Tear You Apart, Sarah Cross
Published January 27th 2015 by Egmont
ebook, 384 pages
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley
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?
How would it feel to be in love with someone who might be your executioner one day? This is the central question I pondered while reading Sarah Cross’ Tear You Apart. Vivian lives in the strange town of Beau Rivage where fairy tales have come to life. Many of the locals are fairy cursed – you can find Sleeping Beauties, Snow Whites, Prince Charmings. You can also find Evil Queens, girls who spit out jewels or frogs when they talk, and Beasts. These are not Disney fairy tales, they are much truer to the original and often violent stories. I enjoyed Cross’s first book, Kill Me Softly, also set in Beau Rivage so I was excited to see what fairy tale she retold next. Viv is a Snow White, which means that she is the fairest of the fair. It also means her Stepmother will ask for her heart someday, and Viv must pray that her huntsman will find compassion for her.
To complicate matters, Viv knows exactly who the huntsman is who will eventually be tasked to kill her. Oh, and he is her boyfriend, Henley. Viv seems to love him, but through the story, she does not treat him as though she does! She can be downright cruel to him. They had been the best of friends before falling in love, but Viv has a fatalistic outlook and seems to be just trying to push Henley to make a decision kill her himself. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t a big fan of Viv. I love the world Cross created with these dark twisted versions of stories, but Viv was too whiney and spoiled. Someone is going to try to kill you someday? Ok that sucks, but try to do something to change your life then! Don’t whine and antagonize people who might help you! Viv does make a choice to go to the Underworld (another awesome setting!) but that’s to hide-not to fight back against her stepmother at all. I will say Viv definitely improved in the end, but it was too late for me to care too much about her.
My issues with Viv aside, I was definitely entertained by this book! I really liked how the fairy tales were wrapped into each other so the details all helped tell Viv’s story. I loved that she brought in stories I hadn’t thought about in years like the 12 Dancing Princesses. I also thought it was great that she brings in lesser known fairy tales such as the girl who spits diamonds and toads. Things got twisted to a degree I didn’t expect! If you’re a fan of fairy tales this was a fun read overall.
Sadly Cross’ publisher, Egmont, has closed but I really hope she’s picked up by a new house soon because I would read more from Beau Rivage for sure.
Thank you Egmont and NetGalley for this advance read copy in exchange for an honest opinion.