An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.
Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
Will Be Available: September 2, 2014
First of all, a huge thanks to Rebekah L. Purdy and Entangled Teen for giving me a free ARC of this book! I appreciate it so much, but, as always, the following review has not been influenced by my being given a free book. 🙂
To start off, I have a lot of feelings about this book. A lot. A whole ton. I’m sorry that this review is so sassy, but I need to vent about this one. So much potential, but it fell flat for me.
Since Salome (LOVE the name, btw) nearly drowned in a pond nearby her grandmother’s house, she’s been deathly afraid of Winter. If I had nearly drowned in a pond nearby my grandmother’s house when I was younger, I would probably be deathly afraid, too. When her grandparents leave town, Salome is put in charge of taking care of the grounds: ensuring that the property’s gates are closed at all times, checking on the plants, and stuffing little trinkets in this one tree (the usual, you know). One of the first days (if not the first) Salome meets a handsome, withdrawn stranger on her grandmother’s property. He says he’s a longtime friend of her grandmother (stranger danger, much? Gah, Salome! You’re killin’ me here). This is when the mysteries and questions start to really build up for Salome. Not to mention that Salome meets not one hottie, not two hotties, but three hotties. THREE HOTTIES. Can I repeat that? THREE. Holy flapjack pancakes! This ain’t a love triangle; this is more a love quadrangle for the masses. Hold onto your seat.
The cover of this book is gorgeous. It grabbed my interest from the very first time I saw it! It was also a very interesting premise; I love winter –it’s a requirement for Washingtonians– and I love emotionally-conflicted heroines. But, really. They’re interesting.
Okay, the writing was decent. It really didn’t do much for me, but that wasn’t the problem with this book. There were some quotes that I would like to highlight, though.
“You could tell a lot from someone’s bedroom, like the kind of person they were.”
“Nervous flutters ate at my gut like leeches sucking blood” (TMI, ouch)
“My chest ached like he had stabbed one of the forks into my heart”
AND MY TOTAL PERSONAL FAVORITE (ten points for sassy Salome):
I might as well just toss myself onto the mattress and change my name to Cleopatra.
(NOTE: These quotes are from an uncorrected ARC. These quotes may be changed in the final version that will be released September 2)
Salome. Salome. Salome. She bothered me. She was constantly alternating between three mindsets: “OMG that guy is hot and I’m getting the tingles”, “I think I’m going crazy”, and “Why won’t people answer my questions?”.
Let’s address the question of hot men first and foremost. Salome does wonder why three devastatingly hot men have suddenly appeared in her life when she wasn’t Hot Date Numero Uno before, but after that initial “wondering” she doesn’t reflect on it again. I did only read to the 40% mark. Maybe she freaks out and starts questioning it later on in the book. But, hey. If there was a novel written about me and three snazzy gents suddenly appeared on my doorstep, I would’ve gone all Nancy Drew up in there in a skinny second. It’d have been weird. I would’ve been concerned! What if it was something I ate like in that J.Lo music video, Papi? Plus, she can’t seem to control her hormones whenever she’s around all these hot men and seems to get some kind of “tingles” when she’s in their presence. Stop tingling — it’s unnatural. And for the love of Pete — PICK ONE, Salome! Don’t be selfish! Share some of these nice men with the rest of the population! I’ve heard from some readers that the book does not turn out to have a love rectangle after all, but I didn’t feel like sticking around to find out.
I understand thereason that Rebekah L. Purdy had Salome believing that she was going insane. I thought I was going insane when I first started hearing voices, too! KIDDING. I’m kidding. But, really, after 23.5 times of Salome saying that she thought she was crazy I wanted to Google the nearest asylum and commit myself. She kept seeing things and hearing things that she couldn’t explain. After awhile, I just wanted her to have faith in herself and see what was in front of her. Especially when these weird occurrences kept happening to her and, did I forget to mention that she had three hot men interested in her? Frickin’ three? Did I mention that? Let’s be real, I’d have totally hired a personal investigator for that last fact alone.
Salome was inquisitive on a basic level, but she never really investigated. She’d ask Nevin or her grandmother and say the equivalent of “I’m going to finally get to the bottom of this. No more empty, cryptic answers” over and over to herself. Then, she’d get in the conversation and give up when the person didn’t give her the answers she was craving. She had such a strong resolution and then she’d just give up. Ughhh. It was clear that the author was trying to make her a strong heroine, but she wasn’t strong at all. She didn’t demand answers from the people that obviously were hiding things (cough cough… three hot men that’s your cue) and she went all “Oooh, hot man” whenever said hot men were around. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER, GIRL. Yes, all of us women have those moments. But even in my most hopeless romantic stages I can say that I do not hopelessly fawn over the hot men surrounding me. Not that I’m surrounded by a bunch of hot men constantly like Salome. Ugh, Salome. Danggit.
By the 40% mark I had to give up on this one. I feel like it had a lot of potential, but Salome was not a character I could root for and her lack of self-control around the attractive men was a total turn-off for me. The reader needs to be thrown a bone every once-in-a-while, but by the 40% mark I still had absolutely no clue what the book was about. I couldn’t connect to Salome and I didn’t feel any connection to the hot men. I mean, I just couldn’t wrap my head around three hot men. All vying for this girl’s attention. What was attractive about her? I don’t know. Maybe I would’ve found out if I had continued it?
Daniela Andrade is perfection. This is the second time I’ve used her beautiful voice for my Soundtrack section. Since Salome keeps thinking she is crazy, here’s a cover Daniela did of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy. It’s beautiful. Stuck-in-your-head-for-a-bajillion-years beautiful.
Sadly, I’ll have to add this to the DNF pile. Honestly, I wanted to give up this book at around the 10% mark, but I know that I can be too hasty when I don’t immediately like a book. But, I read until the 40% mark and did not see any improvement in the plot, writing, or characters. Honestly, if I’d read this when I was fourteen and didn’t have a floor-to-ceiling TBR list, I may have continued reading it. But, as I am nineteen and this reminded me of a mix between Twilight and The Iron Fey series, I couldn’t sacrifice my time. Disappointing. 😦