Series: Stealing Snow #1
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.
Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. 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 the fate of everything...including Snow's return to the world she once knew.
This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.
Before I begin this review, I'd like to say that I haven't read anything else written by Danielle Paige. This is my introduction to her writing, and I'm seriously hoping this is a case of "it's not you, it's me."
I love retellings, so when I first read this synopsis, I was all over this book. Heck, I put it in my post documenting my most anticipated books of the year. And, with that in mind, I have to say that I am ridiculously disappointed. I find it easier to explain why in a bullet format because it's been really hard for me to order my thoughts on this one...
- Love Square = WHAT: So, this is the first thing I have to point out because it seriously hindered the plot. I am all for a killer romance, and I can even support the rare love triangle when it is done right and makes sense. But a love square? With three suitors in such a short book? I just...I don't understand. It's unnecessary and confusing, and doubly sucky when all of the love interests fall flat. What even is romance? This book just makes me think it's randomly kissing a boy and then moving onto the next one.
- Random scenes thrown together- This book was a super slow read. The pacing is off, and I think it's also because it didn't seem like there was a true plot here. I'm still not entirely sure what happened, but I know instances of things happened. It seemed like a ton of different happenings and thoughts strewn together in an unknown timeline back-to-back with no thread properly connecting them. I don't know how else to describe it. Something is definitely missing to make this book flow.
- Plot twists that make no sense- There are some serious plot twists in this book that I didn't see coming because they don't make a lick of sense. There is only one plot twist I saw coming because it was so obvious (which sucks because it is perhaps the biggest plot twist found at the end of the story), and the rest leave me still scratching my head because I don't really know how they further the story.
- Forgetting characters even exist- This book makes the mistake of treating characters as mega important for a small period, and then completely forgetting about them in the next instant. There is so much open-endedness here that it is ridiculous. I'm okay with not closing up subplots because there will be a second book, but I'm not okay with forgetting they exist entirely and never revisiting them properly.
- Meh main character- This is all made a bit harder to get through by the fact that our main character is robotic and not at all likable. I love me a good anti-hero, but I don't know what Snow is. She's just...there. She's there, and annoying, and not that smart, and super, super frustrating because she can't listen and would rather throw temper tantrums. Yeah. That's all I really have to say about Snow. She is not a main character that is easy to support.
- Confusing world is confusing- I've got the gist of what is going on, but I can't figure out the layout of this world at all, nor can I really understand why it works the way it does. Entire villages of frozen people and foods that are obnoxiously green or pink or yellow and taste like emotions for unexplained reasons. There's some interesting thoughts here, but they're not explored or explained, which makes it hard to really understand a world as a reader.
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.