Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
on September 30, 2014
Received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.
New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.
Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.
Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.
Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.
Winterspell was one of my most-anticipated books of 2014. I think I’d first heard about it back in January or February, and was eager to read it all year.
When I was in New York City for BEA back in May, I attended the Teen Author Carnival and heard author Claire Legrand speak about this book. It sounded so good! And really, how could it not be, based on The Nutcracker? I love the ballet, and when I received an arc, I was beyond excited.
Sadly, this book didn’t do it for me. It’s one of my biggest disappointments. I didn’t enjoy the writing, the characters, or the story. Maybe it’s a problem of my expectations being too high or misplaced, but I don’t want to dwell on a book that I didn’t like.
I’ve seen reviews by people who loved it, and my opinion is just that: my own opinion, one of many. So if you are interested in picking this up, go for it! I’m sad that I didn’t love this one like I wanted to, but that doesn’t mean another reader won’t love it.