After the Ball is a short story set in the same world as Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross that is totally free to read and is posted on the author's blog here. You can also download the ePub version there as well. I highly recommend anything Sarah Cross has touched, and will shamlessly promote anything and everything she has written. What I think is great about After the Ball is that it introduces what Kill Me Softly has to offer as a novel while still being an amazing short on it's own. After the Ball shares the same backwards city, showcases Sarah Cross's writing style, and (while having a unique story) has the same creepy twists on Grimm faerie tales that I personally adored.
So if you were looking at Kill Me Softly, but weren't sure because of mixed reviews or whatever, read After the Ball. Make your own conclusion free of charge. Or if you have no idea what Kill Me Softly is, never even heard about it, read After the Ball anyway. I found it braintastically delicious, and I think you will too.
P. S. : If you need another reason to read After the Ball, there's also really cool artwork like the one at the top of this post to go along with the story. So there.
P. S. S. : You can find my review of Kill Me Softly here, if you'd like