Khanh the Killjoy

Once upon a time, I wanted to kill myself

Kill Me Softly - Sarah Cross
None of the girls was asleep, drugged, playing, waiting.
They were dead.
They had been killed here.
She wanted to be horrified. It seemed sick to be jealous, too, but she was. It hurt to know he’d loved so many other girls; that she was not special, not unique.

Mira Lively is 15 years old. Upon the occasion of her birth, the evil fairy cursed her to be doomed by incomprehensible stupidity.

I'm just partially kidding.

This book exemplifies almost everything that is wrong with YA literature.

1. A love quadrangle. What's better than a love quadrangle? One in which all three brothers are in love with you, of course, silly!

2. Insta-love

3. The acceptance of abuse and stalking as a something that is not to be rejected

4. The acceptance that sexual abuse is really the girl's fault because she's uncomfortable with it (between a 15-year old and a 21-year old, no less)

5. A too-stupid-to-be-true heroine, or as I like to call them...Luce-Bella Syndrome

6. The complete absence of parents, and further than that, the absence of parental figures

7. A piss poor, completely unexplained setting

8. An important, dangerous heritage that is kept secret, AKA: lol-i-ain't-telling-u-nothin-bitch-itis (see here for definition)

9. A beautiful girl whose milkshakes brings all the boys to her yard, who doesn't know it

10. The disparagement of all the girls in the book in order to flatter the main character

The Summary: Mira Lively is 15 years old.

Her parents are long dead. She is being raised by two kindly ladies, her godmothers (hmmm...). They have spared her from the foster system. They having been kindly, loving to Mira for her entire life. Her godmothers love her, adore her.

Mira is about to break their heart by running away.

Why? They won't tell her anything about the town in which she was raised. Her godmothers are overprotective (hmmm...). How?

“I’m not allowed to ride in my friends’ cars. I’m not allowed to get my license until I’m eighteen. I’m not allowed to date. Not allowed to watch R-rated movies. Not allowed to go for walks after dark. Not allowed to play with sharp objects. The list goes on and on.”

In other news: WELCOME TO MY CHILDHOOD. Mira, you seriously just described the typical high school years of an Asian teenager with overprotective parents. You just described MY teenaged years. Did I ever fucking run away from home because of this? Fucking no. Because my parents would have beaten my ass. You are a fucking ungrateful little bitch.

Mira is 15 years old.

She runs away from home to the town of her birth. Why? Because she needs some motherfucking "closure." She will get that closure if she saw her parents' grave. I don't fucking know how that works. It just makes sense to Mira.

Mira is 15 years old.

So she runs away from home, with no plans other than to sit, moaning and crying, at her parents grave. For closure.

She gets to the Magical Town. Beau Rivage. It doesn't exactly work out like Mira planned. Mainly because SHE HAD NO FUCKING PLANS IN THE FIRST PLACE BESIDES FINDING HER PARENTS GRAVE.

It was one in the morning and she was alone in a strange city, with her duffel bag next to her, a play cracked open in front of her—and she had nowhere to go.
This was not the triumphant homecoming she’d imagined.

Mira is 15 years old.

She is too young to actually rent a room at a hotel. Naturally, the place where she would blend in just fine as a 15 year old would be a casino, it makes perfect bloody sense to me. Oh, wait, that's not going to work?

Casinos were open all night. She’d figured she could sit in the café, maybe doze off with her head on the table, and no one would care. But now that she’d been there three hours, Mira was starting to think her predicament was obvious. That some gambler would see a “helpless” girl in a frilly blouse and shorts and hit on her. Or some slot-playing grandma would spot a “runaway” and call the police. Or both.

Once upon a time, obvious fact is obvious.

Mira is 15 years old.

She is harassed by a handsome stranger with blue hair. She is rescued by another handsome stranger, a kind one, his brother. They offer to get her a room in the hotel. She turns them down, because they're harassing her!

Good for you!

But wait.

A handsome stranger, a 20-21 year old man, starts talking to her. He offers her a room in his hotel. She accepts, because it's not harassment if it's a HANDSOME stranger. Handsome is MUST BE handsome does, right?

Mira is 15 years old.

Strange shit is happening. Birds and shit are flocking around a really pale girl (hmmm....), a girl speaks to a mirror, which answers back (hmmm...). Another girl is talking while flowers are spilling out of her mouth.

She pressed the handkerchief to her mouth, and when she pulled it away, Mira saw that the cloth was full of sodden flowers: shiny-wet violets, tiny daisies, delicate pink bleeding hearts. All fresh and flecked with blood.

By this time, I would be freaking the fuck out! Mira...she's not exactly panicking in terror.

Mira’s forehead wrinkled with confusion. Sometimes this place was just too weird.

Oh, my goodness goshness. Weird! That must be how you describe a place where fairy tale tropes come to life, right? Magic exists! Fairy tales exist! Is it fantastic?! Is it extraordinary?! Is it incredulous? Wild beyond all boundaries of imagination?

No, it's just...weird. Way to be fucking anticlimactic.

Mira is 15 years old.

