I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
Release date: October 25th, 2016
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction
There never was a story that was happy through and through.
When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously, romantically entangled with Trotsky’s personal secretary.
Both sides seek to use Arthur to gather and relay information for their own purposes . . . and both grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Arthur wants only to elope far from conflict with his beloved, but her Russian ties make leaving the country nearly impossible. And the more Arthur resists becoming a pawn, the more entrenched in the game he seems to become.
I’ve written at least a dozen times before about how I hate not finishing a book. It pains my little heart to leave something because I always have this worry that maybe, just maybe, if I had stayed with it things would have gotten better. Sadly, with this book, I HAD to put it down at 30%.
I think 30% is a realistic amount of a book to read to be able to decide how you feel about it. However, I pretty much knew from the first chapter that this book wasn’t for me. I actually started reading it, couldn’t connect, put it down and went back to it a few times. Reaching that 30% mark was a real struggle.
In all honesty, I was expecting something different than what the book actually was. The fairytale-like narrative struck me as strange but different. I was willing to give it a chance, but after a while it became confusing because it bounced around a lot. The narrator would mention some history, spend a few lines of something that would be discussed later and then jump to something completely unrelated. This type of storytelling felt cold and disconnected. I couldn’t care less about the characters or what was going on around them. When I read, I want to feel something – love, hatred, annoyance – but instead everything felt flat.
So, rather than struggle on with a book I felt no connection to I put it down. Perhaps in the future I’ll decide to give it another chance, but right now all I can say is that Blood Red Snow White is not for me.