As White As Snow
by Salla Simukka
I don't have a lot to say about this book really, except that I enjoyed it. The plot didn't hook me quite as much as the first book did, but I liked the character development even more.Summary: Lumikki Andersson may be innocent, but she's no Snow White...
Three and a half months have passed since Lumikki Andersson was left for dead in a snowdrift - a bullet wound in her thigh and frostbite creeping into her skin. But the scorchingly hot streets of Prague in summer provide a welcome contrast to that terrifying time, and now Lumikki just wants to move on - forget the events of the past year, forget about the Polar Bear's crime ring - and escape her parent's oppressive concern... She's alone again, which is just how she likes it.
But Lumikki's peaceful solitude is about to be shattered. She is approached on the street by a nervous young woman, who, unbelievably, thinks she might be Lumikki's long-lost sister. Lumikki is unconvinced - although Zelenka's story seems to ring horrifyingly true - but there's something weird about her. Something jumpy, and suspicious.
Turns out Lumikki is right to be wary, as Zelenka is part of a dangerous religious cult who believe they are descendants of Christ - and that Lumikki is one of them, and must be 'martyred' alongside them. On the run for her life again, Lumikki must once more draw on her all her powers of resolve and strength if she is to survive.
We got to know a bit more about Lumikki in this book, more about her past and the relationship that was mentioned in the first book but not explained much -- I think that was my favourite thing about the book.
And I lovelovelove that her previous boyfriend is transgender, and I love the way their relationship was written to show that it didn't matter to her but it also showed how simply being accepting of something isn't always enough, you have to understand it too or you can never really get the struggle the person is going through. If there's another book in the series, I really hope we see more of Blaze because even though he was only present in flashbacks I think he was my favourite character.
The setting was awesome, Prague is somewhere I've always wanted to go so I loved reading a story set there (the setting was one of the things that drew me to the book in the first place), it made me want to go there even more. And the story -- I liked the whole cult aspect of it, but because the book was so short (200-ish pages), it didn't feel like enough to really give a storyline like that the full attention it deserved.
The only thing about the book I really didn't like was something that bothered me about the first book too (not majorly, I just wasn't into it) was the fact that it includes some random chapters from the POV of the antagonists in the story because at those parts it tries too hard to be sinister and cryptic (if you watch Pretty Little Liars, it's like the random A scenes and they just don't mesh well with the rest of the story). I never like the way those chapters are written but the rest of the writing is good.
...It seems I had more to say than I thought I did. Oops.
Anyway, I really liked the book. This is an odd little series and I can't pin point what it is about it that makes it that way, but there's some quality that it has that is distinctly unique from any other books I've read and keeps me wanting more. I'd rate it 3.5 stars out of 5 (maybe 4?).