Author: Sarah Cross
Genre: YA Fantasy
Review Rating: 1/4
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.
I really wanted to like this novel. Really. But I couldn't. The only thing that got me through this novel was the story. The story had some really potential. But the execution was very poor. So we start with Mira who has shown up at a casino called Dream. We are given a blow through of the events that have lead up to this point, which bothered me a little, but I figured that once we got into the bulk of the story we would go back and review it in more detail. Never happened. I discovered pretty early into the novel that this was normal. Rushing through details to get to the bits the author liked the best. Most of the character development was one dimensional, leaving us with a flash picture of the characters with no real life in them.
The big relationship that Mira gets into that causes so much trouble doesn't make any sense. I understand what the author was going for, but we as the readers didn't get the feelings described. Mira falls in love with Felix, a main protagonist, almost on page one, but there is no legitimate reason given to the reader for this undying love described. Her relationship with the younger brother was much better fleshed out, causing real confusion from page one was to why she 'loved' Felix.
While I did say the reason I kept reading was the story line, it was still a pretty weak component of the novel. It seemed to wander with the characters spending a lot of time just hanging out and not doing anything that moved the plot forward. Oddly enough, this is the second book I've read lately that included the fairy tale of Bluebeard. I had never even heard of it until I read Requiem by Lauren Oliver, so it was a surprise to see it pop up in a second book. The fairy tale idea (especially using the Grimm Fairy Tales, not the Disney) was a really good one. I do wish however that Cross had explained more of the Grimm versions because most Americans are not familiar with those versions of the fairy tales. We only know the Disney versions. So through out the novel I was having to piece together the tales from the Grimm versions, which got distracting. I'm sad to be disappointed in this, but it is what it is.
Overall, if you like fairy tale stories, you'll be okay with this one. But it won't be going on my bookshelf any time soon.