Girl in Snow
Who Are You When No One Is Watching?When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both. In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory. Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka.

Girl in Snow Details

TitleGirl in Snow
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherSimon & Schuster
ISBN1501144375
ISBN-139781501144370
Number of pages368 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Young Adult, Adult, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Suspense, Did Not Finish

Girl in Snow Review

  • Liz
    July 19, 2017
    This is supposedly a mystery about a teenage girl who is murdered. But it's really a character study of three individuals- a young man that stalked her, a girl who hated her and a policeman. It's not a fast paced novel at all, instead there's lots of internal dialog. In fact, it's the opposite of fast. It moves at a glacial pace. It is well written with lots of well turned phrases. The two teenagers are both odd, damaged souls. Friendless, they live in their own little worlds. Cameron literally This is supposedly a mystery about a teenage girl who is murdered. But it's really a character study of three individuals- a young man that stalked her, a girl who hated her and a policeman. It's not a fast paced novel at all, instead there's lots of internal dialog. In fact, it's the opposite of fast. It moves at a glacial pace. It is well written with lots of well turned phrases. The two teenagers are both odd, damaged souls. Friendless, they live in their own little worlds. Cameron literally spends most of his time spying on his neighbors. Russ, the cop, seems stuck in a dead end job and his marriage is stupefying. But in the end, I just needed more action to make this one interesting for me. 2.5 stars rounded up given the quality of the writing. My thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Linda
    June 28, 2017
    The creaking of a playground carousel in the night wind is the only sound that settles in the darkness. It cradles the lifeless body of fifteen year old Lucinda Hayes. Tiny snowflakes drift and cling to the strands of her long blonde hair. Making no sound.....much like Lucinda herself.Murder never sits well. Especially in small towns. Small towns like Broomsville in northern Colorado. The shock has far less space to travel in. Danya Kukafka propels Girl in Snow forward with characters beset with The creaking of a playground carousel in the night wind is the only sound that settles in the darkness. It cradles the lifeless body of fifteen year old Lucinda Hayes. Tiny snowflakes drift and cling to the strands of her long blonde hair. Making no sound.....much like Lucinda herself.Murder never sits well. Especially in small towns. Small towns like Broomsville in northern Colorado. The shock has far less space to travel in. Danya Kukafka propels Girl in Snow forward with characters beset with deep, dark, raging turmoil. Young Cameron Whitley, strange and elusive, is so taken with Lucinda that he sneaks out at night just to watch her every move through her bedroom window. His reputation at school is the class freak who will never fit in. Jade has always held such animosity for the popular Lucinda since they were children. Jade barely exists in the abusive home of her alcoholic mother and sister. Russ, a police officer, goes through the motions of his deadend job. His marriage to Ines suffers from anger issues never fully dealt with on both sides of this equation.Girl in Snow is lined with more of a YA flavor. Kukafka reveals the heavy angst and disappointments that seem to swallow up the younger characters in this storyline. There is the far too noticeable depiction of the weight of daily teen life in a one-horse town. We hear over and over again that life totally sucks. Each character seems to suffer from over-exposure due to the sunami of bruised and raw emotions that follow from page to page. These added elements to the storyline seem to overshadow the essential thread of the murder itself. "Because you're a freak, too."Perhaps this was Kukafka's intention all along.....to present a multi-pronged storyline dealing with weakened friendships, questionable relationships, and unrequieted love. The murder itself serves as a backdrop for these broken characters who use it as a springboard to express their heavy-ladened backstories. Although a good read, it was just too many spins across the dance floor for me.I received a copy of Girl in Snow through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Simon & Schuster and to Danya Kukafka for the opportunity.
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  • James
    July 7, 2017
    3.5 out of 5 stars to Girl in Snow, a new mystery and suspense novel written by Danya Kukafka and set to be released on August 1st, 2017. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster, NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to review an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel. I enjoyed it and would be interested in reading more by this author. Why This Book This is slightly embarrassing, but I'm not one hundred percent certain how I came to read this book. I was awarded the novel on NetGalley in 3.5 out of 5 stars to Girl in Snow, a new mystery and suspense novel written by Danya Kukafka and set to be released on August 1st, 2017. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster, NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to review an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel. I enjoyed it and would be interested in reading more by this author. Why This Book This is slightly embarrassing, but I'm not one hundred percent certain how I came to read this book. I was awarded the novel on NetGalley in May, but I believe someone recommended it to me, or maybe the publisher reached out to me to take a look at it. I can't find any emails, which I normally save, or any comments that might refresh my memory... so bottom-line, it was part of a NetGalley list of books I wanted to read. Plot, Characters & Setting Lucinda is a teenager in a small Colorado town who is found dead in the snow on a school playground by a custodian. She was hit in the head with a blunt object and left to die. The story follows several people in the town who either knew the girl or knew of her, each having different opinions about whether Lucinda was a good person or a bad girl.Cameron is the boy who loved her from afar, except someone knows he was stalking the girl and watching through her windows. He's had mini-breakdowns after his father left town years ago under very bad circumstances. He doesn't remember doing anything, but people close to him know he was missing, saw him talking to her and believe he's guilty.Jade is a fellow schoolmate who did not like Lucinda. Lucinda stole the boy Jade loved, but the boy never really loved Jade. Jade is not upset that Lucinda is dead, but her younger sister is angry. Jade's mother treats her daughter poorly and seems to be hiding some sort of