Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross (first eleven and a half chapters)
Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross was on the list to be reviewed. Then I read it. Here’s a tiny review of the first eleven and a half chapters I read and why I stopped reading. In Cross’s world of Tear You Apart, fairy tales don’t just happen. A person has to have magic in their blood. This happens when an ancestor had intimate relations with a fairy.
Viv and her childhood boyfriend have the Snow White curse. She is now Snow White while her on again off again boyfriend is the Huntsman. Here’s where it gets dicy.
Her boyfriend has the ability to decide if he wants to kill her or not. He can either cut out her heart or let her live happily ever after with some unknown prince.
She’s lured to an underground club with silver foliage where the twelve dancing princesses are cursed to forever twirl the night away. Supposedly, her unknown prince invited her their to hatch a plan to escape the curse, taking the decision out of the hands of the Huntsman and deprive Viv’s step-mother of her death.
That’s where I dropped it. While the description I laid out doesn’t sound so bad, the personalities of Viv, the Huntsman, and her step-mother were atrocious. Furthermore, hinting they were good people and blaming the curse for their horrid personality change was incredibly lame. Just for the sake of being petty, the prose were so horrid that my highly educated brain had a nuclear meltdown.
Supposedly, before the curse, Viv, her step-mother, and her Huntsman boyfriend were nice people. More to the point, there was unfettered love between Viv and her boyfriend. Then came the curse and the knowledge that Viv’s boyfriend would be tempted by her step-mother to carve out Viv’s heart.
Now Viv and her step-mother are generally nasty to each other. Viv and her boyfriend have a highly turbulent relationship. Basically, she calls him when she needs a hero and he always comes running to her rescue. Then she’s incredibly mean to him while he’s helping her.
Personally, if I was attempting to stay away from a guy who’s fated to kill me, I would have lost his number and learned how to save myself. Apparently, that’s just me.
Whatever a reader does, they should not feel sorry for the boyfriend. This is the part that really made me angry. The Huntsman has sever anger management issues. Not only is the curse blamed for this, but it seems like Viv is the biggest blame.
She’s particularly jealous of this cursed relationship between her step-mother and boyfriend, which is all out creepy. Aside from the creep factor, the step-mother keeps goading the Huntsman to kill Viv while flirting with him.
As she does this at a party, Viv sees it, gets uncomfortably (for me) jealous, and flirts outrageously with another guy. The whole thing seemed just plan wrong on her part. Yet, the crazy Hulk rage displayed by the Huntsman disgusts me more than anything. He starts trashing the guy’s car and the whole thing suggests that it’s Viv’s fault.
I don’t care what the guy or girl does, it is not okay to place the blame on Viv. She may have been the catalyst, but the Huntsman is responsible for his own rage. Not to mention, that rage is a sign of serious parental issues. The curse is not to blame for the change in personality. The only thing the curse is responsible for are their fates. It doesn’t alter the personalities of the main characters in any way. Why should it?
With the threat of an awful fate hanging over their heads. Viv, the boyfriend, and her step-mother are their own worst enemies.
In short, the heroine was severely lacking. It didn’t look like she was going to grow a pair anytime soon nor learn from her situation. The Huntsman had the makings of a highly abusive jerk (like we don’t have enough of those in the real world). Last, the prince was a creepy mysterious stranger. (The creep factor was unbelievable in these chapters to the point of being highly uncomfortable for the reader).
Apparently, I had a lot to say about these chapters and I wasn’t even half way through the book!
It’s a good thing I borrowed the book from the library. Do not waste your money on the hardback, paperback, or e-book version of this book. Anything that wraps abuse, helplessness, and stalker-ism in a pretty bow will rot the brain.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
This book seems to be stand alone, or as my mom likes to say, “one and done.” That’s a good thing. If it turned out to be a series like the Throne of Glass Series, I would scream. Sure the Throne of Glass Series is good, but the story dragged. I digress.
In CTR, humans and fairies live in the same world with a big magical wall separating their lands. These fairies aren’t the cute, tiny little balls of light like Tinker Bell. They are fully grown bada**** and all powerful.
For the most part, humans have good reason to fear them. There are some humans who practically turn them into gods. Feyre is human and could care less about the fairies. Her concern is feeding her family.
Way back when, he father was a hotshot merchant who lost it all and broke his leg. Since he can’t be the breadwinner of the family, the job is left to his eldest daughter Feyre.
While she’s hunting in the winter forest worried that her family will go hungry if she can’t find an animal, fate smiles on her, or curses her. Depends on the reader’s point of view. A deer and a wolf hunting the deer cross her path. Two for the price of one. Not only can her family eat the deer, but Feyre can get serious coin for the wolf fur. Even though there’s something odd about the wolf, she chooses to ignore her gut and listen to her stomach. After the wolf kills the deer, Feyre kills the wolf.
That night, after she sold the fur for coin and bought a few provisions for her family, their door is kicked in by an angry shapeshifting fairy. Actually, he’s not really angry. He’s just upholding the treaty between humans and fairy. Basically, that treaty stipulates an eye for an eye.
Feyre can either go with him back to fairy lands and never return home or she can die. She reasons with the fairy that she can’t leave her family since they’ll starve without her and the fairy agrees to provide for them. Fair trade since she’ll never see them again. At least she knows they won’t starve.
The fairy, Tamlin, takes her back to his home. While she isn’t a servant, there are rules she must follow or risk her life.
Unfortunately, there’s a sickness in the fairy lands that’s the result of dark fairy kingdom that resides on a far island. One of the generals who was scorned by a human in the last fairy/human war is taking her revenge on the fairies that fought with the humans. Eventually, her rage will extend to humans too.
The story seems to have all the makings of a basic fairy tale with all the cliche trappings. The heroine does something out of desperation because her family’s in need. She’s claimed by a dark handsome fairy and taken to a fantastic mansion where she doesn’t have to work. The heroine simply has to watch her step since there are fairies that think humans are a tasty delicacy. Somewhere along the way she falls in love with said fairy.
The personality of the heroine is what gives the cliche new life. Feyre is strong because she must be strong. Otherwise, if her father was still wealthy, I’m sure she would have been dead the second they stepped across the border onto the fairy lands (or their wouldn’t be a story because she wouldn’t be out hunting at that particular time). She’s also incredibly smart since her hunting skills were self-taught.
I also like the fact that she feels free to express her own sexuality. When she needs sex, she takes it.
Later in the story, we find that Feyre is a woman who doesn’t say die no matter the odds. This is definitely the type of female character I like.
Tamlin is her equal. He’s the strongest fairy and mostly respected. Yet, his power is diminished by the scorned evil fairy general. I like that the character who would be a prince charming in a traditional fairy tale was the one who needed saving by a comparatively no frills human girl.
I thought the villain was cliche. Amarantha was a general in the dark fey army fighting against the humans. As previously stated, she was wronged by a egocentric human dude. Going with the basic “woman scorned” characteristic, she did get her revenge on the guy making him spend eternity as morbid jewelry. Gotta hand it to Amarantha, she’s creative.
While this book is many shades of cliche, it’s saved from mundaneness by the above average and super strong Feyre. Not to mention Maas was able to write the story in such a way that it was a page turner all the way through. It also interested me in her other work. Like I said, if Throne of Glass wasn’t so ungodly drawn out through several books where I can’t really see an end in sight, I would likely love that too.
This book definitely has a place on my lovely and limited shelves.
Future Book Reviews
***Will not be reviewed in this order.
- Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
- Untamed: A Splintered Companion by A. G. Howard
- Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) by Cameron Jace