My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the author Rebekah L. Purdy and the publisher, Entangled Publishing, LLC.
The Winter People tells the story of Salome Montgomery, who, after an unfortunate accident when she was younger, fears the winter. Everything winter. The mere sight of snowflakes is enough to put the seventeen year old in a bad mood – and enough to make her panic. After having to look after her grandparents’ house while they’re away during the winter, Salome finds herself constantly surrounded by snow, in the very place she nearly died in when she was younger. With it come two new men, Gareth and Nevin, and a whirlwind of magic starts.
I saw this book on Netgalley and was immediately drawn to the cover. However, I was a bit weary as I have been drawn in by a book before, only to be disappointed by its contents. This was not the case with The Winter People. It took me a while to really get into the story, but I loved it. The story had a solid, original foundation in its main storyline, bringing in fairies and the magical elements you would normally read about in young children’s fairytale books. The author managed to make a believable, yet unbelievably scary fantasy situation in which Salome had to survive, and still made it accessible to everyone.
Speaking of Salome, I absolutely loved her as a main character – she was witty and determined, and I felt for her a lot of times. Despite being traumatized for life, she still went ahead and fought to have a normal life, and forced herself to go through her biggest fear – doing anything in winter. I was happy to see her fighting for herself and standing up for what she believed in, which also meant that she stuck with her opinion and decisions – a very welcome change from the leading ladies who recently seem easily swayed in life.
On to the main male characters – there are three: Colton, Gareth and Nevin. Yes, I’ll admit, I held my breath when I realized a total of three male individuals would be important in Salome’s life, as it is a possible make-or-break point. Some people can’t even deal with love triangles, let alone love quartets. I can say, however, after reading the book, that all three play their own part in the story and it’s not nearly as suffocating as you would think. In all honesty, once you’re well into the book, you’ll notice that only one of them is a real romantic interest – which means the other two serve to progress the plot (and are thus individual important characters! Yay!)
The side character in the book are minimal – Kadie is the one who comes back the most, and is Salome’s best friend. She was lovely to read about. Salome’s (grand)parents were also nice to read about and served to strengthen the story.
I ended up rating the book four stars out of five – so there is something I did not enjoy. The one-star deduction comes from certain things being repeated in internal dialogue (“Okay, so that was totally…” or “Okay, so he was totally…” and so forth) and for some situations that seemed to repeat in certain chapters. At one point I felt that I read Salome asking Nevin for answers twice in ten minutes, and in both attempts she did not get far. It didn’t bother me that much, but combined was enough to not give it the full ‘score’ I was hoping to give.
All in all a fantastic read – I will be purchasing this book in hardcover to take its own little place on my shelves. I enjoyed it thoroughly, I loved the characters and the original storyline and it’s been a while since a book gave me that many feels.
The Winter People is set to be published on September 2nd 2014.