I have to say this:
This book needs another cover! Seriously.
This is prime bestselling material! This needs an appealing cover asap! It deserves one!
What did I just read? o_O
A dark contemporary retelling of Snow White, which managed to escape the basics stereotypes, normally attached to this tale! I'm flabbergasted...
I loved reading this story!
More than a retelling, this reads more like a thriller packed with non stop action scenes, with a little bit of romance!
It was great! Who needs horses when the prince has a bike, and the "princess" knows how to drive like a professional car racer?
Original to the fairy tale, we have a girl who lost her mother, and now lives with her father.
Unlike the original, Nivi lost her mother to a car accident six months ago, and her relationship with her father is less than perfect since they're basically strangers.
When her father decides to marry a wealthy, successful woman named Mali, Nivi's world starts falling apart.
All of a sudden this stranger is trying to take over her mother's place, and trying to transform her into a mini-Mali. Things don't look promising, and that's before the attacks on her life start. As if that isn't enough, no one believes her... besides the most unlikely candidate.
The writing of this story is perfect. And the way the story is told, even more so!
There's no wasting time repeating over and over things we already know. I never got the feeling that I sometimes get when reading a story, that the author is dragging things, you know?
Perfectly timed, every page presented something different and new to the story!
It never became boring. Picking this up, was never a chore.
Then in a time when almost all main characters are occidentalized according to the most trending movie stars and various things of the sort, Jean Haus gives us a boy with dark velvet slanted eyes.
A boy who works for a living. A complex character, Jai, as the male leading character was a pleasure to read. A boy who isn't defined by a shining armour.
For a second I see hurt in his dark eyes then they turn hard. He crosses his arms. “I do what’s needed to survive.”
Nivea, on the other hand, although I liked her... for someone who wasn't used to her father's way of living (yes, she maintains her dressing code, and her quirky t-shirts), as someone who supposedly was raised in a more down to earth manner, had some traits, and little quirks (really small things) that didn't combine with her seventeen year mature self.
The constant "yeahs", the eye rolling moments, the way she takes advantage of the two kids, that she constantly calls "Buttheads" (yes, Jai, was the first one mentioning it, BUT...), gave her a more immature image.
But this was something that could have easily been corrected.
However for the most part, she behaved as a level headed girl, not prone to fall into some mistakes that normally fill the YA romances:
So what if I find Jai attractive? Who wouldn’t? Finding someone amazingly attractive is completely different than pursuing them. And I’m not pursuing Jai. (...). I’m so not a candidate for Stockholm Syndrome.
The hat causes his hair to frame his features. The wisps soften the harsh lines of his face and accent his eyes. He looks boyishly cute. Geez, not this again. I shake the hormones out of my head.
“Sure you’re good looking and you’ve got an awesome body.” Am I out to make a complete moron of myself? “Ah…I’m not denying any of that. I just don’t fall for guys just because they’re hot.” Now his brow lifts. “(..) And besides, I’ve got more on my mind than crushing. Someone has put a ton of money on my head. And I’m not totally sure you won’t turn me in.” His brow rises even more, but I continue, “So yeah, your muscles caught me unawares out there. I don’t want you getting the wrong idea. We’re just acquaintances, not really even friends, just…whatever.”
As you can read, the girl is head over heels for the boy, but this never gets in the way of the story! Because things more important than that are happening... like people constantly trying to kill her!
So the romance is placed where it belongs: simmering in the back.
Bottom Line: This story isn't for the faint of heart. There's kidnapping attempts, murders, fights, and this sense of danger that permeates the tale, that kept me always on the edge of my seat...
You know when the bad guy is supposedly dead in a movie picture _for instance_, but still, everything is too quiet, your nerves are still completely on the edge, and anyy moment now you expect to jump out of your skin?