Friday, 14 April 2017

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige: Book Review




First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.



Mine broke Bale.


Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.



SPOILER FREE REVIEW

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In all honesty, I have to say that this book was not up to the exact level of excitement I thought it might be. But that aside I will admit that I definitely thought this book was an awesome retelling of "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen. I didn't actually read the original story until just after I had finished the book but I could definitely see the similarities and how Danielle managed to weave many of the same elements into her own little fantasy story. This review may be filled with mixed emotions about multiple parts of the book as I felt like there were some things about it that I thought could have been better or slightly different to enhance the overall opinions from many readers including myself - though I do feel like I enjoyed the themes that lay within the fantastical world filled with snow-covered cities and beauty amongst the darkness of an evil king who had ruled Algid for many years before Snow's arrival.

The protagonist of the story is a young girl who is introduced as Snow and resides, much to her dismay, in a mental asylum in New York where she is monitored on a daily basis by her orderly, Verne, takes pills that she named after the seven dwarves, and lives for the moments when she gets to see Bale - which is almost never since he broke her wrist after their first kiss - and all of that because she tried to walk to a mirror as a young girl and cut herself badly by accident. I personally felt like I could resonate with Snow as she is described to have issues controlling her anger and I feel like that is something that many people struggle with but there is so much stigma around the idea because it can be a scary thing for those that don't want to know about it or be around people who have the potential to blow up for any particular reason. Her issues trusting her mother and feeling hardly any love for her because of the mirror incident is something that I feel is believable and true for those where their family won't support or help them when they feel like they need it the most. Snow goes through many instances where her loyalties are tested and ties are torn in ways that are brutal, and in that way I felt for her because she never knew her family like she thought she did. The friendships she gains along her journey to fulfilling the prophecy are of deep importance and show Snow what real life, despite having entered a fantasy world, can be for her if she decides to choose to stay and help Algid defeat their curse. Unfortunately a bit of the plot seemed slightly off track and went in directions that didn't quite add up - I was thinking that maybe the manuscript could have been edited up to be a little better prepared for publication.

I know that this would have been a book that I would have said five stars to right away when I was only a young teenager starting out with young adult novels like The Twilight Saga and the Vampire Academy series, but sensibly with time I have come to a state of mind where every thought seems to be critical in the best and worst ways sometimes. I definitely did enjoy Stealing Snow but I just feel like it wasn't written the best way it could have been. Many people I know have mentioned their distaste for the love triangle and I totally get that. But it didn't bother me as much as I thought it might so I'm sure many others can feel the same way I do! I'm thinking that the next book will follow things up in terms of the spread-out plot so it could impress a lot of the readers that may not have liked this one. I'm just hoping that we get to see more badass magic, snow-tornados, and Gerde and Kai because their scenes just weren't enough and I loved them specifically to bits! Snow's anger issue didn't exactly have much development and a clear resolution or point of importance in my opinion. There were a few other things that should have been cleared up as well but I guess I could be wrong with my assumptions and they might all be answered with absolute detail and serve a better purpose for the second novel. But I guess we won't know until it comes out!

I have decided to give Stealing Snow a 3 stars out of 5 because it would appeal more to a younger audience that may not have many issues with the simplistic style of writing and feel too overwhelmed by the direction of the plot line. I do think many people will love reading this story for the awesome fact that it's almost like envisioning Elsa from the Disney movie, Frozen, as Snow with her magical flurry of ice powers. It just lacked in major character development, a clear vision of the story, and better sentence structure, which might have really given this book a kick of enthusiasm. However, I am still looking forward to reading Danielle's other series, Dorothy Must Die, as I heard it is a great series and is a retelling of The Wizard of Oz which is absolutely awesome considering it being such a classic oldie! 



Thank you Allen and Unwin NZ for the review copy!


Check out their links here:




 

  Go add Stealing Snow to your Goodreads list HERE


Go buy it on MightyApe with 1 day delivery in New Zealand HERE

Buy it on Book Depository with free shipping world wide HERE

Find it on the Allen and Unwin website HERE





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