Title: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
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 …
(I was sent an ARC of this book unsolicited from Bloomsbury Publishing Australia, so thank you Bloomsbury!)
I’ll start off by saying I was so excited to read this book. I absolutely loved Frozen and thought this retelling was going to be amazing, so when I received it in the mail I had to restrain myself from picking it up right away. The concept of this story sounded so amazing and had such awesome potential, but unfortunately, it was a pretty big disappointment.
I had heard a few mixed reviews for this book, and unfortunately most seemed to lean towards the negative side. I’m not sure if, because I’m studying writing at uni, I overanalysed the book, but I had some pretty major issues with it.
I found the writing really strange and something about it just really irritated me. I wasn’t sure what it was until a friend pointed it out to me that the author tells the story, rather than shows it. I honestly never thought this was much of a big deal. We get told ‘show don’t tell’ basically all through school, and I’ve read books that do a little bit of telling, but this book didn’t do any showing at all. As a writer, you try to give all the details for your reader so they can imagine what you’ve created perfectly. Unfortunately, this story really fell flat there.
Another thing I found was that the story didn’t really flow smoothly. To me, it seemed to jump abruptly from one scene or event to the next, without much explanation or reason as to why this has happened. As well as this, the pacing throughout the story was far too rushed. I felt as though the story should have been written over 600 pages, where you could explain things in more detail and spread out the events much more, but the book was just under 400 pages.
The thing that possibly annoyed me the most was the fact that the reader could barely get into the main character’s head. We didn’t know what she was feeling or thinking, and it left me quite frustrated and confused, especially when I felt that she should have had an emotional reaction to some pretty surprising and emotional events. Usually, if the main character is about to do something, the reader will get some internal thoughts from the character that can make up guess or understand what’s about to happen. But in this book, we didn’t get that internal thought, and so it felt abrupt and unrealistic, as we could really follow along with the main character. It made the reader feel disconnected from the main character and the reader should be able to connect to the main character, feeling what they’re feeling and knowing what’s going on in their minds.
Story wise, I had a few issues as well. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the romance just didn’t work for me. I felt like it was very insta-love, and normally I don’t really mind that but it really frustrated me in this book. It was just ridiculous and so unrealistic and I know this is a fantasy novel but it was just too much. Maybe if the romance was spread out over a couple of books it would be more believable, but it just didn’t work. As well as this, I hated the fact that the Snow, the main character, was unable to wield her magic until she was in a situation where she desperately needed it. I know this tends to happen in quite a lot of fantasy books, but it’s one thing to do a tiny bit of magic that helps you, it’s completely ridiculous for a character to be able to just magically be able to control all of their power without training and practice.
Overall, I just really did not like this novel. It’s possible the finished copy is a lot better than the ARC, but I will not be reading it.
Actual Rating: 1.5 stars
Until next time,