a secret. Russ is the cop assigned to investigate Lucinda's death. He's harboring a secret about his friendship with Cameron's father, as well as the reasons Cameron's father disappeared. He's also certain the school custodian, who happens to be Russ's wife's brother, is guilty. He tries to navigate the situation, but finds himself stuck on the past.A few other characters intersect, e.g. a couple with a young child that both Lucinda and Jade babysat for. A young school teacher accused of flirting inappropriately with his female students. And the friends and family members of all 3 main characters. One of these people is guilty. But the question is who... and you'll need to read the book to find out. Approach & Style I read the novel on my iPad through Kindle Reader. It was about 4500 lines, which is about a 300 page hardcover -- not that long. Chapters are relatively short and alternate perspective from the 3 main characters: Cameron, Jade and Russ. The language and writing are absolutely beautiful. So much background and description are revealed in the narration and prose. There are limited amounts of dialogue.Jade tells 2 sides of every conversation -- what she wishes she said (through a play she is writing) and what she actually said. For a young and new writer, the author has a firm grip on flourishing language. On occasion, it fell a little too simple, but it balanced out from the lengthy details of everything else going on in the background. Strengths The best part of the story is the absolutely beautiful descriptions of the characters and the scenery. Everything feels authentic. The plot is complex in that there are different levels of relationships happening behind the scenes, which readers only see when certain characters happen to stumble on the supporting cast. It's a good approach to hold interest in the story. The plot has many interesting sub-components, which help reveal who people really are on the inside versus who they appear to be on the outside. Concerns I didn't know enough about nor care much for Lucinda. A lot of details were revealed about her, but she's dead when the story starts. As a result, I felt like she could have been anyone as opposed to having a real strong desire inside me to want to know who killed her. I felt less of an attachment to her, but if it were written a little differently, I think it would have been an easy 4 rating for me. Also, once the killer is revealed, there is no scene explaining how/why it happened. You have a hint at the reason for the murder, but you never actually watch or hear the scene played out from either the narrator or a confession from the killer. It felt like a bit of a letdown. Author & Other Similar Books This is a very typical story about 3 seemingly disconnected characters where you have to figure out how everyone knew each other. There are a lot of similar type stories on the market right now, as it's a popular genre and sub-genre. In a way, it was similar to "Beartown" in the structure, focus on teenagers and the mystery portion. But it was also like "I Found You" where the 3 stories will intersect somehow, but you just don't know until the end, but also that this this was about teenagers and "I Found You" was not only about teenagers.This is the author's first book. She definitely has writing talent and storytelling abilities. I think with more experience, she'll flush out some of the areas that felt a bit weak to me and become a fantastic and creative author in this genre. I'm glad I read it and will chance her next book. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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  • Carrie
    July 19, 2017
    One snowy morning in a suburb in Colorado the body of a young high school student is found shaking up the small community. After the news is given to the other students Cameron finds himself sick to his stomach and mourning the loss of Lucinda Hayes, the girl he'd been watching and dreaming of forever. Jade finds herself wondering if the wish she made for the perfect Lucida to disappear had been granted. Russ finds himself working the case looking for whoever is responsible for the girl's death. One snowy morning in a suburb in Colorado the body of a young high school student is found shaking up the small community. After the news is given to the other students Cameron finds himself sick to his stomach and mourning the loss of Lucinda Hayes, the girl he'd been watching and dreaming of forever. Jade finds herself wondering if the wish she made for the perfect Lucida to disappear had been granted. Russ finds himself working the case looking for whoever is responsible for the girl's death. It becomes known that Cameron was watching Lucinda and he's called in for questioning with the police wondering if he had taken things too far. However Cameron's memories of that night are a bit fuzzy and even he would like to know what happened to the girl of his dreams. As much as I wanted to like Girl in Snow I came away with the thought that I just really didn't get this one at all. Being that it's supposed to be a mystery/thriller read it really didn't hold any of the aspects that attract me to that type of story. Basically a dead girl is found and at the end you find out the who/why but between those events the police are a joke and there really isn't much investigating but more digging into the characters lives. Now as far as the characters in this story Cameron and Jade are both teens so it gives the book a bit of young adult feel with a big portion being told from their POV. But I can't see this one marketed towards that age with the sexual content involved either so that was also where I was left scratching my head. But on top of that I didn't really care for any of the characters or their actions. I supposed they are meant to be flawed in their own ways but to me their issues were just plain unlikable. I'm leaving this read with the thought that I suppose there is an audience out there for any book or writing style but in regards to this one I just wasn't the audience it's meant for. But I'm not really sure what audience to recommend picking this one up as I felt the thriller side felt flat and the drama and character development fell flat to me also. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
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  • ❀Eryn❀
    April 26, 2017
