Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy

The Winter People
Release date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

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.

My Rating: 3 Roses

A hauntingly lovely YA read, The Winter People was just wonderful. It started off slow, but got better and better as the book went on. By the end, I really liked it. From the magic, to the truly sweet romance, this book was fantastic.

I really only had one issue with the book, so I'll get that out of the way. It just took a long time for things to really start up. Up until about halfway through, I was only kind of interested. I had no idea what was going on, which was off-putting, because Salome never really looked for answers. She would ask questions, but wouldn't actively look for answers, even after she was specifically given a book that had an explanation. The reflected badly on her and made it so that I didn't know what going on for a long time. And, because the paranormal element was put on the backburner until some answers finally came about, the first half of the book revolved around shallow relationship drama with Salome and three guys who all kept their secrets close. So, this book just didn't start off strong. However, I kept going and I'm glad I did, because, a little over halfway through, things started to pick up and just got better and better.

My favorite part of the book was undoubtedly the atmosphere. It was haunting lovely, yet chilling and kept me drawn in to the story. I thought it was really well done.

Salome, for the most part, was a good character. Though I was annoyed the she wasn't more active, I liked her fine. She stood up for herself and did her best to face her fear of winter. So, overall, she was a likable character.

There were 3 potential love interests at first: Nevin, Colton, and Gareth. It didn't take long for one to be ruled out and it went down to 2. But, as the book went on, it became clear who was meant to be with Salome. I won't say who it was, but this guy was so sweet. He was utterly devoted to Salome and determined to ensure her safety above all else. He never pushed, knowing that she needed a friend to simply be there for her. He was wonderful and I just adored him.

The romance, despite the 3 guys, was on the lighter side. It wasn't annoying drama where the girl found herself miraculously in love with different guys who were strung along, yet determined to lay their hearts at her feet. It was more that Salome met the guys and learned, fairly quickly, which one truly had her best interest at heart, while the other two were more interested in what she could do for them. And, as I mentioned, the one who truly loved her knew that she needed a friend and was determined to be just that for her. I actually found that it made the relationship all the sweeter. I felt like they got to truly know each other and their feelings were based on that admiration, rather than just attraction. I really believed in their relationship and I thought the romance between them was very sweet and absolutely lovely.

The plot, as I said, started off slow. But, once it picked up, it just kept going and I found myself totally hooked. There were plenty of secrets and a constant chilling sense of danger as Salome found herself as a target in a long-standing war. Though I didn't think that I would in the beginning, I ended up really enjoying the story and I thought the ending was perfect.

The Winter People was an absolutely lovely YA read. Despite it's inauspicious start, it turned out to be a fantastic read that I really enjoyed. YA lovers, this is a book you'll definitely want to check out.

* I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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