Mira's sixteenth birthday is approaching, but the only thing she wants is to find out what happened to her parents. Her god parents are so wonderful, but Mira has so many questions about her parents' passing, the old town they were from, and why she has this strange birth mark shaped like a spinning wheel on her back.
A few days before the big day, Mira leaves home in search for Beau Rivage, the town she was born in. She stumbles into a casino, called The Dream, where she first encounters Blue and Freddie. Freddie is stunningly handsome, but seems too chivalrous for a boy in today's age. Blue is just a jerk. He continues to insult her and tells her to stay far away from the casino and his brother, Felix. But when Mira meets Felix, she can't imagine why. He's the perfect gentleman, and he seems interested to help her with her quest.
The more Mira stays in Beau Rivage, the more strange things begin to happen. She meets Viv, who keeps talking about choking on apples and falling asleep for years, Layla, who is very beautiful and intelligent, but it appears she has a tie to Rafe who is beastly and rude, and the more Mira speaks to Freddie, the more she realizes he may be a modern day prince charming. These people have secrets, and they aren't always quick to share. It seems so familiar, yet Mira is completely baffled. It isn't until she discovers that these people all have marks on their backs similar to hers that she sees there is something different about this town. Everyone is cursed, like in the fairy tales. Some people are heroes, some are waiting to be rescued, and some have an evil inside to them no one can quite figure out. Mira needs to figure out her curse and her trigger before it is too late. And the more Blue says to stay away from Felix, the more Mira is pulled to him. But there is definitely something off about these two, and it isn't your typical fairy tale.
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross was a modern take on today's fairy tales. She doesn't only focus on Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, Cross goes in and uproots tales from the Grimm brothers and tales not typically seen in Disney movies. I really liked how the book was in 3rd person instead of 1st. It makes a difference because in certain instances she was able to get different characters involved as well. Plus, towards the beginning Mira is completely annoying and bratty, so it was nice to not feel completely connected to her the entire book.
What really intrigued me was the idea of new fairy tales. Half the ones mentioned I had no recollection of. It was really interesting how Cross managed to put in more gruesome fairy tales, while still keeping to the wholesome view of these stories.
The whole book was a typical high school summer vaca party. It was very trite at times, but the whole aspect of these fairy tales being such a huge part of these kids' lives was interesting. Plus it was really neat to see what characters were the damned, the white knights, and the distressed. She did a great job characterizing these three main roles per tale.
Some parts of the novel I felt were rushed, left unsaid, or very predictable, but the book was very good. Like I said, the best part was the fairy tales and how she managed to make them all fit together in this mixed up town. Really neat. Plus, her writing is quite good. So the characters didn't really pull me, but the story did. Worth a look if you enjoy retellings of old fairy tales.