Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross is a Snow White retelling that was really intriguing at first, but I just couldn’t finish it. Reasons below.
Genre: YA, fantasy, fairy tales, retellings
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
384 pages, hardcover
NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Egmont USA for letting me read this.
Tear You Apart is set in a strange town called Beau Rivage that is full of the Cursed – people who’ve had curses places on them by malevolent fairies, each curse repeated over and over. So you have past Snow Whites and Cinderellas and Sleepy Beauties. It’s a seriously cool concept and I was really intrigued by it. Viv is a Snow White; she knows that her stepmother Regina (WHYYYY would you give her the same name as the OuaT queen??) will eventually order her best friend Henley (given the Huntsman curse) to kill her. I LOVED Beau Rivage, overflowing with curses and princesses and evil stepmothers. It reminded me of Storybrooke from Once Upon a Time, which was a plus. I could have really loved the fairy tale retellings but I couldn’t finish.
But there were a lot of things I didn’t like:
– The absolutely volatile relationship between Viv and Henley. Viv is jaded and horrible and she toys with Henley’s heart and if he were to want to kill her, she’d definitely be the reason why. She pushes him away for something he might do but then turns right around and cuddles with him. She got on my last nerve and is a big reason I stopped reading.
– I liked Henley at first – he was just trying to love Viv – but his obsession with her was creepy and weird.
– The darkness given to the story was really cool. BUT why does that have to come with abusive, clichéd relationships (can you say love triangle?)?? The characters are shallow and unlikeable on top of that. Strange that Tear You Apart has great world building and horrible characters.
I ended up taking a break from this book 50% of the way through to read something else in the hopes I’d want to finish it after. When I finished that book, I had no desire to pick Tear You Apart back up. And that right there is the reason I had to DNF this one at 50%. We all know that hardly ever happens for me, so I’m really sad about this. It’s also my first DNF review on the blog. I wanted to love this one so much, but I couldn’t do it.
I’m pretty sure I know what happens at the end anyway.
The bottom line: DNF’ed a 50%. I can definitely see some people liking this one. The retelling is interesting and Beau Rivage is a cool place. I just couldn’t get past the relationships and the MC.
13 thoughts on “DNF Review – Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross (ARC)”
Pingback: Sunday Funday: January 2015 Wrap Up – Book Memories | Caught Read Handed
Aw, man! Sorry you didn’t like this one – the cover looks so cool. It does sound to me a lot like a rip-off of Once Upon A Time. Pretty much everything except the relationships, actually. I wonder if the author based the book on the show but then didn’t develop the characters beyond the superficial front.
I don’t know. Maybe. In the summary on Goodreads, it says for fans of OUAT, so that would be a little much if it was also based on that. I think she probably drew from the show though. I hate that the relationships were so horrible because I think I really could’ve liked it.
Oh no, I’m so sorry you weren’t a fan of this one. 😦 You’re right, the concept is absolutely AMAZING – I was kind of hoping the characters wouldn’t be the reason why you DNFed, since those are usually the dealbreakers for me as well. I’m such a sucker for fairytale retellings, but it looks like this one just wasn’t up to par, was it?
Sadly, it wasn’t. I love a good retelling, especially a darker take, but it’s the same for me: the characters tend to be deal breakers if they are flat or cliches. Oh, well. There are tons of retellings nowadays!
While DNF-ing is always a sad thing, I know how hard it can be when you don’t usually do it, so congrats on that!
It was definitely hard! I felt so guilty, but I just had to. I couldn’t take any more.
I just finished the first book Kill Me Softly and had much the same issues with the characters even though Viv and Henley are secondary characters. It’s too bad because I love the premise, especially the darker side of fairytales. I just received Tear Me Apart from NetGalley so I’m going to have to read and review it. I’m not looking forward to it though 😦
I had it through Netgalley too, which is why I felt so guilty DNFing it, but I had to. I love retellings too, but I couldn’t get past the characters. Maybe you’ll have better luck! Looking forward to your thoughts.
That’s such a shame about the romance overshadowing the cool elements of the book (and it does sound cool, especially about the repetitive curses!) I think the market is really saturated with fairy tale retellings right now so if one is going to stand out it has to be good!
I agree! There are SO MANY retellings now, some good and some (like this one) not so good. I loved the idea but the characters and romance were so disappointing.
Really well-reasoned review. I don’t think this one is for me, but I like that you list what people might enjoy about it.
Thank you! This definitely isn’t a “DON’T READ THIS, IT SUCKS!” review, but a “This wasn’t for me, but you might like it” review. I’m glad that came across!