Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Not Your Average Christmas Tale (Snowed Review)
AUTHOR: Maria Alexander
PUBLISHER: Raw Dog Screaming Press
PUBLISHING DATE: November 2, 2016
FROM GOODREADS: Charity Jones is a 16-year-old engineering genius who’s much-bullied for being biracial and a skeptic at her conservative school in Oak County, California. Everything changes when Charity’s social worker mother brings home a sweet teen runaway named Aidan to foster for the holidays. Matched in every way, Charity and Aidan quickly fall in love. But it seems he’s not the only new arrival: Charity soon finds the brutally slain corpse of her worst bully and she gets hard, haunting evidence that the killer is stalking Oak County. As she and her Skeptics Club investigate this death and others, they find at every turn the mystery only grows darker and more deadly. One thing’s for certain: there’s a bloody battle coming this holiday season that will change their lives – and human history – forever.
Will they be ready?
MY THOUGHTS: After quite a bit of thinking, I'm giving this book 4/5 instead of 3/5 because even though there were parts of it that really bothered me (more coming up on that soon), I have to give credit for it being a very diverse, horror-filled Christmas tale. Charity Jones is a 16 year old attending school in California. Her mother is an attorney/social worker, her father, a weapons engineer, and her brother, a punk. Charity has an eclectic group of friends and she herself is bi-racial. One day she comes home from a particularly hard day at school to find her mom has brought home a stray foster child - a dashing, yet odd and backward, Aidan. Little is known about Aidan other than his father is a very dangerous man and is out to locate him and bring him back home. Suddenly a bully at Charity's school is brutally murdered and Charity and her friends find themselves right in the middle of this zany and sometimes terrifying Christmas caper.
First, let's look at the things I liked about this book. Somewhere within the past two years I've become obsessed with Krampus. Perhaps it's because Halloween and Christmas run neck-and-neck for my favorite holiday and Krampus kind of combines them both. Needless to say, this book takes the Krampus legend and greatly expounds on it. Secondly, the diversity in this book is great. We have geeks and nerds, Asians, bi-racial families and LGBT characters. Friendship really is at the root of this book and it's great to see such a wide variety of individuals. Finally, the book is fast-paced. You run into villains and heroes every time you turn around and for a while, you are trying to figure out who is who.
Now on to what drove me crazy. INSTA-LOVE. I know this is a young adult book and I guess some writers feel there has to be a love element to keep teens interested. Personally I don't think that is the case but either way, Charity and Aidan are madly in love before the reader is about 40% into the book. Now while the relationship between them drives a lot of the other things that happen in the book, I found it annoying nonetheless. Also, although I applaud the diversity in this book, I almost feel like at times it's thrown in the reader's face. Almost like there was a checklist of races and cultures which the author wanted to mention and as she was writing, she mentally checked them off.
Overall, I'm glad I read "Snowed." As I mentioned, there just aren't a lot of decent horror/fantasy Christmas reads and this one definitely fits that bill. If you are interested in that type of read, I would recommend picking this up. However, if you really can't stand insta-love, then this is probably not the book for you and you'll have to decide if the good I mentioned outweigh it enough for you to give it a chance.
RATING: 4 PAWS