is Multicultural Children's Book Day. The sponsors are holding a virtual book drive to support First Book.