    I received a copy off of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not persuade my true opinion of the novel.2.25So, this was quite ... strange. Very, very, strange - if I might say. At first, the story showed signs of promise, even if it seemed like all of the characters were border-line perverts (this is an exaggeration, but yes, there were just too many scenes focusing on sex - at least to me - plus, these characters are kids, so come on). Gradually as the novel progressed, it slo I received a copy off of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not persuade my true opinion of the novel.2.25So, this was quite ... strange. Very, very, strange - if I might say. At first, the story showed signs of promise, even if it seemed like all of the characters were border-line perverts (this is an exaggeration, but yes, there were just too many scenes focusing on sex - at least to me - plus, these characters are kids, so come on). Gradually as the novel progressed, it slowly began getting worse and worse - up to the point where I didn't want to pick it up at all. That brief moment of a "oh, interesting, it's a fresh perspective" from the beginning, slowly drifted away as I tired of the shallow characters and plot.Overall, I won't say more because I don't want to ruin anything for those who will read this. Regardless, I'm upset to give this such a low rating - however, because I did not enjoy myself and often found myself cringing as I was reading, I would say the rating is accurate.*Thank you to NetGalley, for giving me the opportunity to review this.*
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  • Britany
    July 18, 2017
    I was intrigued by the blue eye on the cover, an eye that won't stop staring at me, and one that (despite myself) I can't stop staring at... an eye cloaked in sadness.Lucinda Hayes shows up in the wee hours of the morning with a cracked skull on the playground carousel. She's undoubtedly dead with a beautiful soft layer of snow covering her body. The small town of Broomsville, CO comes together to try to find out who murdered this young woman. I was enraptured from the beginning and never even g I was intrigued by the blue eye on the cover, an eye that won't stop staring at me, and one that (despite myself) I can't stop staring at... an eye cloaked in sadness.Lucinda Hayes shows up in the wee hours of the morning with a cracked skull on the playground carousel. She's undoubtedly dead with a beautiful soft layer of snow covering her body. The small town of Broomsville, CO comes together to try to find out who murdered this young woman. I was enraptured from the beginning and never even guessed the ending until it smacked me in the face.Told in three perspectives: Det Russ Fletcher- the police officer hiding a past and has a suspicious brother in law. Cameron Whitley- the boy who continued to stalk Lucinda late at night because he was madly in love with her and suffers convenient blackouts. Last narrator is Jade Dixon-Burns, she might just be my favorite- emo, and does not give a flying flip about what anyone thinks or says. She goes to school with Cameron and Lucinda and helps tie this book together. Who killed Lucinda? The character development was excellent- I really felt like I knew this town and the people that inhabited it. Love affairs, rumors, and secrets riddle the sidewalks and made this one that I could not put down. The author does such a fabulous job creating broken characters and slowly putting them back together again- I can hardly believe that his is a debut! Looking forward to move from Danya Kukafka. Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sam
    December 18, 2016
    Girl in Snow is a very nicely told tale of the inhabitants a small town in the wake of death of one of their own, a contemporary drama with a hint of the murder mystery and dark undercurrents of human behavior and thought. It's a not a thriller, despite the use of "girl" in the title, but I enjoyed it the more for not requiring any of the elements of a traditional or psychological thriller. The writing is quiet but powerfully observed, forming a character and community portrait with the murder m Girl in Snow is a very nicely told tale of the inhabitants a small town in the wake of death of one of their own, a contemporary drama with a hint of the murder mystery and dark undercurrents of human behavior and thought. It's a not a thriller, despite the use of "girl" in the title, but I enjoyed it the more for not requiring any of the elements of a traditional or psychological thriller. The writing is quiet but powerfully observed, forming a character and community portrait with the murder mystery element a hook to draw in your attention. The three focal points of the novel are Cameron Whitley (the boy, Lucinda’s stalker more or less, who is complicated and a bit odd in terms of how he perceives things and expresses himself), Jade Dixon-Burns (a few years older than Lucinda, outcast and different to Lucinda's easy beauty and popularity, and erstwhile rival for the affection and attention of a high school boy), and Russ Fletcher (the police officer whose former partner was Cameron's father, harboring his own secrets and guilt as the investigation proceeds into Lucinda's death). Kukafka switches perspective throughout (third person for Cameron and Russ, first person for Jade) and while this can be difficult, she really pulls it off seamlessly. Cameron is sweet, simple, heartfelt and innocent, but also a bit odd which can veer into creepy, his tendency to be "Tangled" and his shifting, untrustworthy memories early on lead us to suspect he knows or did more than he believes or knows consciously, especially as it’s emphasized his long gone father did something criminal and brutal. Cameron’s explicit watching of Lucinda mirrors how the other inhabitants of the town watch each other, into and involved in each other’s lives. Jade is sharp, sarcastic, standoffish, but also creative and more than a bit brave. She’s the perspective that gives us the most on Lucinda’s past before her murder, and also what it means to be a teen girl in suburbia, desperate to break out. She tries to reclaim her life by turning it into scripts, dialogue to achieve either a narrative outcome or emotional thrust she’s looking for in her own life, with no friends anymore, a younger sister she dislikes yet protects, and an abusive, unfeeling mother. Jade was probably my favorite of the perspectives because I truly did feel immersed in her thoughts. Russ is the least important to the suburban mystery and town building, yet he is a compelling character on his own, dissatisfied with the state of his life and in denial about deeply hidden parts of himself, and his connection to Cameron and Cameron’s absent father (his former partner on the police force) are compelling and mysterious at first, and ultimately poignant as we better understand the nature of their relationship.It’s not just the solving of Lucinda’s murder, it is how a small town reels, grieves, casts blame. And of course how life goes on for the living, as bad or as good or as messed up as whatever came before her death. And it can be unsettling for the reader at times, as I certainly could recognize elements of my own past ideas or behavior or judgments in regards to a moment of collective consciousness. Overall I was surprised about how much I liked this read. Kukafka does provide the whodunit answer for the murder mystery framing the tale and wraps the story nicely, but the book (and my emotional involvement) was transcendent of the thriller trappings to be a very solid, well written, character driven novel. I would definitely recommend this.
