By Sarah Cross
Rating: I Really Liked it
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.
If your looking for Disney princess happily-ever-afters, then stop right now because you won't find it in this book. This book is weird, creepy, and disturbing, yet so incredibly addicting.
A Melting Pot:
There is no shortage of characters in this book. There are many unique characters with many different traits. While I fell in love with some, there were others that I could do without.
I had a love/hate relationship with Mira. There were some things I really enjoyed about her, like her kindness and her curiosity and her growth by the end of the novel. However, there were reasons I didn't like her, but I don't know if that is the writing, or her. For example, the book starts off with her planning on running away, yet the author tells us that she's not normally rebellious, but shows us something different. Don't tell me one thing about her but show me the opposite. Also, once she meets Felix, she goes from "little miss innocent" to questioning herself (and going kind of sleazy) around him all the time. Look, I understand he's older (btw, she's total jailbait!) but she shouldn't worry about that. If he's worth it, he'll like her for who she is, immaturity and all. What really bothered me, however ,was the fact that she kept questioning herself, even when he showed her that he cared. She also gave way to many excuses for people's actions for my taste. "Well, he did this so it means that, but it could've meant this, but then again..." and so on, so forth. Annoying! However, although some things she did annoyed me, she grows a lot throughout the novel and learns to accept things about herself and others, even if she doesn't like it and her kindness and compassion really shows through her actions. If you're looking for a kick-butt character, then she's not what your looking for. But, she'll stand up for herself and others, and she grows a lot throughout, so I say give her a chance.
I loved Blue! Okay, not at first. Honestly, the first line out of his mouth is rather creepy, but I knew he was doing it for a reason and I wanted to know why. I like mysterious characters and trying to figure out the reasons behind their actions, but what I liked about him was that he wasn't just mysterious, he was funny and sarcastic and I loved his banter with Mira. But he was also incredibly kind and selfless, and although I can't say anything else without a huge spoiler, I will say that I felt incredibly sorry for him but because of his actions I fell in love with him.
Felix...was hot. No doubt about it. Heck, I'd have a hard time not falling for him! He was sweet and kind, yet mysterious. He's seemed like genuinely sweet guy yet everyone kept saying to stay away. I wanted to know why. In the end, like Blue, I felt bad for him. He just handles it in a completely different way than Blue.
Freddie, on the other hand, annoyed me beyond belief. Prince Charming my butt. He was pathetic and week and annoying. Look, Prince Charming is supposed to be chivalrous, I get that, but he's also got the perfect amount of man's man in him. He should know how to make a gal feel better, but also be willing to beat the crap out of the person that hurt her. That is Prince Charming. Not "I look like a kicked puppy" Freddie.
The other characters are all unique and really portray their "fairytale" characters well. While some annoyed me, at least I understood why.
Happily Ever After? Yeah, right:
Let me give credit to the author for doing an utterly fantastic retelling of the fairy tales. Also, I like that this isn't the fluffy, disney movie types of fairy tales. Nope, this is the classic "what is this happily ever after you speak of" kinda deal. Now, I may have never read the classic Grimm's tales, but now I don't want to. Talk about depressing! Each tale was of misery and destruction! Yet, I enjoyed the fact that she incorporated the classics in. There was a certain...beauty, in it. While she kept the darkness of the originals, she gave the characters hope. Each knew their fate, but many tried to change it. She gave the characters opportunity and choice. Also, taking a look back at the incorporation of the classics in this modern tale, many of the woes the characters faced were due to their own decisions. They didn't have to do any of that, they chose to and the author is giving these characters the chance to choose the better one if only they'll take it. Is it easy? Probably not. But, I firmly believe their are always choices. Some just make different choices and handle things differently.
What really kept me interested were the questions burning in my mind from the very first page. My thirst for answers was insatiable! And with these questions came a few twists I didn't see! I was shocked! And loved it!
This book is dark and depressing, but also beautiful with the characters learning to rule their own lives. Its a treasure to see how the characters react to their situations. When you know your fate is pre-determined, would you fight it or accept it? While I was iffy on some characters, the plot and the many burning questions that entailed were more than enough to keep me interested.
All the best ♥