Author: Rebekah L. Purdy
Date of Publication: September 2, 2014
Rebekah L. Purdy’s The Winter People has a very unique fairytale-esque/fantasy/paranormal theme, which I definitely enjoyed. So many elements reminded me of some of my most beloved TV shows and books. The winter people themselves reminded me of Game of Thrones in a way with their white walkers, the whole fairytale aspect reminded me of Once Upon a Time and the ‘bonding’ took me back to my Vampire Academy spirit bound days – this book was quite a journey 🙂 It follows Salome Montgomery, a 17 year old girl who lives with her loving mother alone most of the time because her dad is constantly travelling for his job. She always finds herself spending time with her grandparents, who live just down the street. When they ask her to take care of their house for the winter months while they go on vacation, Salome is scared because of a traumatic experience she had as a child which has left her with a horrible fear of snow and really, winter in general. In The Winter People, readers go on Salome’s personal journey of fear, discovery, loss, love and bravery.
What I Liked: **careful! spoilers**
As a 17 year old as well, I related to Salome in some ways which was great – it’s always a better reading experience when you can sympathize for the character and really immerse yourself into their lives. Kadie, Salome’s best friend, reminded me a lot of my best friend as she’s also the outgoing and confident one whereas, I’m a little more shy, like Salome, so I could definitely relate to that friendship. Although, when they would get all dressed up and head over to the local clubs, I could not put myself in their shoes, merely because I’ve never experienced a situation like that. (maybe I just grew up in a really strict house hold haha ;))
Their friendship was one of my favourite aspects of the book because it was so true. They depend on each other for different things: Salome needs Kadie for comfort and a distraction from the real world whereas Kadie needs Salome for support and a ‘fake sleepover call to her mom’ when she stayed out all night! I wish I could have seen more of that. Kadie was also a great character.
At the beginning, Salome is still batting internal demons so you see her weaker side although, as the book progresses, we get to see her grow into a strong and brave young woman which was great! She really sought out answers (or at least tried for the most part) for her problems – she was persistent for sure, I’ll give her that! I think in the end (speaking of which, I liked :D), she realized what the ultimate solution for her problem was and made a sacrifice not many people would be able to make – I admired her for that for sure.
I loved where this book was set, especially since there was a pretty big fantasy aspect to it. Fantasy being my favourite and ultimately most-read genre, I’m used to reading about fairies, vampires, werewolves, demons (good and bad), creepy winter people, you name it, i’ve read it – including the super hunky supernatural teenage boys saving the damsel in distress (which I am, by all means, 100% okay with) It didn’t overpower the main themes of the novel which I thought were personal growth/discovery as Salome came to peace with her own issues, learned from these experiences and became a better person because she learned from her past. The romance on the other hand, was kind of a background element which was refreshing with all these YA fantasies that turn out not to be fantasies at all but just romances in disguise..
Remember when I said romance wasn’t huge in this book? (it isn’t too much, trust me) Well…..There was not one, not two, but THREE love interests in this book which I’ve got to give props to Rebekah L. Purdy for because that is one big undertaking. Colton, Nevin and Gareth were all very different and still remained a huge presence in the book – it was nice not having too many similarities between these guys so that you didn’t feel like you were reading about the same character, just with a different name. They were all pretty unique and had their own flaws (some more than others) which I appreciated as a reader 🙂 That said however, I had absolutely no problem with picking my own favourite. (#TEAMGARETH)
I loved the dates and outings Salome went on – they made me so jealous haha! They were like the cute dates you read about in fairytales (though i suppose, in a weird way she was kind of living a fairytale) I WANTED MORE!
Why This Wasn’t 5 Stars:
I went into this book hoping I would absolutely love it and don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but it fell short on some of my expectations. I found myself confused at times because some of the most important elements were not discussed to teh depth that I would have hoped for. The curse, for example, which is what Salome works toward ending/fixing through the entirety of the novel, I felt was not explained well.
Every time Salome would go and try to find more information about her family’s past, I would finish the chapter with more questions instead of finding answers. Like, what happened with Griselle? What about the idea about her dad being ‘possessed’? What happened with Kadie after she went to school? Did Salome ever tell her about what happened with the curse? I just wanted more of these questions answered and maybe a little less of her being followed by the winter people…
Also, winter in this book seemed to cover about 75% of the length whereas the other 3 seasons together were the 25%. I wanted to see more of her at school, what she did at home, her hanging out with her friends, going places meeting new people etc. Every time I thought that was going to finally happen, the winter people came and messed it up. Obviously this is important in order to show how much it’s affecting her life but it happened every single time.
All in all, this was a good read and I’d recommend it to those who want a quick, cute fantasy read 🙂
**Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending this to me through Netgalley for review! This in no way affected my review or rating.