Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review of Not So Snow White by K. Sean Jennkrist

Not So Snow White by K. Sean Jennkrist
Publisher: Self-Published through CreateSpace
Published: August 2011

ISBN: 9781463551445
Available: Amazon

GoodReads Blurb:

Beware! This isn't your average fairytale ... Take one troubled teen, add some magic, a touch of romance, a few evil witches, and an elfin-sized sidekick named Duane, and you have NOT SO SNOW WHITE. "My name is Winter Snow and I have a secret." When her dad mysteriously disappeared, Winter couldn't help but be depressed, and she began to have strange experiences that caused many students to say she was a freak. Of course, with the voice of a tiny dwarflike creature she calls Duane and dream images of the future constantly invading her mind, who could blame them? Determined to bring her life back to normal, Winter decides finding her dad is the only solution. When a fairytale book on Snow White comes unexpectedly into her life, along with its owner, Lucinda Mayhem, events take a bizarre and witch-magical turn. Weird coincidences that tie the Mayhem and Snow families together somehow manage to bring Winter closer to finding her dad and to accepting her special gift in this teen modern-day fairytale. NOT SO SNOW WHITE is part of a series of modern fairytales that includes CINDERELLA GEEK.
*This review contains minor spoilers*

This could have been so much more than it was.

I purchased Not So Snow White because it sounded like it had an interesting twist on Snow White tale. Sadly, it was just okay. Typically I read a book straight through in one sitting, with this one I read it over a few nights and by the end I was nearly skimming the pages, which consisted of White being TOLD EVERYTHING all at once. I felt like there were so many questions that were brought up along the way with no answers until the last few pages when we get an info dump after a few paragraphs of action.

I liked the main character White, but I didn't entirely feel her. She just didn't seem to have any depth and her personality sort of flip flopped throughout the story. (view spoiler)What really got me was that at the end when she believes that she has forever lost the primary love interest she had the entire book, she is suddenly dating someone else. Almost as if the author realized that the teens picking up her book would want a happy ending. Uh, what was the point in even having a romantic element if it's going to be dropped like a hot potato without any emotional reaction? Fine, kill off the character but at least SHOW us a reaction.

There's a whole subplot line going on with the school bully. It seemed to be a lot of filler, and although it gave White an outlet for her magic, I just felt like it never went anywhere. I'm not sure if the point was to teach victims to fight back by getting even (which is what White does) or to teach them that a bully never stops (Since the bully doesn't stop). White's guardian elf seemed to be trying to teach White a lesson on not using her powers for revenge, but when you think she's learned her lesson, she does it again.

The drama teacher is also a mystery. As an educator (and yes, I'm stepping onto my soapbox), I wish that there were more accurate portrayals of teachers dealing with bullies. Here the teacher witnesses several instances of bullying, yet does nothing. Having students pick at each other or argue is one thing, but the blatant bullying that White and her friends are on the receiving end of is a lawsuit waiting to happen. It just made it frustrating for me, since I don't know a single teacher (I've worked with at least two hundred in my 11 years teaching) that would not respond to that type of bullying.

For me, I think this book didn't try hard enough to not be middle of the road. On one hand, it's not dark enough to make it suspenseful and on the other it's not light enough to make it a fun romp.

I love the concept of the modern fairytale with a twist, and had looked forward to buying her other book in this series, but now I'd definitely have to think hard on spending my money.

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