This was not an immediate hit, and if I could score the book in parts, the first half would get maybe a 2.5 or 3 at best. The last half is significantly better, because things start to finally happen in the story, which means if you pick this up, you have to try to hang in there through the tedious start. That leaves my real score hovering around a 3.5, but I always round up.
Supposedly this story is feminist, though I confess I don’t understand that classification. I never noticed anything that stood out or that made it more feminist than the next story about strong female characters. It’s possible that I just don’t get it, but I still don’t understand why it’s being called feminist by so many people. It’s definitely female-centric, but without someone having pushed that label on to the book, I would never have come to that conclusion on my own. That leaves me wondering how many others would come to that conclusion on their own.
I think that in light of that label, I really expected some advocacy for women’s rights and/or moments that truly address equality of the sexes–something that woman could get behind and pump their fist and shout with glee. Anything, really. This did not deliver that feeling at all, which could be a case of misaligned expectations, for which I blame all those people who went on and on about how feminist this book is. I wanted and expected to see some actual girl power, and I don’t mean magic.
The worst part is the slow plot, but the most fascinating part is that it is a very unique retelling of Snow White, with an F/F romance. Although, I should say that it’s a very underplayed and disappointing F/F romance, with basically an insta-love sort of feel that I didn’t really enjoy (and I fully confess to typically enjoying insta-love, especially since I know that’s how some real humans roll). The problem with the insta-love in this one is that their relationship isn’t all that great. There’s not really any chemistry, and the relationship is mostly built on loneliness, isolation, and lies. Sure, that adds to the drama, but it doesn’t really convince me they’re right for each other.
I like that this book is making me think so much while I review it, but I also hate that. The reason I’m analyzing it to death is because there were some great moments, but it often fell flat of being spectacular, which bothers me. And now I can’t quit trying to figure out what it would have taken for this to be a better story. The concept was so great, but the execution just leaves more to be desired.
Overall, I think some readers may enjoy this one, but it’s definitely not my favorite retelling, nor would I ever reread it.
Book 32 read in 2018