The boys just won't leave her alone! One is so nice, so utterly nice! Like a little puppy following her around. Actually, animals do follow him around. His name is Freddie. Such a nice, ordinary name for a nice, ordinary guy designed to be friendzoned into the fires of Mount Doom.

The other is an asshat. A jerk. He insults her, he treats her badly. His name is Blue. He has blue hair.

The other is a handsome 21-year old. Felix Valentine, now there's a name! He's interested in her, her! He makes her heart go pitter patter. She can't stop thinking about him. There's just something about him. He makes her breathless. He makes her mind spin in bliss. Her eyes roll backwards in passion! Talk about insta-love, man!

Her cheek burned like she’d been lying in the sun too long, and she stood perfectly still, not wanting to break the spell.

After a few days of knowing each other, they share a bed in his hotel room. He gropes her boobs.

His hand grazed her breast, and her breath caught in her throat.

Mira is 15 years old.

Why, however will Mira choose between the three brothers?

Oh, and there's some shit about a curse too, whatever. Lol.

Acceptance of Stalking: Guys keep following Mira around. She yells at them, but doesn't really do anything about it! They show up in her hotel room in the middle of the night!

...the bolt on the door had been breached, and the door had been flung open and slammed hard against the wall. A slender, dark figure moved swiftly through the room—
And pounced on the bed.

Appropriate reaction:

Mira's reaction:

Mira settled back and did her best to calm down. Maybe Felix would punch Blue for her later.

Why do something yourself when there's a big, strong man who can take care of it for you!!!!!!

Acceptance of Sexual Advances: MIRA. IS. 15. YEARS OLD. Felix is 20, 21!!!!! They should not be in the same bed together after a short time of making each others' acquaintance! He should not be groping a 15-year old girl's boobs! That is a minor sexual offense!!!!!!

And Mira...she shouldn't be feeling forced into it.

She wanted to do something, to show him she could be natural at this, but—she couldn’t. Her body had gone rigid with apprehension.

She shouldn't be feeling guilty for rejecting his advances.

She wandered out into the empty suite, trying hard not to cry. Her embarrassment from last night came flooding back.

Are you fucking serious?! MOTHERFUCKER! Oh my god, this is so wrong!

It's a Mira-cle She's Still Alive!

Let's see if we've named all the stupid shit Mira's pulled. She runs away from home without a clear plan of what to do. She gets there and doesn't know what to do...surprise, surprise. She allows herself to be groped, to be stalked, she sees crazy shit and is like...huh...what's going on? ;_;

She's the naivest, dumbest little shit in the whole world. The fact that she's 15 doesn't really excuse her inane idiocy. She acts all of 5-going-on-15.

Mira pouted at him. It was obvious there was something he wasn’t telling her.

NO SHIT, SHERLOCK. Oh, and she has plans for this town. You know how Rick in The Walking Dead do? Mira is much of the same mindset.

There are things I need to do here, and I intend to do them.”


The Setting: The story is not exactly like Once Upon a Time. Here, the characters are born into a trope, like literally born into a fairy tale trope. They are Romantics, Honor-Bound, etc. And they are forced to live out their destiny depending on which trope they get.

The thing is that the town's inhabitants are surprisingly nonchalant about that shit. It's like there is no big secret at all. Within hours of meeting Mira, an outsider, they allow her to see all the weird and crazy shit happening, like flowers falling out of a girl's mouth. Like a talking mirror. Like animals flocking to a certain guy.

“Um, little animals flock to him like he’s made of candy.”

They don't keep any of this shit back. They talk about curses, they talk about spells.

“What’s all this curse talk?” Mira murmured to Freddie.
“Just a joke,” Freddie said, flashing an unconvincing smile.

How the fuck is it that this town is so hidden away from everyone in the outside world when the inhabitants don't bother to keep it a secret?

The Romance: Every fucking trope in the book. We have the classic Bad Boy.

The one who constantly makes fun of her, who calls her stupid, who hates her.

“You know, you are the most...despicable person I’ve ever met.” Mira’s fingers tightened around the Cinderella’s Secret bag. “You don’t even know me, but you insist on being a jerk to me every chance you get.”

The Bad Boy who secretly likes her.

“I didn’t say he wants to like you. Just that he does. Maybe because you act like you don’t like him, so he feels a little safer."

The Nice Guy who is eager to do anything for Mira.

“Would you like me to carry your bag?” Freddie asked. He looked a little guilty—but hopeful, too.
“But I’d like to do you favors.”

And the handsome, Mysterious Guy, too-beautiful-to-be-real man she can't stop thinking about. Who's a statutory-rapist-to-be.

She threw her arms around his neck, swayed toward him, off balance, and kissed him violently, possessively. Come back, she thought. Stay with me.
“I bought—a sexy nightgown,” she said. “Do you want to see it?”

Mira is 15 years old.

Which one of them will provide her with a killer (ha!) love?! I'm just partially kidding about that killer part.

But the one thing she hadn’t expected to find was a kiss that could destroy her. A kiss that—if it hadn’t ended in time—could have been her last.
She shivered all over at the memory. Both terrified and wanting it to happen again.