Monday, August 13, 2018
Review: Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake
I shall try my best not to share spoilers about this book. But I will also be sharing about why I did not like it. Which will not be very positive. So will be sharing some details about this book. Though it is not out until April next year, which still feels like forever away. I just could not resist reading it when it showed up on Edelweiss.
Both happy and sad that I read this book. Happy to have read it so early, sad that I did not like it one bit. But happy to have given it a chance. Even though it ended up disappointing me incredibly much. Shall try my hardest to share all my feelings and thoughts about this book. It will not be easy. It was so hard to read it, to be able to finish it. I wanted to give up. But I have not given up on a book for ages, and I was not about to start with this one. Also as I adore Jessica. But yeah. Although I adore her so very much, I did not like this newest book by her, and I will still be painfully honest about my thoughts about it. Though I will say that I am positive a lot of people will love this book. I was just not one of them. Which I am feeling pretty bitter about, honestly, haha. Sigh.
I shall begin with sharing about Katya. The entire book is from her point of view. And I did not like her one bit. Gosh. I don't know how to describe this girl. She was such a pathetic character. Which I almost never think about bookish characters. But this girl was. She was scared and crying all the time. She was afraid of her own powers. Through the whole book. She was whiny. She kept blaming the prince for every single thing he did. She did not even improve by the end. I simply couldn't stand her. Ahh. Wish I had loved her.
Katya has magic powers. She is able to freeze things with her mind. Or hands. I'm unsure. She has been able to do this ever since she can remember. She lives in a very small village. With two older people who took her in as a baby; they love her. The rest of the village hates her and treats her badly. Yet we do not see much of this at all. Only her weird moments of thinking about that past time. Mostly all she can do is make herself turn to ice when she is scared. Until one day when she ends up killing people in her village.
And then suddenly she is full of powers. Except she has only used those powers once. Was an accident. Yet she is full of guilt and sadness and ugh. The villagers send her away to a prince, whom they think will kill her for her crimes. He does not. He forgives her, as he needs people with powers like hers to help him fight a war. Which ends up with her at his palace. Which was all kinds of boring, to be fully honest. All she thinks about is running away. And crying. And weird moments of anger. I did not like this girl one bit. Sigh.
And reading about her powers bothered me too. Which I'm so sad about, because magic in fantasy books is usually the very best. But they were not so in this book. Sigh. She uses her powers twice after her first time. And suddenly she can control them a little, and the prince is full of praise for her. Yeah. No. She was not good at controlling her powers at all. And she did not deserve any praise, sadly. And ugh. The prince. Summary calls him Sasha. But it takes half the book before that name is mentioned. What. So very weird.
Then there is the insta love. Which happens so very suddenly. First, why on earth would this prince even be interested in this girl? It makes no sense. She was not special. She wasn't very kind. She did nothing, to be honest. They didn't even talk. Yet he loves her a few pages later. Hmph. And she loves him. For no reason at all. At least, that is how it felt like to me. Maybe not insta love. Maybe so. I think it was. And not done well either. Sigh. I shall not mention more of this plot. But there is much happening. All very boring.
I would call Through the White Wood a companion to Beyond a Darkened Shore. As it happens very few years after the end of that book. And we see the same two lovely characters in this book. Not many days on horse away from where this book takes place. So yes. To me, that is a companion book. Oh, I do wish I had loved this one. I wanted to, so badly. But I didn't. Some parts were interesting. But I did not care at all for the characters. The two main ones were so boring. The background characters had no story at all.
Now I must mention the writing. As I could not stand it for one moment. It bothered me from beginning to end. Not once did I manage to ignore the way this one was written. Not fully first person point of view. Not sure how else to describe it. Other than saying that I hated it. Gosh. Which does not happen all that often. I was simply unable to connect to the characters at all. Or even the world. Nothing about this book stood out to me. And I am so sad about it. The writing was a big reason for that. So wish that was not the case.
Still. I do not regret reading this book. I only wish that I could have enjoyed it more. But it was just not a book for me at all. Which is still so heartbreaking to me, as I adored the other book by Jessica. Sigh. I will still be hunting for the print ARC of this one, to complete my collection. As this cover is beyond gorgeous. Huge thank you to the publisher, HarperTeen, for the auto-approval on Edelweiss. I do feel sorry to have written this negative review. Yet I'm also happy to have shared my honest thoughts. Glad to have tried it.