Mundie Moms

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy / Book Review

By: Rebekah L. Purdy
Published by: Entangled Teen
Released on: September 2nd, 2014
Series: The Winter People #1
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Source: Book from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

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

This story hooked me from the moment I read the premise. Rebekah is a great story teller. She creates a lot of mystery and keeps readers on their toes for much of the first half of her book, and the second half she rewards them with answers, and much more. While this book starts off great, and ends great, there's a lot in the in between I wanted to like, but ended up having some issues with. I'll explain. 

World Building, Mythology & Plot

These three things are what kept me reading the book. I loved the world building and mythology that Purdy created. It was intriguing, dark, dangerous, and mysterious. I wanted more of it. I love it when an author combines the magical and the impossible, within a realistic setting. The woods where Salome Montgomery lives with her mother, and her neighboring Grandparents are the perfect back drop for The Winter People. It provided all the proof and logical reason within this story for the how and why when it came to the Winter People, and the fae world. It also provided the perfect place for the danger. And there's definitely plenty of that. 

The Characters

When it comes to characters, I had a really had time with Salome. I felt no connection to her what so ever at all for most of the book. She was such a weak character who didn't have much of a back bone, and that annoyed me big time. I wanted her to grow up, and stop acting the way she did. I wanted her to step up and face her fears. I had hope for her to be a little stronger when she found out about the fae people, and the curse at her Grandma's house. I wanted to see her be proactive about finding a way to break that curse, but never got that. Sure the author mentions is, but I felt that it was crucial for Purdy to show that vs tell me, since it's a huge part of the story. 

I felt that by the time I was able to finally connection with Salome and she does become stronger, it was too late in the story for me. I'm glad she redeemed herself during the last forth of the book, but I really wish I could see her like this earlier in the story. Salome isn't the only one I had a hard time connecting with. Her BFF Kadie was another character I didn't connect with at all. I felt like I was told they were BFF's more than I felt that connection between the two of them. My favorite characters were definitely Gareth and Salome's Grandmother. I loved their roles they both play in this story. 

The Romance

I'll just say it, I hated this love triangle thing that was going on, though I got why of it. Liking 3 guys was a bit much for this story. I get that it all makes sense during the last part of the book, but still, it was overkill. Thankfully this story has Gareth. I loved Gareth! Gareth doesn't really emerge fully into the story until the second half, but I'll admit, he's the character that kept me reading. He was definitely a knight in shiny armor! Nevin was interesting, and parts of me liked him, and other parts of me loathe his arrogance. Though, once I found out more about him, it made sense. I liked that he had something different with Salome, than what she and Gareth have. Nevin and Salome's is a friendship rooted in history. Gareth and Salmoe is a romance. 

What Didn't Work

I liked that with some of the issues I did have with the book, these were redeemed enough that I am definitely picking up the next book. However, I did have issues with some things. I really wish Purdy had more showing vs telling. That is really crucial in a story. That allows readers to have a connection to the story. Having a unrelatable main character almost always dooms a story, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't connect with her, nor did I buy into the best friend relationship. Maybe it's because I'm an old lady, but the language in this book was overkill. I get mentioning the f-word once, but this was ridiculous and I almost put the book down, because to me, it didn't fit into the story at all. Like I said, maybe I'm dating myself, but this seriously bugged me.

Wrapping It Up

Purdy creates an strong world, and a rich mythology. I love what she created. I loved getting to see both come to life. I like Purdy's story telling. Despite my issues with things in the book, Purdy kept me hooked, and reading when I would have put the book down. I had, had a lot of hope for this book, and I really wanted to love it, but couldn't. The beginning and ending of the book held the most interest for me, because of what these parts contained. I will say, I'm looking forward to picking up the next book, The Summer People. After that ending, I need more Gareth and Salome. 

*This book contains language not suitable for young readers