Review: Snow by Ondine Sherman @ausyabloggers Blog Tour!
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I was lucky enough to be chosen to review Snow by Ondine Sherman as part of the AusYABloggers blog tour with Pantera Press. You can find my bookstagram here.
Sometimes you have to leave everything behind to find yourself.
Sky is travelling to Alaska to meet her father for the first time.
Far away from her friends back in Australia, she navigates the new relationship with her father and meets Jaxon, a local boy struggling with his own problems. In a cold, vast and beautiful place, they are isolated except for the wild animals who live there.
As Sky gets to know her father, she finally feels she has a chance of having a real family again. But her father has a secret that threatens everything Sky holds dear. Will she have to choose between family and her love of animals?
This is a heart-warming story in the coldest of places.
I would just like to let everyone here know that Snow is actually the second book in the ‘Animal Allies’ series and that the first book, Sky, was released earlier this year. The third book, Star, will be released next year. I would also like to let everyone know that I may or may not have committed a cardinal bookish sin (punishable only by death, duh). I read the second book in the series before reading the first. I know. I know, it’s terrible, but I have been assured that while I might have had a better feel for the characters had I read the first book, this can (thankfully) be read as a standalone novel.
Before going into this book I had decided that this was going to be one of those weird books that hang in limbo between middle grade and YA novels. While I do think that many younger readers would be suited well to this book as it is an easier read than other YA books, it can also be a nice and relaxing book for older readers if they aren’t looking for anything too challenging. I had a fun, breezy time reading this novel as it came without some of the pressures of YA books.
Something I really loved about this book was the themes that were present throughout the novel. I would probably describe it as a wholesome, coming-of-age novel with a little bit of romance. This book touched a lot on standing up for what you believe in as a reoccurring subject was Sky’s veganism and her reasons for such lifestyle choices. Sky faced challenges in others not agreeing with her opinions and was often subject to senseless ridicule dubbed as ‘the weird vegan kid’. This being said, I disliked how Sky wasn’t always accepting of the lifestyle choices of others despite her being shamed for her beliefs and understanding exactly how they might feel. Although Sky wasn’t always the most accepting character, I do love her passion and dedication to animals, which she displayed frequently!
Sky’s whole character created a great internal conflict for me as I really wanted to like her but some of her choices and actions just made her so dislikable. I found it frustrating when she behaved recklessly and then the book tried to blame it on her being a teenager. This really irked me, as us teenagers already have such a bad rap for you know, existing, and it always bothers me when books feed into that stereotype because then we aren’t always taken seriously. Most of the time, Sky was fairly self aware but it bothered me that after making a mistake that could not only affect her but also her very pregnant and concerned aunt, she continued to deflect blame away from herself. Although I was bothered by the bad rap this novel gave us teens, I am a strong believer in personal development and if it meant that Sky could grow as a person and the only way to do it was to make her out to be as an irresponsible adolescent, then I suppose that all is forgiven.
Moving away from Sky, I found some of the side characters to be really loveable. Jaxon for instance, is our resident ~cool~ guy but unlike similar books, he is compassionate and respectful, unlike that of similar love interests in YA books. I have quite a soft spot for Sky’s father, Adam, as he makes a serious effort to get to know his daughter, even if it did take him 15 years to do it. I was a bit disappointed in the dishonest nature of Adam because I really just wanted him to be the very best father figure for Sky, is that too much to ask? I also rather enjoyed the involvement from some of the other adults in the story who really just came through for us all.
Overall, I think that Snow was a fun, easy to read novel with fantastic description given to scenery. It made me question my stance on animal welfare and to think more on how animals are treated. Despite my aversions to some characters, I really do think this series has wonderful potential.
About the Author:
Ondine Sherman is the author of YA fiction, the Animal Allies Series, with Pantera Press. The series includes Sky (new edition out in April, 2019), Snow (coming out this July 2019) and Star (to be released in 2020).
Her memoir, The Miracle of Love was published in 2013 (Murdoch Books).
Ondine is a life-long animal advocate and is passionate about promoting respect and compassion for all creatures. In 2004, she and her father, Brian Sherman AM, founded Voiceless; the organisation is now one of Australia’s leading animal protection groups.
Ondine grew up in Sydney and now lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and three children. Her mischievous street cats, loyal dogs and rescue chickens all keep her entertained.
Thanks so much to @ausyabloggers and Pantera Press for this wonderful opportunity to review Snow.
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