What? Two reviews in ONE day? It’s insanity! Insanity, I tell you! (Or really, I’m just reading a lot and being lazy with writing reviews…)
OK, so here’s another review for a YA Fest 2015 attending author!
What’s It About? A little backstory before I give you this book’s particular synopsis. Sarah Cross’s newest titles (Kill You Softly and this one) take place in Belle Rivage, which is a “cursed” city. Many of the inhabitants have been “cursed” with a fairy tale story, like Cinderella and her prince, or Snow White and the Huntsman. Each character (usually) has some type of curse that they are fated to live out. This particular novel is the tale of Snow White and the Huntsman, with a little bit of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and Rumplestiltskin mixed in.
OK, so the story. Viv is a Snow White Princess. She’s lived with this knowledge her entire life. When she finds out her best friend (and boyfriend) is actually the Huntsman in her story, she tries to push him away while not wanting him out of her life. (Classic teen angst, really.) Viv also deals with her “evil” stepmother Regina (Once Upon a Time nod!), who was actually like a mother to her until she realized it would never work out in the end for both of them. So, Regina started to manipulate Henley (the Huntsman/boyfriend) to kill Viv if he couldn’t have her for himself.
Viv is summoned to the Underworld by her Prince. He tells her he’s tired of waiting for her (way to be aggressive, champ!) and wants her to stay in the Underworld with him, so she can be safe. She finally agrees, but then she finds out there’s a few things she probably should have known before she agreed…
What I Thought: I liked it! I know I just said that about The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, but I’m continuously pleasantly surprised when things are good. (Sad life, really.) I like fairy tale retellings, but some of them can be a little bland, boring, or too much like the original tale with not enough twist added. (Or, let’s face it — they just aren’t written that well.) Cross’s book did not fall into any of these categories. It was an unique retelling of the story, put in more modern times that YA readers will enjoy. (A lot of it reminded me of Gossip Girl, the show, not the books.) The characters are well-developed and portrayed. I kept rooting for Henley to come out on top with the whole thing because really, he’s her main squeeze. (OK, seriously — how old am I?)
There were a few ick factors, mostly at the end. I’m not going to tell you what happens to spoil it, but let’s just say Cross goes back to the original, gruesome telling of Snow White. (Yuck.)
I’d recommend this for anyone who likes the show Once Upon a Time. It reminded me a lot of the show, but in a different way. I didn’t find any of it predictable, really. (Some stuff I sort of guessed at…correctly.) But it was an entertaining read. Definitely a fan. I hope Cross is able to release more stories from Belle Rivage. (I’d love to hear Jewel’s story, or Jack Tran’s.)
Rating… 9/10 stars