I never thought I’d say this but the best thing about this book is the love triangle. There. I said it.
And it’s true. While I did like all the characters, their growth, and the whole premise of the story, I cannot get over the awful writing. It was inconsistent and very, I don’t know, child-like. And it doesn’t help that the author thanked those who believed in her since she started this draft when she was twelve. Oy.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Snow Like Ashes is one of those rather underrated YA books that have a lot of good reviews. I haven’t heard much buzz about it but it always intrigued me. The idea of the world divided into seasons sounded so simple and interesting. Even the place names were so creative. Books 1 and 2 were my only book purchases during my vacation in the Philippines. What can I say, it was cheaper there thanks to the conversion rate.
Meira is one of the only eight survivors when Winter fell. The rest were either killed or enslaved by the kingdom of Spring. Meira’s best friend is the son of Winter’s late queen and together, they are fighting to get their kingdom back. That’s the very gist of it. Sounds straight forward, right?
Well… it gets complicated. There’s talk of conduits, magic, lockets, and all that kinds of stuff. There are more than four kingdoms apparently even if there are only four seasons. There are rules of hierarchy per season, different rulers, powers, etc. It gets quite convoluted. But Meira’s story is easy to follow. She is a strong female lead. She’s a fighter and a survivor. Mather is book boyfriend material. Theron, the third side of this triangle is not too bad as well. I’m telling you, this love triangle is done so well, I was actually rooting for all three of them. I loved all the characters and I wanted them to succeed. The antagonist was easy to hate. It was so good.
But the writing did them so wrong. It got to the point where it was brutal to read. It did sound like a child wrote it. It was like I was reading below my reading level. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me. I’ve loved many middle-grade books. But this one was just painful in parts. The word choices were inconsistent and sometimes Meira sounded out of character. I’m sad that I ended up not really like this book despite being so excited for it.
I do have the second book. You tell me. Does the writing get better? Is it worth it to continue? Let me know.
Rating: 2.5 stars. And all of these are for the characters. Think Katsa from Graceling.