Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Book One of the Stealing Snow series
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Rating: 2 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (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.
What I Liked:
Meh. Maybe this book was over-hyped for me, but it definitely did not deliver the epic fantasy retelling story that I was expecting. It fell flat for me, in more ways than one. It's weird because I personally haven't seen too much hype surrounding this book, but I have seen fellow reviewers talking about it, and I know it was a big title at BEA. But, meh! Maybe not for me.
Snow has been stuck in a mental hospital for years. Her dreams are nightmares and her scars up and down her arms are something to behold. But she doesn't think she's crazy. She hates popping pills to make her tired or dull or calm. One day, after a small episode of a sort, a new orderly appears, and tells Snow that she needs to leave and find the Tree. Bewildered, Snow gets a perfect opportunity to escape. Entering into a new world, with the help of the fake orderly (Jagger), Snow finds out that she is a princess, and the subject of an important prophecy that calls for her taking the throne of Algid, or aiding her evil father's power.
I didn't dislike or particular like Snow. At the mental hospital, she accepts pills and follows orders, despite the niggling feeling that she doesn't belong there. Outside of the mental hospital, she does not let herself get pushed around, and she questions everything. I didn't really connect with her, but I think I like her as a protagonist.
Part of Snow's motivation to find the Tree, after she escapes from the hospital, is to get her friend Bale back, who was taken into the Tree. Snow has no idea where to begin looking for Bale, But to find him, she must learn how to use her magical abilities. Think of these abilities as those of Elsa, from Frozen. This IS a retelling of The Snow Queen!
Snow is taken in by the River Witch, who explains Snow's heritage to her, and begins training her. Snow lives with Gerde, a protege of the Witch, and Kai, Gerde's brother. Gerde is happiness incarnate, always cheerful and upbeat. Kai doesn't seem to like Snow at all, and is very curt with her. Kai ends up being a love interest... one of several.
While I didn't particularly enjoy this story (see more below), it wasn't too boring and I had no trouble reading it, start to finish. I didn't really like it but I also didn't absolutely hate it. It will probably appeal to others, especially since it's a fairy tale retelling (those are very popular these days!).
What I Did Not Like:
Honestly, the writing was not great at all. I don't know how to describe some of the terrible writing phenomena that I read. It felt like scenes were occurring way too quickly. Like, we go from the asylum to the Tree to Algid waaaay too quickly. And then all of a sudden, Snow is training. And then she's kissing a boy and has feelings for him like two days after she meets him (that's Kai). And then she's taken away to another castle, which seemed so random. I guess it felt like there were a lot of random scenes jumbled together, and they didn't fit well.
I also feel like most of these characters have no common sense, Snow included. It's like she was doing EVERYTHING in her power to expose herself for the King to find her. She goes into a market, has her fortune told, and surprise, it lines up with the prophecy perfectly. But she exposed herself there. And then she's constantly trying to wield her power and she's terrible at that, and has the subtlety of an elephants (I love elephants though!). She doesn't think things through. She makes ridiculous deals with a Robber Queen, and then JOINS the Robbers... this occurred way too quickly (just like the rest of jumbled plot), and it made no sense to me. No common sense whatsoever!
Did I talk about the romance? Well, there are not one, not two, but THREE love interests, and all three of them are in the running and totally present in this book. Bale, the boy who was stolen and who Snow is trying to rescue. Jagger, the fake orderly who is really a Robber (yup, under the Robber Queen), but is loyal to Snow and falls for her. And then Kai, the surly boy who falls for her too. The ending of this book leaves all three boys with a fair shot so... no.
This love... shape is aggravating (I hate anything with more than one love interest) but I honestly just didn't care about the romance, so it didn't bother me as much as it normally would (like I really just do not care). I felt detached from this story, and from Snow, so I just don't care.
Well, that's part of it too. The sense of detachment I had from this story... meh. I probably won't continue with the series.
Would I Recommend It:
I honestly can't recommend this book. Yes, it's fantasy, it's a fairly tale retelling, it's like Frozen but somewhat darker. But we have a protagonist with little common sense. a weird romance structure happening, and terrible writing style. While this book should have appealed to me, on paper, very little of it actually did.
2.5 stars -> rounded down to 2 stars. I'm wondering if that's too harsh... but then I need to keep asking myself, did I actually like this book? Not really. In fact, I probably will forget all about it by next week. So, 2 stars it is. Sorry (not sorry)!
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!
LOL at the love shape. No thanks!ReplyDelete
I don't think I'm missing out anything either because the plot and characters just don't sound like they are all that.
What a waste of a lovely cover though ...