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  • Bam
    June 26, 2017
    *3.5 stars.This is the debut work of Danya Kukafka and I hope we will see much more from this young author. While it is a murder mystery, the solving of the crime is almost secondary to the delving into the psyche of the three unique characters from whose point of view the story is told. The murder victim is Lucinda Hayes, a popular middle school student, whose body is found on the carousal of the local park. One of the first people to be suspected is Cameron, her neighbor and fellow student, a *3.5 stars.This is the debut work of Danya Kukafka and I hope we will see much more from this young author. While it is a murder mystery, the solving of the crime is almost secondary to the delving into the psyche of the three unique characters from whose point of view the story is told. The murder victim is Lucinda Hayes, a popular middle school student, whose body is found on the carousal of the local park. One of the first people to be suspected is Cameron, her neighbor and fellow student, a misfit and loner. Some say he stalked Lucy...he was occasionally spotted staring into her bedroom window, standing still as a statue. And later in his own room, he would draw sketch after sketch of her. Was it love or obsession? Then there is Russ, the police officer investigating the crime, who used to work with Cameron's father, who left town after being accused of beating a woman during a routine stop--the woman with whom he was having an affair. Russ is struggling with his own unresolved feelings. And the final character is Jade, another creative misfit student who resented Lucy for her perfect life--for stealing her boyfriend and her babysitting job. Jade's story is told in the first person which contrasts her dysfunctional family life with Lucinda's. Jade often mentally rewrites her interactions with other people as a scene from a play in which things turn out as she wishes they would. Jade is my favorite character and is somewhat the hero of the story when the killer is finally revealed.I found this story to be quite satisfying on many levels and wish to thank the publisher and author for the offer to read an arc of the book through NetGalley.
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  • Monnie
    July 11, 2017
    This book is, first, foremost and almost entirely, an in-depth study of three characters in the aftermath of the murder of small-town Colorado high-school student Lucinda Hayes. Friends Cameron and Jade loved her and wanted to be her, respectively. Russ, a police officer involved in the investigation, is connected to many of the people around her - one of whom most likely is her killer.All four, including Lucinda, are quirky at the very least; and they all have deep, dark secrets that are reveal This book is, first, foremost and almost entirely, an in-depth study of three characters in the aftermath of the murder of small-town Colorado high-school student Lucinda Hayes. Friends Cameron and Jade loved her and wanted to be her, respectively. Russ, a police officer involved in the investigation, is connected to many of the people around her - one of whom most likely is her killer.All four, including Lucinda, are quirky at the very least; and they all have deep, dark secrets that are revealed in chapters that switch from perspective to perspective. As an aside, this is a technique that when done well - as it is here - is very effective; but it's also one of which I've grown weary over the last couple of years as author after author has adopted the style (much like sticking the word "girl" in the title). In addition to their secrets, every single one of these boys and girls (plus a few adults) speak a language that's way beyond the world in which I live. Take teenage Jade, for instance; at one point she utters at her shower door, "I step in with my pajama shirt still on and try to rinse the dream away from my vulnerable unconscious."Okaaaaaay. The writing can be described, I'm sure, as eloquent prose; for me, esoteric is a better fit; to say that reading it was tedious is an understatement. That's not to say it isn't a well-crafted story, mind you, but it took me longer than usual to read because it's impossible to skim (three or four chapters were about all I could handle at one sitting before my brain started to hurt). I also must say that because there's virtually no investigation to follow despite the fact that the police, and the aforementioned Russ, were called in - nor is there much real action at all since almost everything takes place inside the characters' heads - it's very interesting, but not really a thriller, a police procedural or anything much beyond looks inside the heads of some seriously screwed-up people. Fairly early on, the girl's murder - and who did it and why - became almost inconsequential (yes, I was surprised, but when that person was revealed near the end, my reaction was much closer to, "All rightee, then" than "Wow!" )Overall, I consider this to be a stellar effort, especially for a debut novel. It's a little too "deep" for my liking - especially for a book in this genre - but impressive nonetheless. Thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • L.P. Logan
    March 29, 2017
    Disappointment, blasé, and boredom -- that is what I feel after having read this book. It wasn't that it was necessarily a bad story, but it wasn't good either. In fact I'm left wondering why I just wasted as much of my life as I did on it. Those are hours I'll never get back on a weak story line that never really delivered the punch it seemed to be alluding to. I feel cheated. Especially since the publisher put a note at the beginning saying that I simply wouldn't be able to put it down. I'm le Disappointment, blasé, and boredom -- that is what I feel after having read this book. It wasn't that it was necessarily a bad story, but it wasn't good either. In fact I'm left wondering why I just wasted as much of my life as I did on it. Those are hours I'll never get back on a weak story line that never really delivered the punch it seemed to be alluding to. I feel cheated. Especially since the publisher put a note at the beginning saying that I simply wouldn't be able to put it down. I'm let down, and I hate that. Read some Agatha Christie. You'll be happier with that.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    June 26, 2017
    Girl in the Snow was an interesting read for me - it sounds in premise like a lot of psychological thrillers I read but in reality was nothing like those. It is a character study of 3 people attached peripherally or otherwise to a young girl found dead in a small town. A slow burner of a story, this is more about those 3 people and their inner realities than it is about who may have killed the girl or why. Indeed the low key mystery element is exactly that - low key.Never the less it was fascina Girl in the Snow was an interesting read for me - it sounds in premise like a lot of psychological thrillers I read but in reality was nothing like those. It is a character study of 3 people attached peripherally or otherwise to a young girl found dead in a small town. A slow burner of a story, this is more about those 3 people and their inner realities than it is about who may have killed the girl or why. Indeed the low key mystery element is exactly that - low key.Never the less it was fascinating in a literary, underneath way, following the inner and outer turmoil of these 3 characters, seeing how their lives have interacted with the victim, all in very different ways and with very different consequences. There are clearly defined edges to all of them and the 3 of them are linked by their hometown and by various other strands - you come to know them over the course of the story and ultimately how they move on.I wouldn't want to call it a murder mystery. The police investigation is not really focused on that much, the resolution to that low key mystery when it comes is almost an afterthought and you never really get to know the dead girl at all - simply how our main protagonists saw her. I really liked it - something a bit different, lovely writing and a sharp emotional edge.
