Monday, January 26, 2015

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

Title: Tear You Apart
Author: Sarah Cross
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Rating: 5/5 

Cover Impressions: Love the image of the bloodied apple - perfect for an even darker adaptation of Snow White.  I wish they had chosen a more sustantial title font and perhaps changed the background color to make the apple stand out a little more. 

I am officially adding Sarah Cross to the list of authors that I want to chain in my basement in order to make her write faster.  In Beau Rivage she has created a world that beautifully blends classic fairy tales with a modern world.  I loved the introduction in Kill Me Softly and was thrilled to find out that this follow up would feature Viv - one of the awesome side characters in the first book.  I love when authors stay in the same world but expand on the stories of interesting characters and am seriously hoping that there will be more novels that do the same (fingers crossed for Jewel and Freddie!)

Twisted fairy tales are a real love of mine.  Sarah Cross has a wonderfully unique take on them.  In Beau Rivage children and teens are cursed to play out their role in a fairy tale.  Sometimes they know who the other players are, sometimes they don't.  In Tear You Apart, Viv is the Snow White Princess just waiting for her not-always evil stepmother to order her death.  Viv has spent her entire life preparing for the inevitable strike.  What she was not prepared for, however, was for her best friend and boyfriend, Henley to be chosen to play the role of the Hunter.  With her fate left in his hands as she waits for him to choose whether or not to carve her heart from her chest, Viv pushes him away and seeks any means of escape, even if that escape comes in the form of a dark underworld and mysterious prince.

I enjoyed Viv's tough exterior in Kiss Me Softly and loved getting to see behind that facade in Tear You Apart.  The relationship between Viv and Regina was wonderfully complex and we got to see the real motivation behind not only the heroine but also the villianess.  The one thing that really bothered me was the constant bickering between Viv and Henley.  They were constantly seeking out new means to hurt one another despite clearly being in love and it was difficult to watch Viv push away the one person who really loved her.

Tear You Apart expertly weaves three fairy tales together while giving them a modern twist.  The plot moves at a steady pace and holds one or two surprising twists.  There are also a few scenes that are downright difficult to read due to their cruel brutality.  This is not a story for the faint of heart or someone without an understanding of the nature of the original (non-disneyfied) fairy tales.
As soon as I finished Tear You Apart, I immediately went to Sarah Cross' website to read After the Ball as well as downloading her novella Twin Roses.  

Teaching/Parental Notes:

15 and up
Sex:  Kissing, Veiled references to sex between teenagers
Violence: Beheading, Knifeplay, Several very violent deaths
Inappropriate Language: Bitch, Shit, Bastard, Whore, Slut
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking


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