WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK AND DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED, CHECK OUT MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW.
This is my second one star review in as many months. To be fair, I started reading this book AGES ago. Like, 6 months ago. Yes. I hated it that much! I actually have the perfect gif to sum up my feelings about this book.
I was promised a Snow Queen retelling. This wasn’t no snow queen retelling. I mean, it had some elements, but it had elements of so many different things that it’s irrelevant. It was all over the place. What’s more, to me the Snow Queen was always quite dark and the magic in it was really dark. Especially the mirror. That is the best pat in the story and it was completely ruined in this book. Instead of being a mirror that reflected only ugliness and its shards taking away love and joy from people and all that, it was some weird weapony thing that wasn’t really explained, but everyone wanted it. I just… ugh, I hated it.
When I first started the book and saw it was set in a mental asylum I was so excited. I thought it was going to be this dark, psychological type of story. And then a pretty boy came to our heroine in a dream and convinced her to go through a magical tree by promising to help her find another pretty boy who had been kidnapped and dragged through said magical tree. Or through a mirror? I think it was a mirror? (Yeah, I’m confused too)
And that is when I knew there was going to be a love triangle. But I was wrong. Oh, I was so wrong. No, this wasn’t a love triangle. This was nymphomania. Our dear Snow was attracted to every. single. male. she. met. I wanted them all to die, just so I would not have to read one more agonizing second of her basically being like “Oh, Kai is so hot. But no! Bale, what about Bale?! But he’s so hot. I’ll kiss him, Bale won’t mind.” and then while kissing him “Oh, but Jagger had much softer looking lips.” UGHHHHHHH!
This book made no sense. At all. So, you’re telling me that doctors with a medical license and like… any common sense… lock up a child in an asylum for over 10 years and put her on full blown medication BECAUSE SHE CRASHED INTO A MIRROR ONE TIME WHEN SHE WAS 6? Because fuck logic, right?
And I’m not even going to go into the topic of how mental illness was treated in this book because… let’s just not go there. I will say only this… it was a disgrace. A fucking disgrace. All the patients in that hospital were basically a cardboard cutout of their illness. As if the only relevant thing about them was their illness, and to add grievance to injury, it wasn’t even a particularly accurate portrayal. I mean, I have very little experience with most of those conditions, but even I could tell they were inaccurately portrayed. Just… a disgrace.
But the asylum thing wasn’t the only thing that made no sense. Just the whole book felt so discordant. I have so many questions. It was like Paige wasn’t really sure what she was trying to write. Like she couldn’t decide whether she wanted to do like a magical coming of age, training thing or a heist thing or what? Was her dad evil or not? I guess her mum was evil for sure? Bale was… I don’t know who Bale was, really? He ended up being the Enforcer, but what does that have to do with him liking to set things on fire? And was he evil or being controlled? Greta was a werewolf? I guess? Why? Don’t know. Who exactly was Jagger? What about the witches? If hr mum was a witch, did the other witches know she was evil? What exactly was that prophecy thing? What exactly is it with the tree? I don’t know, it was just all over the place.
There was no world building. I can sum up the whole world into one word: snow. There was a lot of snow. And the world building wasn’t the only lazy piece of writing in this book. Everything was. There is nothing in this book that is in any way original or interesting, or not a copy paste cliche. Lost princess? Check? Special, special, special snowflake? Check. Convenient family members? Check. Incredibly convoluted, but utterly predictable ‘plot twists’? Check. Insta-love? Check. I feel exhausted just writing this review. It drains me of life and joy.
I hated Snow. Snow was such an entitled, special little snowflake, I could not even. She was supposed to be badass, but she was just a whiny, horny teenage girl who did nothing but throw temper tantrums and think about boys. Also, how exactly she went from having zero knowledge or control over her magic, to conjuring a pack of snow wolves in like a week?
The writing was clumsy and bland and just… bad. It was bad. It felt like a first draft, rather than a finished novel. I don’t understand how this book got published. Honestly, what publisher bought this? What editor let this go through? It had no substance whatsoever. It was just an all around awful book. I was so disappointed. I’d heard only amazing things about Dorothy Must Die. And I have read so many reviews from fans of that series who were just shocked at how appallingly bad this book was. I still might give Dorothy Must Die a shot, but this was a hot mess of a book.