Received from NetGalley for review.
I desperately wanted to love Stealing Snow – I was so excited when I was approved on NetGalley, but then the reviews started coming in and I couldn’t help but wonder if it would live up to my expectations. Sadly, it didn’t. I’m with the majority on this one – Stealing Snow is a rushed mess, lacking a cohesive and compelling plot line, with an extremely dull and annoying protagonist. There’s no denying Stealing Snow is a quick and easy read, but that isn’t enough when the characters fall flat and the plot is a jumbled mashup of Snow White, The Snow Queen, and most young adult books you’ve ever read.
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent most of her life in Whittaker Institute, though any actual mental illness in the place seems to be well hidden – the patients and staff of the Institute are one big stereotype, barely scraping the surface of the reality of living with mental illness. We know from the blurb that Snow is actually some kind of Ice Princess, living in the wrong world until she magically ends up back in Algid, and various secrets and hidden powers are revealed. Naturally she ends up having great powers and being the key to sorting everything in Algid out – an icy never ending winter brought on by a tyrannical king and some prophecy being the main issues. Oh, and Bale. I lost count of how many times I read ‘I must get Bale back’, ‘this is all for Bale’ – Snow is obsessed with Bale, a boy she loves from the Institute even though he treats her like shit half the time. Snow doesn’t seem to have an identity outside of the boys she loves and meets in the story, which is so unbelievably boring to read.
The story itself is a hot mess; rushed and all over the place. It’s not cohesive at all and read rather like a children’s story (as in, a story written by a child) – this happened, then this happened, then this happened, Bale, Bale, Bale, and then this happened. Because what’s the point in explaining and exploring one thing and creating an emotional connection when you could rush through one hundred things instead? Pick a plot line, please. There are little nods to Snow Whiteand The Snow Queen that I quite liked – Kai and Gerde, mirrors, the ‘dwarfs’ – but I think knowing and loving both of those fairy tales has worked against me. Instead of finding the references subtle and clever they were just really obvious. Unlike the fun and original take on The Wizard of Oz in Dorothy Must Die (yes I know the controversy but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book), Stealing Snow falls flat as a fairy tale reimagining.
I’m not sure what Paige was trying to achieve with this story but it didn’t work for me on any level, although I imagine many others will like it. I’ll admit I mostly skimmed the ending but the story did seem to pick up a bit, with some interesting twists, but it was too little too late for me.
Read: September 25th-30th 2016