Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Title: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: Young Adult, Portal Fantasy
Source: Bloomsbury

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 …
A wonderfully icy fantastical romance, with a strong heroine choosing her own destiny, Danielle Paige's irresistibly page-turning Snow Queen is like Maleficent and Frozen all grown up.
Review by Nara

So it appears that Stealing Snow has been pitched as a gritty, "adult" version of Frozen, and unfortunately I can't really agree with that at all. It's more like Frozen minus the awesome songs minus a proper storyline minus any sort of world building minus the interesting characters plus shitty writing plus stupid names like "Snow" (which I would forgive if it was a retelling of Snow White, but it's a retelling of The Snow Queen, so no dice).

As I'm sure you've seen mentioned in numerous other reviews, the first irritating thing about Stealing Snow is the reason that Snow has been admitted to a mental hospital. No spoilers, it's revealed in the first few pages: it's because when she was younger she tried to pull her friend "through a mirror". And then the justification for why she was kept in hospital was because she apparently "loses control" and randomly bites people when she's angry. What the actual fuck. What a disappointing opportunity to do something cool with mental health exposure. Also something I found stupid was the fact that the friend's parents apparently tried to sue Snow/Snow's family for damages. What the heck, it's a kid who made an honest (albeit weird) mistake.

As you might know if you've read my reviews before, I'm quite big on world building in novels with fantasy settings (including portal fantasies, as this one is). One of the major factors that will influence whether I like a book or not is the world building. Often I'll like a book even if the plot or character development isn't that great if the world building is super well done. On the other hand, if the plot/character development is amazing, the world building doesn't have to be that great. In other words, I'm not that hard to please, you just need to get one of either plot or world building or character development right. WELL. As you might have guessed, Stealing Snow failed on literally all fronts.

The story is so cliched and ridiculous. There are a number of "twists" that are included but they're all either so predictable or so completely left field that they're not necessarily predictable but are still not good twists. I must admit, I heavily skimmed the book from about 50% onwards so I'm not even sure that I can technically say that I finished it. From the moment Snow enters Algid, the plot goes downhill and the world building is pretty much non-existent. I had no idea about what sort of setting we'd been dumped into apart from the fact there seemed to be some token hot guys and random people sitting in positions of power.

Speaking of, the romance was absolutely shit. There were three love interests, but it may as well have been three static photos for all the development they got. We had the love interest from the mental hospital who once purposely broke Snow's wrist (yeah, totally see the attraction there). We had the tsundere love interest from Algid who I know pretty much nothing about. And we had some other random guy also from Algid who was the one who brought Snow into that world in the first place. I could be getting these characters mixed up because as mentioned before, all three were bland as fuck. Yay, I just love it when the romance has exactly zero chemistry. She jumps between the love interests while in the back of her mind thinking "oh wait, I actually love that other guy". Yeah, yeah, whatever.

My god, this review is getting too long.
So let me stop here.
One word summary of entire review/book: NOPE.

Didn't like it
Overall: 1/10
Plot: 1/5
Romance: 0/5
Writing: 1/5
World Building: 0/5
Characters: 1/5
Cover: 2/5