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  • Petra
    July 25, 2017
    2.5 stars. Extremely slow moving. In fact, there is not an awful lot happening in this at all. Most of the time is spent inside the heads of three characters (Cameron, Jade and Russ) who for different reasons struggle to fit in and are isolated within their small Colorado community. Young Cameron was obsessed with Lucinda and used to sneak out at night to watch her. Jade didn't like Lucinda because Lucinda was popular and pretty, and Jade isn't. Russ, a local middle-aged police officer, is helpi 2.5 stars. Extremely slow moving. In fact, there is not an awful lot happening in this at all. Most of the time is spent inside the heads of three characters (Cameron, Jade and Russ) who for different reasons struggle to fit in and are isolated within their small Colorado community. Young Cameron was obsessed with Lucinda and used to sneak out at night to watch her. Jade didn't like Lucinda because Lucinda was popular and pretty, and Jade isn't. Russ, a local middle-aged police officer, is helping with the investigation into who killed Lucinda on the local playground while simultaneously struggling with his own feelings and links with those involved. The actual mystery of who was responsible for Lucinda's death was not difficult to figure out, and was actually secondary. The story seemed more about the difficulties of meeting expectations, fitting in and simply growing up. In that sense it certainly had a young adult feel to it, which I usually enjoy. But here I never felt invested in any of the characters. It's not that I found them unlikable, but I simply didn't care very much about them. They were all lost and damaged, but there was nothing unique or interesting about them. This is a book for readers who enjoy literary writing. The prose is undoubtedly eloquent, but it also turned into dreary reading at times. Didn't quite deliver what it promised. I received an ARC via NetGalley.
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  • Jessica Gonzatto
    April 30, 2017
    I've reviewed this book on my wordpress: https://bitesizerevs.wordpress.com/20...Read it thanks to NetGalley! Wow! I’m not sure how to start this review. Maybe by the fact that I read this book in one day. It surprised me immensely – not so much for the plot itself but for the sensitive and complex way the author unravels this multi-layered narrative.At the end of it, I found myself wondering that honestly, the title doesn’t quite match the strongest elements of the story. This is a book about a I've reviewed this book on my wordpress: https://bitesizerevs.wordpress.com/20...Read it thanks to NetGalley! Wow! I’m not sure how to start this review. Maybe by the fact that I read this book in one day. It surprised me immensely – not so much for the plot itself but for the sensitive and complex way the author unravels this multi-layered narrative.At the end of it, I found myself wondering that honestly, the title doesn’t quite match the strongest elements of the story. This is a book about a girl who died and was found in the snow, but it is so much more of a book about life, being a living person, being a misfit, loving and losing someone, losing yourself in a myriad of moments and so on. It’s a book about details, above all – in my opinion. They were the sweetest parts of Girl in Snow, the smart litte details we might miss while living our everyday life.The way Kukafka writes… for a debut novel? It’s honestly way superior to a lot of writers I’ve ever read. She’s one of those people who gets it: her words trespass your social barriers and resound in your soul. The narrative is built through well-described spurts of thoughts and memories of three characters that will forever remain on my thoughts, for the purity and nakedness of their souls and existence. I believe in them because they’re telling you real feelings we all experienced at least once. Sometimes, though, the lyricism gets in the way of a proper action and it slows the pace down a lot. It wasn’t a problem for me, since I enjoyed the quizzical way in which the narrative flows.So this is a story about three people who knew the dead girl in snow in question, who had dreams, thoughts and fears in common, and also a lot of different issues between them. It’s a rather interesting and thoughtful story, and I wouldn’t say this is just a mystery book, as it feels too diminutive of its extensive discussion of life – in all its glory.
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  • Kathryn
    June 30, 2017
    Have you ever experienced a winter that was so interminably long that you feared spring would never come? That’s Girl in Snow. It’s torturous in its sheer one-note banality. Now I get that its aim is to be a character-driven mystery, but it’s possible to achieve that goal while remaining compelling. Tana French, for example, is masterful at creating stories where the whoddunit is often secondary to the protagonists’ psychological machinations. Girl in Snow, however, utterly and completely fails Have you ever experienced a winter that was so interminably long that you feared spring would never come? That’s Girl in Snow. It’s torturous in its sheer one-note banality. Now I get that its aim is to be a character-driven mystery, but it’s possible to achieve that goal while remaining compelling. Tana French, for example, is masterful at creating stories where the whoddunit is often secondary to the protagonists’ psychological machinations. Girl in Snow, however, utterly and completely fails at that task.The essential problem with Girl in Snow lies with the characters. To put it simply, they’re just….BORING. And if you’re constructing a character-driven plot that’s the kiss of death. With dull as dishwater protagonists there’s absolutely nothing to drive the plot. It simply stagnates--into the literary equivalent of an eternal January.Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Milli (MiracleMilliReads)
    April 25, 2017
    This book was more of a YAishh than a contemporary read, but it was a good book to read.This story is told in different views and I loved it because I understood the story more. The mystery was not easy to solve, but easy to vividly picture everything going on.The death of a high school student named Lucinda Hayes is told through out the book by the point of views of three people. Jade, who hates her, Russ, who is called to the scene of the crime, and Cameron, who was secretly obsessed with her. This book was more of a YAishh than a contemporary read, but it was a good book to read.This story is told in different views and I loved it because I understood the story more. The mystery was not easy to solve, but easy to vividly picture everything going on.The death of a high school student named Lucinda Hayes is told through out the book by the point of views of three people. Jade, who hates her, Russ, who is called to the scene of the crime, and Cameron, who was secretly obsessed with her. The story unfolds secrets, perspectives, and lies through all the point of views which had me about to jump off my chair. I enjoyed this book and I usually give a summary, but I feel like this also should be a mystery review for readers to find out who the killer is by themselves.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCADH...
