Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: After the Snow

    Review: 'After the Snow by S. D. Crockett

Published by: Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-312-64169-6
Reading Levels: Grade 8+

When I give book talks to students, I don't only discuss books that I enjoyed. I bring out books that I didn't like as well, letting them know they weren't to my taste and why, including a plot review. One book like that is 'Blood Red Road' - I disliked the bleak dystopia and the plot that kept going and going and going. Unfortunately, while reading 'After the Snow' I was constantly reminded of 'Blood Red Road'. The bleakness, the journey, the family revelations, the violence and the times of inaction. It was 'Blood Red Road' all over again and I had to push to finish it.
'After the Snow' tells of a world that has suffered a brand new ice age. The oceans have stopped, America has become inconsequential and survival is of the utmost importance. Willo has only known the world in this state - ice and snow is his normal. He learns from the animals and spends time trapping them for food and for their fur, imitating them whenever he can and recognizing their power and their beauty. One day his family is taken away while Willo is out trapping. Unused to being the pack leader, Willo does what he can to survive, bringing as many supplies as he can to the top of the mountain so he can build a shelter and try to figure out how to find his family. On his way, he discovers a young girl and her brother who are starving and alone. Choices he makes from that point on will jeopardize his chances of survival and alter his destiny forever.
For me, when I read, I need to care about the characters. They could be doing something I've never done (to this point), such as fight cancer, participate in a battle to the death again other people their age, come to terms with the fact their father is a prolific serial killer, or go on a quest to kill the dark lord who-shall-not-be-named. The character of Willo was as bleak as the landscape and even his revelations about his family could not endear him to me. This character, when combined with the abysmal setting of snow and ice, could not make me care about him or his journey. Having not met his family, I had no connection of hope to his finding them, other than not wanting a young boy to be alone. I couldn't connect with the main character, thus, my connection to the book was one of suffering as I pushed to finish it.
I give this book a 2/5. It has merits, it's just not for me and I would not reread it.
Goodreads page.


Post a Comment