This wasn't bad, but I was kind of hoping for more.
It was an idea I have always loved and I always just jump on: a fairy tale universe that is part of our own world, with all of the knowledge that comes from that. Fairy tale characters that know their stories? I am absolutely there every time the idea is presented. I love watching how that can twist things, and in this universe, things certainly got pretty twisted.
It was dark, with evidence that sometimes fairy tales might go technically right but still end up very very wrong. It also included the darker side of fairy tales. Things do not always end up happily ever after in every original Grimm version of the story, remember, and even those where the main character ends up with what they want and it doesn't end up twisted, sometimes sideline characters end up badly punished. Cinderella's stepsisters don't exactly consider their ending "happy," I'm sure, and this novel does deal with that aspect of fairy tale stories.
My primary problem with story was not the plot, or at least not really. The problem was the plot as it intersected with the characters, especially our main character, Mira. Mira has a classic fairy tale back story, with dead parents and guardians who are clearly keeping something from her For Her Own Good. Being a teenager (and also just a curious person, really), she wants to know more, and thus she ends up in the very strange town of her birth.
Mira, to be completely blunt, is kind of an idiot. She reacts badly to almost every situation she is put in, she ignores huge, blinking warning signs, and she gets caught up in "romance" and forgets to handle anything else in her life. I don't think there is a single situation in which she actually learns anything of note by herself instead of having someone else go looking for it and hand it to her, with one possible exception towards the end of the book which she should have seen coming. Did she really not realize, even after being told that this was the case, that(show spoiler)
She doesn't bother trying to learn more about the weird fairy tales she is caught up in, and she (shockingly) ends up in some trouble because of it. She also somehow manages to show no surprise or even interest as some insanely weird shit happens around her throughout a large chunk of the story. Remember the curiosity that dragged her to this town? It disappears pretty much completely once she is there, which was moderately infuriating. I wanted to know what was going on, but does she ask questions, even the ones she came here to get answered? No, of course not. She gets distracted by boys.
The ending was also not something I appreciated. It did not deal with those aspects I actually cared about, plot-wise(show spoiler)
and had a bit of a deus ex machina "twist" that just felt tacked on and vaguely annoying.(show spoiler)
In the end, the ideas presented and the clever twists on fairy tales were dragged down by a plot that does not end well and gets derailed by stupidity and a main character that was annoying at best most of the time. I would like to see more in the universe (and I probably will pick up another book), but preferably with cleverer characters.