2.5 / 5 Stars
Title: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: 20th September 2016
Source: eARC provided via NetGalley
Synopsis from GoodReads:
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.
I gave this book a 2.5 star rating for a variety of reasons, but to summarise: it just wasn’t the book for me. This is my first venture into a Danielle Paige book, and I felt that the writing and the pacing made it really hard to settle in and read. The first half of the book felt aimless in terms of plot, and the short, abrupt sentences affected the flow of the novel, and I’d often have to backtrack to understand what was happening.
Stealing Snow is a retelling of the Snow Queen, and whilst the ‘chosen one’ trope is part of that, I’m getting a bit over it. The development that Snow undertakes throughout the novel got a bit confusing, with her making seemingly large progress with her power without too much explanation.
There were, surprisingly, a few references to romantic f/f relationships, which I thought was fantastic, and there were some great plot twists throughout. Whilst the beginning of the book was quite slow and boring to get through, the second half definitely picked up, both in pace, plot and character development.
A major issue I had with this book was that every guy she met, she felt some romantic pull towards. It wasn’t quite instalove, but I had to roll my eyes at how much they wanted to kiss her ALL. THE. TIME. *Grumbles incoherently*
But the ending was shocking (aside from one little twist I predicted early on), and it HAS made me curious to pick up the next book, if only to see whether the story will continue to be exciting and fast-paced.
- Reference to f/f romantic relationships
- Good world-building, if a little confusing at times
- Plot twists and ending were great
- Why do you have to love EVERY. SINGLE. GUY. C’mon, really?!
- She has a weird obsession with Bale, despite the fact that their relationship is very unusual.
- The chosen one trope: I’m just a bit over it at this point (but can forgive it, as it IS a retelling)
- The writing is almost stilted, and hard to get into at first
- The magic system is great but is only briefly explained.
So all up, I did feel that the book got stronger as it went on, and I am curious about the sequel, but the first half really frustrated me to no end.