Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

Viv is at her wit's end. She knows any day could be the day her stepmother poisons her, or Henley turns on her and becomes the Huntsman. Her Snow White curse is inevitable, and she isn't sure if she will survive. How could things between she and Henley have gotten so out of control? They love each other...don't they? He has always been her best friend, since they were kids, and when they were old enough he was more. This stupid curse ruined everything! She can't trust him anymore.

Henley is going crazy. Viv is treating him like a yo-yo, and he doesn't know how much more he can take. Doesn't she remember that he promised to always protect her? Doesn't she believe that he would defy anything and anyone to keep that promise? Doesn't she know that he would do anything for her? Why does she keep pushing him away?

When Viv's prince invites her to the Underworld, she accepts without hesitation. When he invites her to stay, she isn't as quick, but after an attack from her stepmother and the entrance of another Huntsman...what choice does she have? Once she's there, it's more like unhappily ever after. Her future father-in-law is a monster. She has to defeat his curse to ever have a chance of escaping or seeing her friends again. Will she find the key to her own prison before it's locked forever?

This is the second novel that takes place in Beau Rivage, and I think I like this one better. The world building is exciting, and the Underworld is a lot of fun. I enjoyed the play with fairy tales once again, but this time it wasn't being shoved down my throat. Viv wasn't my favorite character, and at times really got on my nerves...her treatment of Henley is pretty reprehensible at times. I thought Cross captured the multitude of feelings that can occur simultaneously very well, especially in the stepmother. This book is intense. There were several times I couldn't put it down. If you have a fan of fairy tales, this should do the trick.

I got this as an ARC from Net Galley, but you can look forward to its' release January 2015.

*Library Link*
"That was the Huntsman's role: One day Regina would order Henley to kill Viv. And he could do it - kill her, carve the heart from her chest, and bring it to Regina as proof - or he could spare her life, and lose her forever.
Viv didn't know what Henley would choose. She didn't know which loss he'd rather live with.
I would never hurt you, he'd said, never - but was it true? Every promise became something she had to doubt," (Cross, 2015). 
If you liked this, check out:

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Cross, Sarah. (2015). Tear You Apart. New York: Egmont USA.

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil, Book 2)

***SPOILER ALERT: This is the second book in a series!***

After they had their Happy Ever After, and returned to their village, everything was great...for a while. Eventually, people lost interest in their tale, and (unable to stop thinking about him) Sophie secretly wishes she had chosen a different ending.

Both girls are taken back to the land of the Storian. When they arrive, however, they find things have changed dramatically! Agatha and Sophie so inspired the rest of the girls to be their own heroes, they no longer need princes. The once evenly split school is now integrated: evil and good attend classes together. The Evil School now houses all the boys, who - it must be said - are without supervision, and taking atrocious care of themselves.

Can Agatha ever hope to find her happy ending with her prince now? He hates her for what she has done to him, and all the rest of the princes. It seems there is no answer but another battle. As both sides prepare for all-out war, there is one person in particular that seems to be at the heart of the conflict. A new teacher has appeared, and Sophie and Agatha aren't sure if she's really on their side.

Can they break through all the chaos and reunite everyone? Can they find a way for everyone to coexist again? Is it really so bad for kids to choose their own destinies?

Another success from Chainani, he again explores the fairy tale genre in a refreshing way. It is so nice to see strong, female characters not limited by gender roles (feminine or masculine), but choosing their own paths, saving themselves, and inspiring others. It also introduces the idea of chaos as a force that can be used for manipulation: using our ideals against us. Getting what we want is not always in our best interest, and I know some children (and teens, and adults) that could stand to hear that sentiment. Well-written and paced, can't wait for the next installment!

*Library Link*

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Inkheart Trilogy, Book 1)
Half Upon a Time by James Riley (Half Upon a Time, Book 1)
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy (Hero's Guide, Book 1)
Storybound by Marissa Burt (Storybound, Book 1)

Chainani, S., & Bruno, I. (2014). A World Without Princes. New York, NY : Harper.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Book 2)

*SPOILER ALERT: This is the second book in a series!*

When we last left our peculiar friends, they were in quite the predicament: their home had burned down, their protector was stuck in bird form, and the hollows were hot on their trail. Luckily, Jacob has agreed to accompany them into the past. His particular peculiarity is especially helpful, as he can track the hollows and see them. Without him, they would have been dead in the water - or just dead - long before now!

Their plan involves finding another loop and another ymbryne to heal Miss Peregrine. Without all of them, the hollows cannot complete their heinous task. Along the way, they encounter other peculiars including peculiar animals! (Some can even talk!) Even a peculiar Gypsy child, but will they ever be able to save Miss Peregrine?

With the wights and hollows tracking them at every turn, and seemingly able to now get into the loops, they are running out of time and options. Things are finally looking up when they hear news of another ymbryne who has not been captured, and may be headed to London to help her sisters. The peculiar children have their work cut out for them, and Jacob fears he may never see his family again. If they cannot change Miss Peregrine back into her human form, she will be stuck as a bird forever!

The haunting images, painstakingly collected by Mr. Riggs, truly complete the story. The second installment keeps you reading, and doesn't make the all to common mistake of wrapping things up in a nice, neat package. There are moments where their escapes are too convenient, but in the end I was satisfied with how it played out. The eerie tone of the first book remains, but I admit I got really into the story right before it ended. I wanted to hear more about the wights and the other side they are facing. Hopefully, that will come in the third installment.
“There was romance in the unknown, but once a place had been discovered and cataloged and mapped, it was diminished, just another dusty fact in a book, sapped of mystery. So maybe it was better to leave a few spots on the map blank. To let the world keep a little of its magic, rather than forcing it to divulge every last secret. Maybe it was better, now and then, to wonder," (Riggs, Hollow City).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:

Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan and Jonathan Farmer

Riggs, R. (2014). Hollow City. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books.