Yes, I’ll admit it; I like fairy tales. I like their familiarity, the connection from generation to generation. Though underlying themes can be sexist, I tend to read the originals through a lens of history, understanding the era in which they were written (and so thankful at how far females have come). What I really like about them is how there has been a spate of retellings of these tales, which allows authors to put their own twists on the stories and make them more palatable for modern audiences.
In Sarah Cross’ Tear You Apart, she adds an even more intriguing element: what if it were the curse itself that could be passed down or bestowed on a recipient? And what if within a curse, a person still had the capacity to choose their path, that the result wasn’t completely left up to fate?
Vivian Deneuve is in the middle of a Snow White curse. Her absent father is long gone, choosing to be with his latest mistress and to rule high society in Beau Rivage and ignore Viv and her stepmother. Viv’s stepmother, Regina, has moved from loving new mom to embracing her role in the curse, and worst of all, it is Viv’s childhood friend, Henley, who has turned into the Huntsman. Viv and Henley went from best friends to boyfriend and girlfriend, but how can Viv commit fully to him when she knows what could happen? These calamities, you see, can play out in any number of ways, including Henley killing Viv.
Neither Viv nor Henley count on the appearance of a “retired” Huntsman, and while Regina tries to sweet-talk Henley into doing his duty, the old Huntsman makes it painfully clear that he is ready to take Henley’s place if need be…and finish the job. Then one night, Viv receives an invitation to a nightclub in the Underworld, where her prince meets her for the first time. Worried about her, Jasper offers a hiding place from Regina and a respite from her love/hate relationship with Henley. Should she stay for a while, or is it all just too good to be true?
This is a riveting book full of fairy tale characters, both well-known and (perhaps) unfamiliar. It is dark, descriptive and has many new twists and turns that will keep you reading. This would be an especially good read for fans of Once Upon A Time, the TV mash-up of fairy tales and those who live them.
Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross was published January 27, 2015 by EgmontUSA. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Fantasy
Ages: 13 and up
FYI: Some drinking, drugs and violence and talk of sex