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  • Alina
    July 5, 2017
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  • Lorrie
    April 29, 2017
    Thank you Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this free book as well as the opportunity to write a review. I'm just not sure what to say about this book or where even to begin. It took me a month to get thru this story. It's not that it was poorly written...it was well written in fact. It's just that the book jumped all over (in the modern style of writing) and I could not tell what was going on with my short attention span right before sleep. In all fairness, I shoul Thank you Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this free book as well as the opportunity to write a review. I'm just not sure what to say about this book or where even to begin. It took me a month to get thru this story. It's not that it was poorly written...it was well written in fact. It's just that the book jumped all over (in the modern style of writing) and I could not tell what was going on with my short attention span right before sleep. In all fairness, I should have given this book a more fair shake and read it during daylight. Although I had trouble keeping the characters straight, I do admit that the story began to develop once I cemented it in my mind that Russ was married to Inez. I'm not sure why this couple became the nucleus of the story to me in hindsight but they did. Since the main characters of the story are teens, there was a smattering of references to description of acne, which was a little sickening to me. I really appreciated the wrap up at the end and the references to friendships and life. That was very good.
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  • Rebecca
    March 28, 2017
    Finally! What a moving book! I read this novel in one day. This author has such a unique, beautiful style of writing, hinting about the characters and giving us the chance to really see what is really going on. I found this to be so much more the a murder mystery.Kukafka not only told such a great story, but I truly loved the ending as there was an actual end to this story. I find that books that I have read lately have kind of either left us hanging, or left us with too many open ended question Finally! What a moving book! I read this novel in one day. This author has such a unique, beautiful style of writing, hinting about the characters and giving us the chance to really see what is really going on. I found this to be so much more the a murder mystery.Kukafka not only told such a great story, but I truly loved the ending as there was an actual end to this story. I find that books that I have read lately have kind of either left us hanging, or left us with too many open ended questions.I would love to read from this author again in the future.Thank you Netgalley, thank you Simon & Schuster for this wonder read.
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  • Caidyn (BW Book Reviews)
    July 21, 2017
    This book and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.DNF at 15%My personal rule is to stop reading a book I don’t like at 15% if I’m not sure about it. This book was no different for me.While the writing was purely gorgeous and I think that the characters were interesting, I couldn’t stomach the way it was told. Three POVs that may or may not link together — I’ll never be sure if they do and that’s fine by me — and span from Cameron, a boy obsessed with the murder victim; Jade, a girl who is jus This book and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.DNF at 15%My personal rule is to stop reading a book I don’t like at 15% if I’m not sure about it. This book was no different for me.While the writing was purely gorgeous and I think that the characters were interesting, I couldn’t stomach the way it was told. Three POVs that may or may not link together — I’ll never be sure if they do and that’s fine by me — and span from Cameron, a boy obsessed with the murder victim; Jade, a girl who is just an angry teenager; and Russ, a police officer assigned to the case.I found none of them interesting. Cameron was, admittedly, the most interesting. He was a stalker and the biggest candidate for being the murderer. He also just struck me wrong. I don’t care that he’s watching people? Just stop it. Jade annoyed me the most. Holy hell. Just picture a model from Hot Topic and the attitude you had as a teen and that’s her character. That’s it. I didn’t care to find out whatever backstory she had with some guy involved with the murder victim. Russ… I don’t know. I don’t care.Writing good, story not interesting. It struck me as YA when it was definitely not YA thanks to mentions of sex. (Also… why all the sex? Pointless to the development of the story.) This seemed more like a character study of uninteresting people framed around the drama of a murder investigation without feeling any shred of suspense about who the killer was.
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  • i.
