Friday, September 25, 2015

#Friday Review - The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy (YA, Fantasy)

Series: The Winter People # 1
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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.

When Salome Montgomery was SIX years old, she fell through the frozen pond on her grandparents property and nearly died. Luckily, someone saved her, and warned her to stay away from the woods or SHE will find her. Eleven years later, Salome still has hallucinations from nearly drowning and dreads when winter comes around. Hard to avoid winter in Michigan unless you become a snow bird and fly south! She doesn't wander very far from her property, and really only has one true friend in Kadie Byler who keeps her from diving off the deep end of the pier. Then her grandparents leave for Arizona for the winter, and puts Salome in charge of doing various chores including leaving shiny objects behind in a tree. 

When you think about this clue the author gives you, it should wake you up to the fact that there is something definitely out of the ordinary going on in Salome's world and her Grandparents are probably at the center of it. Salome's world gets even more complicated when while doing her chores, she runs into the mysterious Nevin. She also continues to hear voices. Voices that nobody else can hear. Voices that make her question her own sanity and thus makes her parents worried. You could call this the point where everything Salome thinks she knows, gets thrown right out the window by a little thing called a curse which nobody is able to talk about. 

Nevin pretty much becomes a fixture in Salome's life, but readers don't know much about him. There are clues and hints as to the fact that he isn't human and he has made some really awful mistakes in the past. There are hints that Nevin adores Salome but something is holding him back from helping her break the curse. That is until the next boy comes along and catches her attention. That boy is Colton Myers, Salome's long time crush, and star Basketball player. Colton is the flip side of Nevin. While Nevin is mysterious, yet you know there's a real connection between him and Salome, Colton is the one that gave me the ultimate creeps from the first time we meet him. Then Purdy decided that 2 boys weren't enough to confuse Salome. So, she adds another!

Meet Gareth. Gareth is almost always around when something sinister happens to Salome. And by sinister, I mean that the villain of the story wants Salome dead, and she doesn't care who she hurts in the process. Gareth is an interesting character. First he is a barista that makes Salome weak at the knees. Then he shows up at a strange bar with a friend that Kadie chases after like a cat with a mouse. Gareth is my favorite character and I can't tell you why without spoiling Nevin and Colton's actions in this story. The best thing I can say is, read the book, and the sequel!

This story is filled with magic, and curses, and fairies, and romance. Salome isn't a Mary Sue character, but she isn't all fierce and determined either. She's a reluctant heroine in that it takes her awhile to get her engine motoring. When the engine is rolling along, and she is searching for clues to the curse, then things become interesting. I do think that she could have tried to ask for a bit more help. She relied on Kadie for nearly everything, which is fine, but Kadie spent most of the time chasing one boy after the other. Salome, in my opinion, could have used her for her research. It would have got to the root of the problem and curse sooner. 

Obviously there is more to this series than what happens at the end of this story. Apparently, there are at least 2 more books in this series. Author stated that she will NOT write any more quadrangles. I do sincerely hope so. After all is said and done, the right choice was made by Salome, which is a pretty unusual name, by the way. Goes back to Salome /səˈloʊmiː/ was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. Or, Salome is named as one of the women present at the crucifixion of Jesus: "There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome"

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