Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Sent to me from Pan Macmillan
Sophie is in the last term of Year 11. She's used to moving around with her accountant father and free-spirited mother, so the move to a small town on the South Coast in NSW doesn't seem too out of the ordinary – at first.
But things are changing around Sophie. A new school means a new start – and she's tired of her mother's superstitions and control. When she's recruited to the ranks of the school's popular girls, Sophie seizes the opportunity to remake herself... and unleashes forces a lot more threatening than whether she can hide her true nerd nature from the high school bitch brigade.
As Sophie negotiates teenage preoccupations with overprotective parents, whether her pyjamas are cool enough for a sleepover and the school-ground politics of secrets, lies and faithless boyfriends, something dark is hovering on the edge of her vision. The school Goth delivers her an ominous warning, strange birds seem to be following her... and fate keeps reuniting her with the dangerous bad boy with a past that nobody wants to talk about: Brody Meine.
Violent storms suddenly erupt, windows explode in the classroom, and a fire engulfs an entire street. And all these escalating, demonic happenings seem to take place when Sophie and Brody Meine are together...
This is one book that I will certainly never forget. An incredulously unique novel "Burnt Snow" kept me on the edge of my chair, surprised me constantly and even scared me a little bit. There were times when I loved it and times when I was almost rolling my eyes at typical things which I found out weren't even typical at all.
The main character Sophie is a witch, but she tries to deny this to herself. I really liked this idea in a fantasy novel because I thought it was a great way for a character to discover something about themselves. I laughed at the irony of a person with supernatural powers being sceptic of their own "world".
I liked how Sophie was a really honest character (in terms of first person narration)because she didn't try to act innocent. While she was a stubborn character she still tried to fit in with the cooler group at school and she goes after the guy she likes despite what everyone else thinks. She also often admits her secret desires which I thought was a lot more truthful than some other character's(from other novels) who try to act like good girls being seduced.
The interesting thing I'm finding in a lot of novels lately is that writer's are constantly finding ways for the degrees of forbidden love to heighten and this novel is no exception. While the love of bad boy Brody Meine can cause no hurt to her, the intertwining of their bodies can cause large phenomena and attract unwanted things.
I also thought that the mother-daughter relationship in the novel was again really interesting. While the mother does admit to the daughter what they are, Sophie still doesn't let on what has been happening in her life. This was so true to life. At times I thought "You should let your mum know so that she can help", but I guess if my mother was that controlling I would definitely keep my mouth zipped.
The only thing that really bothered me was at the beginning when the word awesomeness. I don't think even in a Young adult novel that the word would be classed as a real word. I think if the Author was going to use it she should have found a more suitable situation within the book. I was a little worried after I read it that the vocabulary was going to go downhill from there, but thankfully it didn't.
I was also a little worried at one point that I'd be seeing a lot of hidden messages about how you "can't buy friends" and that "real friends...." thank goodness the every time I thought that was going to happen the story changed direction or something else took focus.
This novel is one thrilling, exciting read with real schoolyard society, peer pressure and magic. I give "Burnt Snow" 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this novel to all Young Adult Fantasy readers and anyone who likes reading about shape shifting or witches in general.
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I can't wait to read it!
*There will be a sequel coming out this year of "The white witch" and the series is said to be a trilogy
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