Stealing Snow by Danielle PaigePublished by Bloomsbury USA Children on September 20, 2016
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 really wanted to love this book. I was so surprised that I didn't! After all, many of my favorite books are fairy tale retellings and I had heard so many good things about this retelling of The Snow Queen. As you will see below, there were plenty of things that I liked about it. Unfortunately, however, the things that I didn't like outweighed the things that I did like.
What I Liked
- I was drawn to this novel by its interesting premise. I couldn't wait to see what Paige changed or didn't change from the original fairy tale. Although elements of the original tale were definitely evident, there were not enough of these elements to feel like I was reading a true retelling. However, I did like the elements that were presented because I felt like I was revisiting an old friend, The Snow Queen.
- The cover is absolutely GORGEOUS! Even though I didn't like this very much, I may keep my copy around just to keep my shelf looking nice!
- There was never a dull moment in this novel. It was constant action and I never found myself getting overwhelmed or lost in the action. After all, it kept me interested and held my attention. I simply needed to know what happened next!
What I Didn't Like As Much
- I truly believe that Paige forgot to do any form of world-building for this novel. Perhaps she had the idea of Algid so firmly in mind that she felt she didn't need to introduce it to her audience because they were as familiar with it as she was. For me, this presented a huge problem as I was thrown into a foreign world with no form of map. This made the plot much more difficult to understand and left the novel feeling lackluster.
- This novel was definitely too short for all that Paige tried to put into it. This means that although she introduces several wonderful ideas and subplots, none of them are fully developed. Most readers, myself included, want to see these things become developed! This was beyond frustrating for me, especially as the world surrounding these events was not built either. In the end, this novel was a confusing pile of places and people that I wanted to know better.
- What the heck happened at the end? I have no idea why Snow goes to the place she chooses to go. I have no idea why she is so upset with another character that she knew was a liar the entire freaking time.
Overall, I was disappointed with this novel. I had wanted to see so much more, but it just wasn't there. The sequel is set to be released in October 2020 and I must decide if I will read it or just let it fall to the wayside. Part of me is curious to see how her writing has developed in the years between novels. The other part does not want to be disappointed again.
And maybe, just maybe, it didn't matter how you looked going into battle. It just mattered that you went.