    July 4, 2017
    Lucinda, a young girl has been killed, turning upside down the lives of the inhabitants of a town by the mountains in Colorado. The story is told from the points of view of a girl who hated her, a boy who stalked her and a police officer with a promise to keep.Both Jade and Cameron not only share the same high-school but they also have in common dysfunctional families. Russ, the policeman investigating the murder, is struggling to make his marriage work while trying to find the culprit.If you ar Lucinda, a young girl has been killed, turning upside down the lives of the inhabitants of a town by the mountains in Colorado. The story is told from the points of view of a girl who hated her, a boy who stalked her and a police officer with a promise to keep.Both Jade and Cameron not only share the same high-school but they also have in common dysfunctional families. Russ, the policeman investigating the murder, is struggling to make his marriage work while trying to find the culprit.If you are expecting a novel about some jocks and cheerleaders solving a murder and living happily ever after, this book is not for you.However, if you want to read a story about some real people who are not the luckiest or the prettiest and still manage to survive, this book is for you. It is sad, it is depressing and shows how bad life can get in a small village, but it also shows hope.My favourite part of the book is when Jade imagines the things she would like to say but can't say. I think we all have that feeling more often than not and we all picture an alternative reality in which we vent our frustration without consequences. Unfortunately, some things are better left unsaid, although just like in the novel saying sometimes how you really feel can also have an unforeseen positive effect in your life.I would recommend this novel to adults who are not so young and want to read something different from cliché high-school books.I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.www.theleisurediaries.blogspot.com
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  • Maria (Big City Bookworm)
    July 26, 2017
    Actual rating: 3.5 stars rated up.--Initial post reading thoughts:There was definitely a lot going on in this one. We have three different character perspectives. On top of this, the writing changed from first person narrative to third person narrative and then (very briefly) to second person narrative. It was a strange way to write a novel which made it a strange way to read a novel. However, I think it almost kind of worked within this psychological thriller. This book is dark and weird and I Actual rating: 3.5 stars rated up.--Initial post reading thoughts:There was definitely a lot going on in this one. We have three different character perspectives. On top of this, the writing changed from first person narrative to third person narrative and then (very briefly) to second person narrative. It was a strange way to write a novel which made it a strange way to read a novel. However, I think it almost kind of worked within this psychological thriller. This book is dark and weird and I think I need to think about it a little more before writing my full review! Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!
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  • Rachel
    March 24, 2017
    In theory, I should have loved this book. A literary, character-driven story about an unexpected death in a small town with just a flavor of mystery is literally right up my alley (see also: Everything I Never Told You, Swimming Lessons, Dead Letters, You Will Know Me, etc. - all books I loved!) But for me, Girl in Snow just didn't work. And it wasn't because there wasn't enough of a mystery - I'd been expecting that. Or that the main characters weren't really good people - this is something I r In theory, I should have loved this book. A literary, character-driven story about an unexpected death in a small town with just a flavor of mystery is literally right up my alley (see also: Everything I Never Told You, Swimming Lessons, Dead Letters, You Will Know Me, etc. - all books I loved!) But for me, Girl in Snow just didn't work. And it wasn't because there wasn't enough of a mystery - I'd been expecting that. Or that the main characters weren't really good people - this is something I really don't mind in fiction. Honestly, it was because the writing was painfully juvenile. I just couldn't get past how irritating I found the prose. It read like YA, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's not a genre that I particularly enjoy. The fact that this is being marketed as an adult literary mystery suggests that Kukafka was aiming for an adult audience and missed the mark entirely. From the other side of the door came the swell and sway of her breathing, a delicate rhythm that reminded him with such peaceful clarity that he was alive. I am, I am, I am, she told him with this inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale. I am alive, and so are you, and isn't this a paralyzing thing?Yeah, this is definitely the sort of thing that I may have found poignant when I was a teenager.The other thing I hated about the writing was that practically every other paragraph was a character remembering some trivial detail about their past, that urgently had to be recounted. These characters couldn't stay in the present long enough to have a simple conversation, and it started to drive me crazy. Maybe I'm just not sentimental enough, but I couldn't keep from rolling my eyes when your story is filled with lines like: 'He was having fish for dinner. Once, his dad took him fishing.' Okay, that's not a real quote. This is:"Is this a church?" Cameron asked.Cameron's family used to go to church. He would sit between Mom and Dad and wonder how long he could hold his breath without dying.This is just.... literally the entire book is written like this.Of the three characters, I didn't find any of them particularly compelling. The police officer investigating the case, Russ, was so bland that I audibly groaned on more than one occasion when I saw that the upcoming chapter was his POV. Cameron, Lucinda's stalker who believes himself to be in love with her, was a character who I found rather disturbing, and while I think this was partially the point, he wasn't someone whose head I particularly enjoyed inhabiting. His chapters also read as the most juvenile, which makes sense, as he's the youngest narrator, but I think it's possible to write from the point of view of teenagers (especially when it isn't even first-person narration) without losing your adult voice as an author. Jade, a girl a few years older than Lucinda who hadn't liked her, was definitely the most interesting of the three, but the fact that so much of her narration was taken up with pining after her ex-boyfriend was a bit tiring.I should have been able to finish this book in two days, but it ended up taking me two weeks, because every time I put it down I had no motivation to pick it back up. This was an overwhelmingly blasé reading experience. I was hoping for at least a few moments of poignancy or insight, but Girl in Snow left me cold. I felt like it never really delivered on anything it promised, and I'm left wondering what exactly the point was.I don't want to be unkind. This is Danya Kukafka's debut novel, and she's a young writer. While her writing style obviously wasn't to my taste, I will make the distinction that it wasn't objectively bad. I just think this book would have worked so much better targeted at a younger audience. There's a lot that teenagers can take away from this story: Jade's struggle with her body image, Cameron's vulnerability. But as an adult reader who was hoping to read an adult novel? It just didn't do much for me.I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley, Simon & Schuster, and Danya Kukafka. All quotes are taken from an ARC galley - it's possible that they may be edited before publication.
