Friday, June 12, 2015

"Friday Favs": As Red as Blood (The Snow White Trilogy Book 1) by Salla Simukka

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Woman Sleuths. 274 pages.
Price: $4.99 ebook (at time of post)
Publisher & Date: Skyscape; Reprint edition. August 1, 2014.
Book Link: Click Here
Listed Rating: 📔📔📔 . 6
Price I Paid: Zip, Due to Amazon First Prime Subscription.
My Rating: 📔📔📔📔

My Thoughts: Not Your Typical YA Book, Still Strangely Compelling.

     This book was definitely one of a kind. In short if you are looking for a book set in a foreign country with unique names this book has it. If you want multiple points of views and with the all knowing author viewpoint (aka omniscient point of view in literature) than this is your book. Now one of the top pieces that makes this book special is the main character is a self reliant super sleuth action heroine that is too cool for school. Sound good than give this book a try. But you may want to read my long winded reasons for this book being a unique choice to read. 
     One major fact a reader needs to know when first choosing this book is it's set in Finland and the names are Finnish, Russian, and the like. So when you read Boris Sokolov, Tuukka, Kask, Vaisanen, or the main character's name Lumikki, meaning Snow White in Finnish, one shouldn't be left wondering, like I was, why and where the heck is this author getting these names and locations?! I literally google searched the town of Tampere finding it's an actual town in Finland and that's when it all clicked that this book is foreign and was translated to English for our enjoyment. (Smart I know should have read the editors note before reading or choosing the book, but I didn't) 
     Nevertheless, now that the reader knows this HUGE detail about the origin of the book it should maybe be a bit easier to read the book and understand the flow and structure of the book. And boy is the structure interesting. The story is placed in a time frame that has sequential chapters interspersed within telling what occurred on that day from the characters and the author. Basically it says July 3rd then has 5 chapters saying what happened on that day from everyone and so on, then July 4th and so forth.Then there is the little extra fact that the story of Snow White is sprinkled through the book, but its not essential to the story, almost as if it's like a side poem laced within but not meant to be linked. However the Snow White story was used at one point by the main character as a cover but that's it thus far. However seeing as this book is but the first of a series the author may have just done that to lead on into more for the next books. Also the author does flash back moments for Lumikki but you won't realize it until she awakens from her sleep. The smart choice from the publisher would have been to make that section different by italicizing it, date stamping/framing it, or spacing it so it's distinct from the story. Makes it easier on the reader when reading in a progressive time frame to know when the stories timeline has changed momentarily. 
      Now one thing I did find disconcerting when reading this book was I felt as if I didn't know why the main character Lumikki was the way she was. Here Lumikki is introduced to readers as this high school girl living on her own attending a special school for gifted students, and yet she purposefully has no friends and makes sure to be invisible. I mean ultimately I came to like Lumikki and think she is quite a BA girl who knows how to take care of business and think under pressure when many would fall apart. However is Lumikki the best roll model for young girls? No. Are there traits to be admire? Yes and things to be learned from, most definitely. Ultimately, after reading this book you still don't fully understand why Lumikki became the hard self reliant spy like girl who likes body combat class, but you do find out a bit more towards the end of the book about her past, especially concerning relationships. I guess I'm just used to a lot of writers giving that kind of pivotal character background information more towards the beginning and then dropping hints all the way through the book. Even most hint at the characters beginnings in a fuller context compared to how this author did, since readers were left to their own conclusion for most of the book. 
      Nonetheless, I think the most unique point for this book is the way the author chose to do the point of views. I believe it's called omniscient POV, because there is no single character narrator but there is a narrator outside of the characters who tells the story and can go into the character's personal POV's at anytime. This allowed the author a lot of room in having multiple scenes playing on the same day to allow her plot to play out in her time sequence with multiple characters doing multiple actions. I also commend the author for making the characters there own voices and not all seeming to be the same people. When having different POVs sometimes the author can't make the character's dialogues different to fit there POVs and their voices all sound the same. Having multiple angles for this story wasn't too bad and I rather enjoyed it, though I do kinda wish we got a bit more of Lumikki's perspective.
      Overall, I truly found this book intriguing and I'm actually looking forward to reading the next book in the series, so I can truly get to understand who Lumikki is. Especially due to the little epilogue where Lumikki asks a few personal questions that will definitely need to be answered in the next book. And of course I'm still wanting to see what the author is planning to do with the whole Snow White theme. (Fingers crossed all will be answered) The beginning was hard to get into at first, but once you get used to the writing style and the unique names, Lumikki's world of mystery, suspense and thrill rather pulls you in for a time and before you realize it the book is done and you'll be wanting to download the next book too.

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