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Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Review: Stealing Snow
Buy or Borrow: Borrow
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher.
Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn't belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave …
She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate …
*sigh* You guys have no idea how badly I wanted to love this book. Seriously. I didn't like the authors other series all that much, but this sounded so damn good, and it's a retelling and I love retellings, and it was supposed to be like a darker Frozen and I really, really wanted to love this. Especially as it was hyped so much. But I just....I was so disappointed.
The world of the book is imaginative, I'll give it that but there was no world building, or not enough world building for me to create a mental image or feel like I was in the world of the book as I was reading. It just felt like a collection of interesting ideas and concepts and things all mashed together to try to create a world. The world just wasn't fleshed out enough, and neither where the characters. I felt like this was way too easy a read, and it didn't feel like a YA. As I was reading it started to feel more and more juvenile, which is fine, I don't have a problem with MG books, I enjoy MG books. But not when I go in to a book that's been so hyped as being so great, and being like a YA dark Frozen. That's when the disappointment sets in. Not to mention that this feels like some Snow White mashed together with the Snow Queen.
The plot had the potential to be pretty great, but I found myself disappointed as, for me at least, I found it pretty obvious what was going to happen next. So the plot twists lost their shock factor pretty early on. It's rare that I read a book and can anticipate most of what's going to happen. Snow is an entirely different thing all on her own. She had the potential to be a really great and interesting character. She's supposed to be like a version of the Snow Queen right? And I was really excited to get to know her in this book and watch her descend in to darkness and go all Snow Queen on everyone. But at the end when she starts that descent...I just felt like it was a bit of a silly reason to go all dark. Regina for instance on OUAT. Yes Snow was a child but you can see why she had a valid reason for going all Evil Queen. Her true love had been killed because of Snow. I got that. I got her descending in to darkness because she'd lost her love, but thinking back...I can't even remember accurately what it was that set of Snow in this book.
Snow really bugged me, and it made it really hard to read this book. She just irritated me more than once. She was also really disappointing. I was so ready to read a YA book with an 'insane' MC. Snow may be locked up in an asylum but she's not insane at all and that was the first disappointment of the book. So much could have been done with that and it would have been so awesome. Apparently according to this book biting people makes you insane enough that you have to be locked up and kept on a stream of pills. I really didn't care for Snow at all. I had no connection to her. And her flitting about from one guy to the next, having feelings for all of them and all of that ridiculousness felt so all over the place and so tiresome not too far in to the book.
I love romance, you guys know I love romance. I am such a sucker for it. I'm not even averse to a love triangle if it's done right. But this book has a love square and I really didn't enjoy it. If it had been a love triangle with like Jagger and Bale..then I think it would have been a lot better. Kai just felt so unnecessary to the plot and the romance. Like why was he needed? Why did there need to be three? To show that Snow is so awesome or what?
We get three love interests, obviously, and the only one I could really get behind and support was Jagger. I really liked him. He was the only one that I did like. None of them where well developed or fleshed out, especially Bale. You know...the boy she goes to this world to save, that she's so in love with but wait a moment she just has to make out with Kai so she can freak out about nearly freezing him to death and then have a complex about kissing people by the time she meets Jagger to drag out that romance a bit. Oh wait. Guys I just totally found Kai's reason for existing! Anyway, I felt like Bale should have been focused on more and Kai scrapped entirely. The romances of the book felt rushed, and this book isn't the longest as it is, so it was kind of hard to enjoy them. I think I liked Jagger best because we got to know him a bit more than the others, and there was no rushing in to making out with him and all of that jazz from Kai.
It was actually funny to me at one point, how she was all "oh my love Bale, I must save you"...plants one on Kai seemingly forgetting Bale's very existence. Has a crisis about nearly freezing him and then is like "Well I didn't nearly freeze Bale when I kissed him that one time the other year...oh well back to saving him I go". Then she meets Jagger and starts lusting after him. But wait. When she kissed Kai she nearly froze him so she can't kiss Jagger because then HE might nearly get frozen too. THEN she remembers Bale again and it's back to rescuing him. Do you see why I find it ridiculous? Sure I ship her with Jagger, but that's only because he's the only one we get to know the most, and you see the two of them together a lot more. It just became so ridiculous.
I didn't particularly enjoy many characters in the book aside from Jagger and Gerde. Snow I alternately liked and disliked. She had her moments, despite her disloyalty and flightiness in the romance department. I just feel like this potentially great cast weren't fleshed out enough. I did like a lot of the Robbers, and I'd like to see more of them because they where a lot of fun. But again, we didn't really get to know them.
I was told this was a standalone, so I was surprised at the end of the book and while this did disappoint me and had its bad points, I'm curious enough that I'll read the next book to see what happens with Jagger, and because I'm hopeful that the next book will be better. That Snow will be better. I have a feeling I might like Dark Snow more than the Snow of this book. She just alternately acted stupid, and like she knew more than everyone else and then got all flustered over three different guys. Plus she was super sarcastic at all times, I mean I'm sarcastic plenty. But she makes me look like an amateur. I just wanted to smack her one more than once and her inner monologue didn't make it easier for me to like her.
I'm going to say what a lot of others have been saying about this book....that it feels like reading the plot outline or a detailed summary for the book rather than an actual book.