Stealing Snow on September 20, 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 384 pages
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.
A (sort-of) retelling of the Snow Queen, Stealing Snow finds our heroine stuck in an insane asylum, drugged to her gills yet still experiencing nightmares of a magical Tree and her death, over and over. Of course, she isn’t really insane, just placed there for her protection by her mother from a father who wants nothing more than to steal her power and kill her (nice family, huh?).
Since Snow’s been in the asylum since she was six, she doesn’t really have much in the way of social skills or street smarts so, when she finally escapes her prison and finds her way to her real home of Algid, she has to depend on people…some who want to kill her, some who want her power and some who sort of, kind of want to help her. Poor girl knows nothing, so she’s stumble from situation to situation, clueless as to if she’s going the right direction or not. While she’s trying to find her way through Algid, she’s also trying to find the boy she fell in love with in the asylum.
I liked this story overall. There was some interesting worldbuilding, some creative twists to a traditional fairytale and a heroine with potential, if only she’d see it for herself. However, I did have some issues with it as well. Snow barrels from one crappy situation to another, never knowing if that person is going to screw her over or not. How does she approach it? With sarcasm (and a gun. Haha. No. No gun. Just the power to create snow and ice. Which is better than a gun. Plus, ice sculptures!) and the propensity to recap everything that just happened to her.
And then there’s the love square. Yeah. Snow is in love with Bale, who gets taken. Then, she heads off to rescue him with Jagger…who she kisses. Then there’s Kai…who she kisses. All while trying to rescue Bale…who she kissed and loves. I’m all for kissing a lot of boys but not when you claim to love one of them then have feelings for others and…this is making my head spin. I really just wanted her to learn about her powers, figure out this world and the prophecy, and then, maybe rescue Bale (though he broke her arm the first time they kissed so, in my opinion, she’s better off without him.). Snow needs to just stop kissing boys, stop trusting so easily and focus on figuring out who she is.
Chapter 6—pg 34-37
I watched the boy take a step closer. The hairs on my arm stood up, and everything in my body told me to be on guard. There was something about him, something more about him that demanded attention—period. He looked like he had stepped out of The End of Almost. How was it possible that someone who looked like this was in my room? This boy was almost aerodynamic, like a shiny sports car. Even wearing that oversize white coat, I could tell that there was no amount of flesh or muscle misused. He was just as thin as Bale, who had grown out of the skeleton boy he was as a child into something else entirely. But Bale’s lines were softer because he was locked in his room most of the time.
I looked down and caught a peek at the boy’s shoes. They were shiny and black, the kind you wear for an interview or a party or a wedding—not to a crazy girl’s room in the middle of the night.
I finally pushed myself up in bed.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said in a whisper. “When I got a signal that magic was being used here, I had no idea it would lead me to you of all people.”
Magic? Had he just said magic?
His hair fell over one of his eyes as he leaned into my personal space.
Most people at Whittaker—if they knew anything—knew not to get that close to me after the Hannibal incident with Vern.
But Sleepy had made my wits slow, and instead of biting him, I closed my eyes in a drawn-out blink.
“There you are. I see you under all those drugs. Don’t you want to come out and play, Snow?”
Who was this guy? I stared off toward the wall and refocused, trying to shake off the drugs.
“Fine, just listen. The pills that Dr. Harris is giving you aren’t helping you. They’re hiding you from who you really are and what you’re meant to be. They’re hiding you from your destiny. Stop taking them. Start feeling everything. And when you are clean, come to me. I’ll be waiting on the other side of the Tree.” He stood up straight and crossed his arms. The room was still cloudy around him.
This guy I’ve never met wants me to leave and go where?
Bale used to talk about running away, and sometimes I would indulge this idea. But the truth was, deep down I was always worried that I would end up face-first in a mirror again. And Bale would burn down whatever house we were in. Now I regret never trying, for him. For us. If I were going to escape, it would be with Bale. Not for this stranger.
My lips and voice finally decided to work. “I could yell right now, and the White Coats would be here in sixty seconds,” I said, thinking about the panic button behind the bed. There was one in every patient’s room. I had never pushed it for a real emergency. I’d only used it once as a joke and asked for room service when Dr. Harris had briefly assigned me another orderly. Vern was back in a week.
The boy was undaunted by my challenge. He did not move a muscle.
“You could have called for help, but you haven’t. Besides, I am the help.”
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Who you are is what matters, Princess.”
I had been called a lot of names at Whitaker. “Princess” was never one of them.
He saw that he had my full attention. A smile spread across his face. He was pleased. Then he bent down, closer. “You need to leave this place, Princess. It’s breaking your spirit. The gate on the north corner will open for you. Head north until you see the Tree.”
“The Tree?” I asked. I thought of the tree from my dream. This had to be another dream. It was too coincidental.
“You’ll know it when you see it. I promise. When you get to the other side of the Tree, I’ll be waiting. And they will kneel for you.”
“What are you talking about? And why do you keep calling me Princess? I am no one’s princess.”
“You really don’t know, do you?” he said solemnly. “They’ve dulled your magic and your wits.”
“What the hell?” I snapped. Sleepy’s effects were starting to wane, and this guy’s riddles were starting to piss me off. He clearly was a new patient off his meds.
“Just remember the Tree…”
I started to sit up farther, ready to show this guy just what kind of princess I really was. Then the boy abruptly turned around and walked toward the plastic mirror on my closet. And he did something that stopped me cold.
He stepped right through it.
I squeezed my eyes shut and pressed my palms into them. This was a dream. Yes, it would be my weirdest one yet, but still. A dream. Had to be.
I opened my eyes again. They adjusted to the dark quickly this time. The room looked normal. No strange boy to be seen. But when I stared into the mirror next to my desk, I swear I could see the silhouette of a boy in an oversize white coat, growing smaller and smaller…receding in the reflection. And in the background was the faint outline of a large tree, the Tree.
When I blinked again, the Tree and the boy were gone.
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