First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.
Mine broke Bale.
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.
Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.
Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.
I have been waiting for a Snow Queen retelling in YA pretty much after they released Frozen. It was sort of something I knew was going to be inedible since YA does tend to like to cash out trends—see vampires, post apocalyptic worlds, and epic fantasies with the same fucking stories. But up until Stealing Snow, I’ve only heard/read of one other Snow Queen retelling in YA and it sort of sucked so I promptly forgot about it.
To be honest, the actual Snow Queen is a hard fairytale to retell. I think it’s because Hans Christian Anderson tales tend to be on the depressing side, and unless you Disney-fy them or find a way to tap into that darkness and use it to your advantage it’s going to fail.
By the premises of Stealing Snow alone, I thought it was going to tap into this darkness. I mean, our main character is in an asylum there are a lot of directions you can go there. Unfortunately, I really didn’t see why she was in an asylum as long as she was. This is one of those times when having a legal education makes me a party pooper when it comes to reading.
But I digress.
It wasn’t even really the legalities that bothered me about the asylum section of this book, it was the character. If I have a character who is locked up for being bat shit insane, she better act bat shit insane. I wanted to see Snow question reality more than she did and her escape from her room, hiding the fact that she hadn’t taken her pills was a little bit on the easy side.
Honestly, the whole duct taping the lock thing probably would’ve never worked in real life. The transition into the fantasy world was just as bad, and random. Full disclosure, I didn’t finish this book because everything felt too easy and the transitions were rather horrible.
Also, what was it with everyone having a weird name in this book? You have Snow, Magpie, Bale, etc. The most common name I saw in this book was Vern and that’s saying something.
Yeah, I get it. Some YA authors go for the Hollywood odd ass name tropes, but it gets a little too much when everyone in the book has a name that only an A-lister kid can pull off.
Whatever. That’s just a pet peeve of mine; you might not find the names as jarring as I did. Though, you will undoubtedly find the relationships as upsetting as I did. Throughout a good chunk of the portion of the book that I read—120 pages—Snow is obsessed over Bale, who broke her arm, just because they kissed and now they can’t talk (re breaking her arm).
I wanted to scream at Snow because this guy broke her arm and all, and hey there are probably impressionable kids/teens reading this who are learning what makes a healthy relationship. Having your arm broken does not make for a healthy relationship.
Anyway, I didn’t finish this. This book wasn’t what I was wanting. I was expecting a darker, creepier retelling with an unreliable heroine. What I got was Bella Swan is locked up in an insane asylum and somehow figures out a way to get to Narnia.
Overall Rating: DNF