Right?! That alone is enough to deter mine! You're not missing out on anything, Nick. :/Delete
I've read a similar review for this one. Sadly, I may have to take this off my list for now. Great review!ReplyDelete
It's probably not worth the effort!Delete
I'm sorry you didn't like this one. I'm really looking forward to this though. :)ReplyDelete
I hope you love it!Delete
Oh too bad! I know hyped books have so many expectations, it's always a bummer when they don't live up to it for you.ReplyDelete
It really is! I actually didn't know much about this book (it was unsolicited), but it did disappoint me nonetheless. :/Delete
Oh too bad this wasn't good, that cover is really pretty !ReplyDelete
Anyways, loved your review and I hope your next read will be better :))
Thank you! That's funny -- my next read was even worse! *sigh* Time for some steamy adult romance novels!Delete
Eek. I was so excited for this one, but also wary. I didn't like her writing in Dorothy Must Die, so if it didn't improve.. But also, this one isn't super hyped for me, I'm just excited for it, so fingers crossed! So sorry it didn't work for you :(ReplyDelete
Hopefully you like it more than I did!Delete
writing style is a big issue for me when reading. Its usually the deciding factor on whether I will like a book or not. I like Fantasy...but not a fan of frozen. :( Hope you next read is much better for ya hun!!! Great review.ReplyDelete
Right?! It really does make a difference! I liked Frozen but didn't love it. (It was one of those movies in which I watched it once, was satisfied, and never thought about it again. Meh!) Anyway, thank you! <3Delete
Yikes. I was thinking about requesting this. Not so much now. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
Don't do it, Kel!!!!Delete
Ooh, I have this on my tbr pile, but I think its moved down a few places in the queue. Disappointed to heart turned out this way - I too was expecting an epic fantasy of a retelling. This sounds a little... flat. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
I was half-expecting that as well! Flat is definitely a good way to describe this book - flat, and static. Meh!Delete
I wasn't very keen on this one at all, that's why I skipped it at BEA, and now I'm even more glad that I did! So not the book for me!ReplyDelete
Good decision-making, methinks!Delete
Aww! So sad! I wanted to love this retelling... oh well. It sounds a bit off kilter to me... I love how honest your review is!ReplyDelete
Off-kilter is a good way to put it! Thank you very much, Emily Anne. =)Delete
Haha, you're just not liking any of the books I'm looking forward to reading in the near future! I hope I like this one more than you since I got an ARC of it! You didn't make this one sound quite as awful as Beauty of Darkness, so I'm hopeful. Hahaha! Great review!! :)ReplyDelete
LOL! This one had issues that definitely could have just been *me* not liking them, whereas The Beauty of Darkness had so many general issues, it was a train wreck. I hope you love this book, Cyra!Delete
I haven't heard of this one yet - didn't even know about the hype. But I'm intrigued. Added to GR.ReplyDelete
Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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I hope you enjoy it, Rebecca!Delete
A few 1 or 2 star reviews lately, huh? Sorry Alyssa!ReplyDelete
Yup. :/ I sure know how to choose 'em!Delete
Awww, sad that this one wasn’t good! And pity too...cause the hype is HUGE. And I really enjoyed DOROTHY MUST DIE...oh well. I *may* give this one a try, but it’s not likely. Great review!ReplyDelete
I haven't read that one! And probably won't, honestly. This book just didn't do it for me!Delete
Thank you, Rabiah. =)
I just said "UGH!" out loud when I read about the three love interests. I actually haven't read anything by this author because what she has written, doesn't really inspire me to read it. This is the case with this novel. It sounds cool but eh. Having read your review, I'm definitely not going to read it. Great review!ReplyDelete
Honestly I think I'm "one and done" with this author, probably not going to try anything else in the future. This book seemed like it was written NOT by an experienced author! o_oDelete
Ahhh! This book sounds THE WORST :( So not for me either, haha. So many love interests.. not cool. Hmph. But anyway :D Your review is gorgeous Alyssa. <3 I'm so sorry this book sucked. Ugh.ReplyDelete
Definitely not a book for me! There was too much going on. Thank you, Carina!Delete
I had too many hopes for this one,Alyssa :( But great review though.ReplyDelete
Thank you! Hopefully you enjoy the book more than I did? D:Delete
I was hoping this book would be really good, i was super excited to read it but this is the third negative review that I've read for it so probably not. Its very disappointing when the author throw in random love interest and don't connect the plot well. Do you think if the writing was better and had smoother transitions you would have enjoyed the book? Or are the love interests and senselessness of the characters to much to overlook?ReplyDelete
Aww, I'm sorry! I really did not enjoy this book and can't recommend it. I think maybe the author's books in general aren't for me. Yes, I think the writing could have been better/different, but I also think the love interests/love triangle needed to and there needed to be better character development across the board. :/Delete