ARC Review: The Winter People-Rebekah L. Purdy

c79e1-thewinterpeople500Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble/iBooks/Kobo

4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Entangled Publishing.

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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.

-via Goodreads

PROS:

  • The cover is haunting and majestic. The color is icy yet vibrant, the gaze fierce and full of secrets. There’s something so stunning about the contrast of color, the brightness of the snow, and the translucent figure. It’s otherworldly and her eyes so intense, they immediately draw you in.
  • Between the whispered voices that haunt Salome’s every move and the creepy glimpses of a twisted woman, the descriptions are enough to give you chills, if not nightmares. The threats grate on Salome, making her doubt her sanity and question everything. Her fear of the winter is crippling. The combination of the voices and the memory of her past trauma make the dazzling white snow a thing of terror and danger. The snow breaks her, antagonizing her and prevents her from living her life in a way that isn’t marked by anxiety.
  • Salome is a wonderful protagonist and one that I, as a YA reader have been searching for. She is not overly confident, she is not extremely brave, nor does she have a take charge attitude. She has fears and doubts, she is incredibly real and open. Her personality is shy, she has a very limited social sphere and it’s not because she’s insecure or unpopular but because she’s dealing with a past that won’t let her forget. Salome, when she comes out of her shell is passionate, smart, and playful. She’s not quick to pass judgment and cherishes her friends, she doesn’t have to be a powerhouse character, she’s simple in some ways and complex when it comes to her feelings. Salome’s embarrassment and lack of a filter when it comes to men is hilarious and so endearing, you can’t help but smile and cringe a little.
  • The underlying plotline of the curse and the connection to the fae is sinister and not entirely unfounded. It puts into perspective how a hero is evaluated and raises more questions about the darker side of the both human and fae nature.
  • There’s a love rectangle/square/quadrangle?. Each of the men have gorgeous looks and qualities that will make you fall for them but they also have huge flaws. The way it’s set up, it’s really up in the air who Salome will choose or whether she’ll pick any of them, at least until the halfway point or so. 
  • Nevin and Salome have instant chemistry. The heat between them is full of angst and longing. Nevin is kind of a jerk at times, he’s overly confident and says some harsh things but he’s romantic and seems to cherish Salome’s company in a way that transcends time and space.
  • Gareth is a surprise. He’s smooth and full of these coy, teasing lines that will make you melt. He’s so much fun to read and brings a lighthearted happiness to a story that is dominated by shadows and terror. Gareth is a hero, he’s insanely masculine and makes Salome hyperaware of everything she is missing in her life. Gareth makes Salome want to take chances, to live, and love. Their friendship is so natural that it’s easy to forget that they haven’t known eachother for more than a year.

CONS:

  • Some of the plot elements were left unresolved.
  • The greatest mystery unraveled abruptly and the battle scene lacked the sort of epic finality and uncertainty that spurs adrenaline-it fell a little flat. There wasn’t any elaborate detail, just a clash of swords and that’s about it.
  • The beginning was really confusing. The italicized voices and Salome’s ability to hear them made it hard to determine what was reality and whether what Salome was seeing was actually happening.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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ARC Review: The Summer We Fell-Amber Garza

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4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Mark My Words Publicity.

“No matter how badly I want to be with her, it’s clear that she wants to be with him. Besides, I had my chance. Years of chances actually, and I never jumped at them. Therefore, now I have to do the best friend thing. I have to bow out. I have to put her happiness before my own. Even though I knew I was making the right decision, it hurt so damn bad. Almost like my heart was physically breaking inside my chest, the pieces all sharp and jagged edged as they pricked my insides.”

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Adam Stewart is every girl’s fantasy – captain of the football team, smart, funny, hot. I’ve had a crush on him for years but he never noticed me. Until now.

Dating Adam is a dream come true. I should be happy about it, but it’s hard because my best friend Cruz is acting strange. Almost like he’s jealous. But that can’t be. Can it?

Cruz and I have been inseparable since we were kids. He’s always been like a brother to me. But lately things have changed. He’s different, and I’m starting to see him in a new light. Our relationship is evolving in a way I never thought possible. I don’t want to lose him, but am I willing to give up Adam for him?

-via Goodreads

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PROS:

  • The Summer We Fell is a feel good, blissful read. The connection between Sloane and Cruz is the kind that brings light, happiness, and a permanent smile as they fall for each other. Their love is like an epiphany, a sudden realization that forever has been right in front of them and it’s breathtaking to watch. Their playfulness, the way they just get each other in a simple, soul-deep way is the kind of love that fairy tales are made of. It’s not perfect, it’s not without problems but together, they’re so right for each other. 
  • Alternating POVs between Sloane and Cruz captures their feelings in a way that one perspective wouldn’t. It’s almost diary-like, it’s an insider’s glimpse into the feelings Cruz and Sloane haven’t yet realized and are too terrified to admit to themselves. 
  • Cruz is a sweetheart and when he lays on the charm get ready to melt. Not only is Cruz sensitive to what Sloane needs but he’s a constant, he’s he rock and knight in shining armor combined. Whenever Sloane feels inadequate or is worried about problems at home, Cruz is there with a smile and a shoulder to lean on. The way Cruz pines for Sloane is so romantic. He loves her enough to watch her walk away if that’s what makes her happy. He loves her enough to break his heart into a million little pieces just to see her smile. Cruz has serious book boyfriend potential. On top of this sweet, sensitive side, Cruz is a flirt, he teases Sloane mercilessly and fights to claim her as his own, and it’s crazy sexy.
  • The subplots are full of drama that brings Sloane and Cruz closer together and shows them at their most vulnerable. The true emotions come out as aspects of their worlds fall apart and everything is on edge. Cruz’s family is big, loud, and welcoming. The trouble with Julian is heartbreaking. Issues with drugs are always devastating for a family and Amber Garza captured the pain, hope, and disappointment perfectly. The violent scene was so unexpected, it will leave you feeling raw and uncertain, fumbling to rush through the pages to get answers.
  • Sloane is unsure of herself and panicked when it comes to dating. It’s so easy to identify with her, especially if you’re a girl that’s always been prone to having more guy friends. Her struggles to be herself and to be what she thinks other guys will expect is very real and honest. I loved that Sloane wasn’t insecure about her body image and that though she was shy around the opposite sex, she still put herself out there. Sloane’s fears about crossing the friendship line into something more were something that personally resonated with me and I’m sure other readers will feel the same.

CONS:

  •  Adam always seemed a little off, like he had a hidden life and that he couldn’t decide whether or not to truly care about Sloane. In terms of a love triangle it was weak and there wasn’t enough pros to make Adam a true contender. Plus Sloane is a giggly mess around him.
  • Becca is sort of a sarcastic, sometimes mean-spirited “friend”. Her underhand comments make her unlikable on several occasions. While she doe have redeemable qualities, she was an iffy character.

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Teaser

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

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