Book Review: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
I was very excited to hear that there was going to be another title that examines the twisted fairy tale world of Beau Rivage and Tear You Apart did not disappoint. This is what I said in my review of Kill Me Softly about Beau Rivage:
Beau Rivage is a glorious place where there are glimpses of real life fairy tales just gleeming under the surface. If you know to look, you can find them. There walking down the street is a woman with part of her heel missing. There is a boy waiting to find the princess he is destined to awaken from slumber. And there sits a beauty waiting to fall in love with a beast. Beau Rivage is Las Vegas with a fairy tale theater acting out its stories in the streets.
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 sacrficing the love that might kill her?
In Tear You Apart we meet Liv, a young lady who is angry with the world because she has a curse hanging over her head, a curse that says that her best friend and ex-boyfriend, Henley, will one day kill her as he fulfills the role of the huntsman in the Snow White story. And the stepmother that she used to love is now plotting to kill her. Her only chance of survival may just be escaping to the underworld, but once there she finds out that there are some more bizarre story characters at work against her. Soon Liv is in a mad dash for survival trying to assert her will over a curse that says it is her destiny to die.
For me, the real appeal of Cross’s Beau Rivage novels are the creative way she combines contemporary teen life with the twisted curses of fairy tales and seeing the unique ways they will play out. The town of Beau Rivage is populated by people who bear these curses and they always play out in such unique ways. Jack the giant slayer tries to help Liv out, as does her best friend that bears a curse of her own. I love seeing what each characters curse is and how it is played upon.
“Then… what is your curse? Why am I here?”
“Why are you here?” He leaned in, so close she could see the silver flecks in his dark grey eyes. “You’re here because I got tired of waiting for you to die.”
Like the original fairy tales, Tear You Apart is dark, very very dark. These relationships are not healthy. These curses can be quite macabre. And in the midst of it all you see teens dealing with some very normal teen stuff, like friendships and relationships and trying to figure out who they are in a world where curses takes away some of your free will – or does it? Tear Your Apart is an edge of your seat read that takes you into a creative world that has hints of stories you are familiar with, but gives them enough of an interesting twist to keep you reading. In addition to Snow White there are some other creative twisted fairy tale elements in here as well which amused and delighted me.
Published January 27th from EgmontUSA
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Filed under: Book Reviews
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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