TITLE: Stealing Snow
AUTHOR: Danielle Paige
SERIES: Stealing Snow (#1)
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Childrens
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Adventure
RATING: 1.5/5 Stars
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…
What I Liked:
- I rarely struggle to speak positively about books. In every single one of them I normally find something good to say, and often I berate myself because I fear that I'm not harsh enough on books that haven't won me over. Here...I struggled. I can see that Paige has definitely put some effort into trying to appeal to her readers. Elements of the story and world-building were nice and the odd character choice had moments that they appealed to me. Sadly, these vague allusions to moments of potential are all I have.
What I Disliked:
- I have a few things to go through, so let's start with the world-building. Only one word can be used to describe it: vague. When I saw that this book was a crossover of Snow White and the Snow Queen, an interesting choice, I expected ice. However, ice was pretty much all I got! There was snow everywhere, some generic forests, rivers and castles that were bizarre colours just to attempt to show some imagination, and penguins. Even the name of the world, Algid, sounds like something taken from a name generator. Clearly Paige's focus was not on developing her world.
- Alright so what if the world-building was non-existent? Clearly Paige wanted to focus on the action, right? Wrong? This book did not contain a coherent plot-line as such, but was instead made up of a series of moments that seemed like it was checking off a list rather than actually contributing to the plot. One minute she's in an asylum, then running to a tree where she meets the guy she dreamed about but is IMMEDIATELY taken someplace else where she stays for only a few chapters before TRAVELLING ELSEWHERE to prepare for a mission to DO SOMETHING ELSE. Honestly, I was so confused and that was without the flashbacks. I like fast-paced but this was too much.
- So a character book then? Nah. Who needs to develop characters, right? Seeing as Snow, an unlikeable heroine at best, took so many trips to absolutely everywhere (though it pretty much all looked the same so how would I know) she didn't have time to stop and chat too much. We meet a few guys along the way and though we don't know much about them she proceeds to be in love with them all immediately. There are also a couple of LGBT relationships that you would think would work in Paige's favour but as they are only briefly mentioned in order to check the diversity box (though let's face it, it should be unchecked again for the horrible depiction of mental illness at the beginning). I literally didn't care for any of the characters, or what happened to them at the end.
This was not an enjoyable read, and that's because despite it's 380 page length everything was massively underdeveloped! I felt like I'd not really learned much about the plot, the people OR the world by the time I came out the other side. It took me a really long time to gt through this book too because the writing was not in the least bit engaging for me. I wanted to DNF so badly but chose not to break my rule. Time to move on I think!