Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

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.

Viv knows there's no escaping her fairy tale curse. One day her beautiful stepmother will feed her a poisoned apple or shove a poisoned comb into her scalp or hire her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Henley, to hunt her down and rip out her heart before she breaks his. In the city of Beau Rivage, no matter how much you fight it, your marchen mark is your destiny.

Yet, when Viv receives an invitation to the swank underground club where the Twelve Princesses escape to dance each night, she thinks she might have found a loophole to her date with death. There she meets Jasper, the thirteenth prince.Her prince. The prince that is destined to save her when her curse comes to call.

But constant nights of partying get old fast. The royal family is ruled with an iron fist by their patriarch, who gloats over the fact that no one can challenge him without his name. And Viv doesn't love Jasper (in fact, she kind of loathes him) and she doesn't want to be an underworld queen--it's a living death.

So when Henley finds his entry into the underworld as a champion set to solve the secret of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in order to save her, Viv takes the rules of fairy tales into her own hands. No matter her curse, no matter her fate, she can't lose the only boy who's ever had her heart.

Sarah Cross rewrites the fate of Snow White in her smart, edgy follow-up to her acclaimed Kill Me Softly.
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
My Rating
My Review
Lately, I've been unable to get enough of fairy tale retellings, which is why I jumped at the chance to get my hands on Tear You Apart. I absolutely loved the magic and darkness involved in the story, and immediately felt grasped by the world of Beau Rivage. Fans of fantasy will immediately devour this novel, as shows the fairy tales in an entirely new light. After all, it isn't every retelling where the characters know they're in a retelling.

But Viv does. Because the "Snow White" life she's living in might be her destiny, but that doesn't make it any less of a curse. The parallels between the beloved fairy tales and this darkly intelligent YA were very enjoyable to read about. There were hardly any slow moments throughout the entire novel. The plot kept me at the edge of my seat, desperate to read more.

There were so many characters that I enjoyed reading about. Henley has a lot of interesting qualities that make him more than the usual bad boy love interest. Regina is a wonderful villain - being beautifully wicked while also receiving what might be the most empathy from me as a reader. Even Jasper has a lot of layers to him that had me wanting to know more. Although I loved Vivian's voice and her personality at times, I just couldn't bring myself to like her. For a large amount of the novel, I'd hope she'd forget both boys and decide that she's going to give up her fate to rekindle with Regina. At least being 'evil' would be a strong decision. Despite this, I really did enjoy the characterization of the novel. There were plenty of characters introduced, which made it a bit harder to care about many of the supporting characters, but really added to the world.
That being said, I was a fan of the romance in the novel. It wasn't overbearing, but still powerful. Equally impressive was the sense of friendship and family also brushed upon. Viv's relationship with her friends felt very authentic and interesting. Her relationship with Regina was probably the most intriguing, as it really isn't seen in other novels, and was brilliantly complex.

Tear You Apart is a well-written, edgy fairy tale retelling that will have readers tearing through pages. I enjoyed the reading experience and the strong emotions that come with it, and recommend that fans of YA fantasy get their hands on this one as soon as possible.

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