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  • Mary
    July 5, 2017
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.DNF @ around 30% - I don't like the vibes this book is giving me, and I'm finding it very difficult to connect to anything. I don't like any of the characters and it hasn't managed to keep me invested enough to care about the mystery surrounding Lucinda's death. I enjoyed the writing, though. I liked the flow and the language of it and maybe I would have connected more if the story had more compelling Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.DNF @ around 30% - I don't like the vibes this book is giving me, and I'm finding it very difficult to connect to anything. I don't like any of the characters and it hasn't managed to keep me invested enough to care about the mystery surrounding Lucinda's death. I enjoyed the writing, though. I liked the flow and the language of it and maybe I would have connected more if the story had more compelling characters.I still urge you to give it a try, because what didn't work for me may work for you :)
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    March 28, 2017
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/"If this moment were a song, Cameron thought, it would be a quiet song- the sort of song that drowned you in your own miserable chest.”Every school seems to have their ‘golden girl’, some have several, and usually they aren’t so golden. I think of the quote by Leo Tolstoy, “What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.” So many people are blinded by it, just as much as being different often leads to shunning. Let’s face it, p via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/"If this moment were a song, Cameron thought, it would be a quiet song- the sort of song that drowned you in your own miserable chest.”Every school seems to have their ‘golden girl’, some have several, and usually they aren’t so golden. I think of the quote by Leo Tolstoy, “What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.” So many people are blinded by it, just as much as being different often leads to shunning. Let’s face it, people that are misunderstood are often feared. Any deviation from the norm is suspect. So what happens when a beautiful, popular darling Lucinda is found brutally murdered?Cameron Whitley loved Lucinda, he knew her more intimately than anyone, though they didn’t speak. Everyone knows he is weird, that he was obsessed and watched her. Love makes people do strange things, but with her death he begins to unravel. He deals with his grief and horror through his art, but do the drawings tell a story of their own, one he doesn’t want anyone to know? His actions are getting even crazier, and people have him pegged as the killer, after-all, unrequited love is often a motive! He is a watcher, but he isn’t dangerous, is he? How caged he feels, how animal simply because of his inability to navigate the world just like all the ordinary people. Why, why does he have always have to be cast out? Why does he flip between a childlike innocence and creepy stalker? As they say, even serial killers have mothers who love them.Then there is the hateful, angry, bitter Jade Dixon-Burns who could always see right through Lucinda’s phoniness. She knows firsthand how imperfect the darling was. Jade knows that she wasn’t the angel everyone imagined her to be. Lucinda cost her so much more than her job! Lucinda’s beauty, her very existence was a black-hole that ripped everything Jade had from her. The wounds were bad enough, but the salt was Lucinda’s indifference to the hurt she caused. Jade had genuine love, in her best friend Zap (Édouard) but she took that too. It’s no wonder she can’t dredge up enough empathy for her little sister Amy, mourning the loss of her friend’s older sister, but it’s a bitter brew when someone eclipses you. If such suffering isn’t enough, her mother is an abusive nightmare. While Lucinda lived the charmed existence of a beloved daughter, admired older sister and popular school girl, Jade suffers at her mother’s hands for adding to the disappointment her mother feels about her own miserable life, her looks guarantee she’d never be popular among her peers, and her family’s financial situation made her job vital. She is no one’s ‘beloved.’ Her tongue is vicious, the result of her poisonous surroundings. Hiding her suffering, only one person was allowed access to the bruises on her skin and pain in her heart and that was Zap. If only she could go back in time, if only her changing body didn’t betray her, if only life wasn’t a popularity contest some of us are bound to lose, then maybe she wouldn’t despise Lucinda’s golden life, then maybe she could feel sorry for her and squeeze out a lone tear. What ifs are fantasies, and Jade knows this more than anyone. So the princess suffered, so what? But did she kill her? Could she hate Lucinda so much that she would leave her lying dead in the snow?Officer Russ Fletcher has ties to Cameron, and a heavy guilt that he carries. Will his past cloud his investigation? Everyone is pointing at the strange boy, and there seems to be a lot of signs that point to Cameron, which sets a personal dilemma for the detective. The town itself “knows the truth”, they have their criminal drawn and quartered in their mind. It’s easy to solve the case, it could be no one else but Cameron, right? Cameron and Jade are pulled together, and every one of Lucinda’s secrets come out, reminding us we never truly know things in the way we think we do.I wouldn’t compare this to other novels, it stands perfectly fine on it’s own. It made me feel people’s most common thoughts can be their worst. I’ll be watching this author.Publication Date: August 22, 2017Simon and Schuster
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  • Bandit
    April 18, 2017
    I did not expect to like this one as much as I did. It sounded interesting, but there was too much YAness too it, most of the principal characters 15 year olds. Thing is, though, in the end the simplicity of style the author employs which is (for me anyway) often associated with YA literature, doesn't restrict the novel in any way, in fact in serves to highlight the motional poignancy of isolation, the every man is an island adage that applies irrespective of age, gender or social circumstances. I did not expect to like this one as much as I did. It sounded interesting, but there was too much YAness too it, most of the principal characters 15 year olds. Thing is, though, in the end the simplicity of style the author employs which is (for me anyway) often associated with YA literature, doesn't restrict the novel in any way, in fact in serves to highlight the motional poignancy of isolation, the every man is an island adage that applies irrespective of age, gender or social circumstances. And so this debut novel explores an aftermath of a murder in a small town over a few wintery Colorado days with such a striking emotional astuteness that I found it utterly engaging. It's a quiet story about the proverbial quiet desperation and it envelops a reader much like snow. Funny how a novel about essential aloneness can make a person feel less alone. Books (great books) can do that. Not sure if this is a genuinely great book, objectivity to that extent is difficult, but it is a very good one and well worth a read. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
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