Review: Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

Series: Fairytale Retellings #4
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Reading Level: Young Adult, 15+
Pages: 323 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
Kai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.

But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.

If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?

Jackson Pearce, author of the acclaimed SISTERS RED and FATHOMLESS, has returned with a unique vision of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” one about power and redemption, failure and hope, and the true meaning of strength.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I was incredibly curious going into this book because I’ve adored some of Pearce’s books and I’ve struggled with others. Thankfully, this was a good one. While it didn’t blow me away, I found it entirely enjoyable and easy to get through.

I recommend reading the previous novels in this series to understand the little things. Concepts and characters from all past Fairytale Retelling novels are brought to life in this one. It was done perfectly. I often found myself freaking out silently in my head because I was making these awesome little connections that Pearce painstakingly weaved throughout the previous three books to make this one all the more complex. While none of these plot points are obvious and overly important, they prove to make you understand and appreciate reveals a little more. While reading the previous novels are not necessary, I do think it can enhance your reading experience.

The characterization in this one was fabulous. I adored Ginny and Kai. Ginny was willing to fight tooth and nail until the very end to win Kai back. She would not allow someone who meant so much to her to disappear out of her life. It’s incredibly easy to respect her and love her for it. She’s the kind of friend you’d kill for. Kai was rather amazing as well. You could tell his love for Ginny was genuine—the way a romantic bond really should be. However, the secondary characters were so awesome that they sometimes stole the show. Namely Flannery. I’m not going to tell you how Ginny met this girl because that’s an adventure all on its own, but she’s a rough and tumble girl with a foul mouth and a pension for getting into trouble. In other words, she’s entirely entertaining and perfect for comic relief.

With that being said, I did have a few issues with the plot of this novel. As much as I loved the adventure that could be found in this one, I hated the cliché usage of an absentee parent. Our main character disappeared for a week (or more) because her mother is so busy with work that she wouldn’t bother checking in with her ex-husband to see where her daughter is. It’s unrealistic to me and falls into this unfortunate (and despised) young adult rut of teenagers getting away with everything because their parents are never home. Furthermore, Ginny finds herself in a certain situation with a weird traveling clan that seemed out of place. Though admittedly entertaining, the entire situation had me scratching my head.

I’m also left questioning a little about Mora. We’re given some of her background by the little snippets told from her perspective, but I wish I could get into her head a bit more, especially during the inevitable and climatic final showdown. We were in her head scattered throughout the book, but during the part we were all on the edge of our seats for she was completely closed off to us aside from perceptions made from her general facial expressions. My curiosity was piqued only to be left unsatisfied. I felt like I didn’t know enough about her.

But, when all is said is done, this was a solid story. The ending appealed to that small, dark area inside me that’s buried so deep that I rarely have to admit a little cheesiness is good here and there. I found myself smiling as I turned the very last page, and, if you ask me, that’s the way one should end a series. While Pearce’s amazing retellings skills will be missed, I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

3.5 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation whatsoever in return for my honest review.  

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