Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige | 1/5

“Worlds collide and hearts melt in this first novel in an icily glamorous and epic new series.”

Overview:  

I don’t even know where to start with this one. Honestly, it was a bit of a mess. The beautiful cover is what drew me to this book, minimalistic and shiny, but as soon as I read the blurb on the back I was hesitant. I knew this book had the potential to be either amazing or absolutely awful.

What I was expecting (or rather hoping for) was a modern adaption of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen mixed with the haunting tone and unreliable narrator of the Mara Dyer series. What I got was the most butchered fairytale retelling I’ve ever read, with hints of Snow White, The Snow Queen and even Alice Through The Looking Glass. Honestly, I don’t even think Paige knew what she was going for here.

I found the world unbelievable, the plot both ridiculous and fast paced, the female protagonist extremely irritating, and the plot twist at the end ludicrous. The writing was fine, though there wasn’t a uniqueness of writing style, which did make it a tad boring. The dialogue was stilted and awkward, it didn’t feel natural or authentic to speech, and the voices of the characters were all very similar.

The novel was also riffled with problematic aspects, such as the trivialisation of mental health and misrepresentation of a psychiatric hospital; a potentially abusive relationship, with the female protagonist internalising the blame for mistreatment; and male characters who feel entitled to a girls affection and persist even after being rejected, and then of course the girl falling for it, mistaking manipulation for romance.

But despite the fact that I spent most of the time with my eyes rolled back into my head, laughing with disbelief; by the end of the novel I was looking for a sequel, burning with the curiosity of where this train wreck was headed. I must be a masochist.

(Continue reading for a more in depth review, but beware spoilers.) Trigger Warning: Mental Illness.

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard | 3/5

“This book will delight you.” Robin Hobb

“Richly drawn characters, and dazzling intrigue… Do not miss out!” Sarah J Maas

“Magic, romance, and non stop action that will leave you breathless.” Maria V Snyder

Overview:

To be honest I had high expectations for this book, and I am aware that they were completely unfair, as I went in comparing it to Sarah J Maas’ novels. This is mainly because I know that Maas and Dennard are friends, and also because Maas’ novels are the best fantasy novels – the best YA novels, even – that I have read in a long time. Unfortunately, Truthwitch did not reach these expectations, or, for me, hold to any of the promises advertised on the cover. While I was deeply interested in the premise – I have a soft spot for witches – I felt that it wasn’t executed as well as it could be.

While the world that Dennard has created seems to be diverse, thought-out and interesting, the pacing in which Dennard chose to reveal information about this world and the characters, I found to be very unbalanced. I can see that she was aiming for intrigue in order to draw in the reader, to keep us turning the pages desperate for the answers, but I ended up finishing the novel feeling as if most of my questions had not been answered, and this left me more frustrated than charmed. The pacing of the plot was also odd, as while there was constant action in the story, I still felt as if nothing had really happened until a good quarter or so through the book.

I also found the characters, while they tried to be strong, active female protagonists, rather flat. Though I liked Safi and Merik’s personalities, and adored the friendships represented by Safi and Iseult, and Merik and Kullen, I still felt disconnected from them, and the other characters and their stories; particularly Iseult’s. For some reason I just didn’t care. This left me even more frustrated, as I could see the potential for fantastic, dynamic and interesting characters that leap off the page and grab you, if only they were fleshed out a little more.

The prose itself, sentence structure, writing style, and dialogue I liked and found to be a much better standard than many YA novels.

Overall, I while I enjoyed parts of this book, I found it to be frustrating and boring at times. However, this wasn’t enough to put my off the series totally, and I have purchased the sequel. Here’s hoping the world and character’s flesh out more as the Witchlands series continues.

(Continue reading for a more in depth review, but beware spoilers.)

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Hello Internet

My name is Samantha and I’m a 21 year old post-grad student studying editing and publishing, with an undergrad degree in creative writing.

When I’m not lost in a world of my own invention I can be found either picking fruit on ACNL, fangirling over the latest SJM book, getting over-excited when #malec or #bellarke are on my screen, or eating some kind of miscellaneous rice dish.

Reading has always been my passion, and since obtaining my undergraduate degree I have A LOT of opinions, so I decided to start this blog. In no way am I trying to be offensive or negative, and if I don’t like something you enjoyed, that doesn’t mean that your own opinion or enjoyment is invalid.

I hope my reviews will be helpful, enjoyable, relatable and educational.

*Insert witty sign off here.*