I received this book for free from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by Danielle Page
Published October, 2016 by Bloomsbury
Provided by: Bloomsbury Australia
Genres: Fantasy, Re-Tellings
Purchase: The Book Depository | Bookworld | Booktopia
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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
Just what was Danielle Page thinking when she penned Stealing Snow?
With the promise that the book was an exciting new take on the Snow Queen tale, I eagerly selected this title for early review. I was excited, I’ll admit, because I’m one of the few people who hasn’t seen Frozen. I was finally going to learn what all the fuss was about the Snow Queen!
Sadly, this book was a messy mish-mash of overused YA clichés. It was as if Danielle Page had taken slivers from a dozen stories and smooshed them all together. I can’t stress just how much this book rubbed me the wrong way. I hate giving negative reviews (because I really do appreciate an author’s excitement and hard work when penning a new book) but REALLY…
Inside the jacket cover, we learn that Bloomsbury secured this new Danielle Page script at auction. Oh, dear. I really have no words. What was it about Stealing Snow that immediately caught the attention of such an amazing publishing house? A few chapters into the book and I was already wondering if they had even read the manuscript.
Our main character is, drumroll… named ‘Snow’. If that isn’t enough to make you roll your eyes, well, then the following list should at least make you grumble some….
- Snow has no idea she’s a princess
- Snow has no idea she has THE MOST POWERFUL POWERS EVER
- Snow trains for a day (or there abouts) and then suddenly has maximum control over said powers
- There’s a love SQUARE…
- There’s a prophecy about Snow
- There’s a random werewolf thrown in
Just… no words.
What really irked me (apart from the tropes) was that Snow was an awful leading character. I never once warmed up to her, nor did she ever feel like she was a ‘real’ person. When we’re introduced to her, she’s in a mental facility. Why? Well, she walked ‘through’ a mirror when she was a kid and hurt herself quite badly. I’m no expert, but how on earth does that put someone in a facility for life? Kids have done much, much worse. THEY’RE KIDS.
The whole thing was just unbelievable and from the first few chapters, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a book for me. I wanted to DNF this one so badly, but I persisted if only to write a review and explain why.
Snow is mainly motivated to save her ‘love’ Bale, who is abducted from the facility and into the strange, magical world of Algid. Snow stresses that Bale isn’t her boyfriend, yet she always refers to him as such when she talks to others. Constantly telling everyone (even the readers) that Bale is ‘her’ Bale, it’s hard to believe it when we discover this girl doesn’t have an ounce of loyalty where romance is concerned. Snow falls over not one, but two, other guys during the course of Stealing Snow.
There was no real direction to Stealing Snow, either. One third of the book is set in the facility, the next with the mysterious River Witch and then with the Robbers. When we finally get to the end of the book, tonnes of useless plot reveals are thrown at us, shockingly, it undermines the book further (Pssst… why was Jagger the only Robber boy? It was never explained!)
Just what were the motivations of the ‘real villain’ in this story? Why even have children in the first place if you want them dead? It just made no sense.
The writing itself was poor, as too the worldbuilding. Scenes would shift at weird places and sometimes characters would appear and start talking, without me noticing how they even got in the scene in the first place. Quite often Snow would travel somewhere, and I’d miss how she got there or why. It was just really odd.
Stealing Snow – possibly the worst book I’ve read, or will read, in 2016. I don’t like telling people not to read books, but I feel I have to really point out that this one is… not good.
I’ve heard Danielle Page’s other series, Dorothy Must Die, is quite nice – but after this, I won’t be picking it up.