Stitching Snow By R.C. Lewis

    R.C. Lewis Ï 8 summary

    Stitching

    Well, this is awkward... another review for a retelling from yours truly. I swear I am not seeking them out; they seem to find me, not I them. In any case, this one is extra special because it's a retelling in spaaaaaaaace. And anything set in space is automatically cool beans in my eyes. I mean, usually. You know. *fidgets*

    Now the only problem is... where to bloody start.

    You see, Stitching Snow and I have quite a complicated relationship. I liked it for the most part, but I found a lot of problems along the way, and I for one never forget these things. Once I spot one, they become even more glaring after a while. Surely now, if ever this book were sentient, it's probably regretting it had to be read by me of all people.


    ...okay, not really.


    For one, this book is obviously futuristic, and set in a world that isn't the Solar System. Since we're in a brand new setting, I expected there to be more imagery about the environment they're in. Not only about the planets and the places they're inhabiting, but about how their orbits and stuff work as well, because there's some space travel in this one. Unfortunately, I found the world-building lacking to the point that it was nearly nonexistent.

    I mean, it's cool to be bombarded with technical mumbo-jumbo since our heroine, Essie, is a mechanic... they were cool after a while, but sooner or later, I simply wanted to learn more about the setting. What does her world, Thanda, look like? What else is there in Settlement Forty-Two? What's to be found in the Bands, aside from being where the women and children live? What about Gamar? So it's hot in that planet, full of sands, and they have solar screens... and is that it? Does this planet have anything else to offer? What about Canadar? It's the place where the Exiles live, okay... the houses are in marble, okay... there are frequent earthquakes, okay... and? What goes beyond it? What about Windsong? There's a castle... that's where the King and Queen live... and? AND WHAT ELSE? WHAT BLOODY ELSE?!?!

    So many questions and I'm not even halfway done. What I find really disappointing in this book is that it doesn't even bloody try.  It would mention places, but I don't even remember anything special about them because they only had passing descriptive sentences that were easily forgettable. It would mention important people, but aside from their name, we don't even know what they look like.It's funny because no one has a description save for the main character and the love interest. People pop in, and we're not given a detail about them that would make them distinct from others. I mean, seriously, they go out to space to travel and we don't even get to know the name of their system's bloody star. I'm not even sure all the planets are in the same planetary system, but it definitely looks like it... and now I need more info on how that's possible, but screw details right?



    Look, the thing is, I hate it when a book is really detailed to the point your brain is overloaded with overlapping images, but this is world-building, guys. For me, it cannot be vague. It doesn't need to be in every other page, it simply needs to be solid and consistent. Heck, there's a political war in this book, and the explanation on its background history can be jotted down in half a page. And that's so frustrating because the plot is centered on that fucking political war. I need more than that for me to be completely immersed in the people's plight.

    Speaking about the war, I'm giggling to myself like crazy how the villain here certainly felt like Snow White's villain - simple-minded and evil for the heck of it. Or maybe there's a reason why the antagonist hated our heroine so bloody much, but I wouldn't know because the book has never expounded on it. A lot of the story is centered on stopping their evil regime, and when we finally crossed that bridge, we get a very underwhelming villain who I can easily picture as a boogeyman because there's absolutely nothing that can distinct the two anyway.

    And I feel so sad about it because that's another opportunity wasted. I wish there was more to the mean mother. We only know that she hates Essie because she's in the way. In the way of what? The throne? But you already are Queen, and Essie wouldn't be queen yet until you die so what's the issue? I don't even get the need to control and make life miserable for other planets when the Exiles were originally co-existing with them. I certainly would have loved to know more Queen Olivia and her motives, wanted to see more than the evil caricature that she was... but yeah, no dice.


    At least she has a reason why she hates you, mister.


    But at least it had a strong heroine. Essie is a strong, capable, and independent girl who survived by herself for many years in the distant planet of Thanda. I loved that she had spunk, and that whenever she found herself in a bind, she sought for ways to free herself from it. She was the lost princess, but was a warrior at heart, through and through. I admit that red sirens were wailing in my head when she first found Dane in a crash site and she immediately described him as beautiful, as if an artist sculpted him, but thankfully, she didn't turn into a lovesick fool in the scenes succeeding that.

    I liked that she had some internal conflict within her, regarding whether or not she wanted to step up and stop escaping from the harsh reality. It's more believable that way rather than charging into a war blindly without thinking things through. If I were her, I would be indecisive at first as well, because it's basically an issue of to sacrifice myself to save them, or sacrifice them to save myself.

    I'm not really sure what to think about the romance, though. I'm glad that the romance was kept at a minimum, and although there were some awkward I love yous, it only really blossomed and materialized at the very end, which made me somewhat happy because that makes more sense than kissing during an an attempt to take the throne. However, while Dane was generally a nice person whose only fault was being quite ignorant in the beginning, he was kinda bland for me.  Reading the book, it looked like to me that his personality simply revolved around Essie. It felt like he never really stood out... his personality didn't shine through at all, and he slowly blended in the background. That may have been on purpose, but I wished his presence was more felt considering his kidnapping scheme was the catalyst and he was Essie's support system.

    All in all, it could have been a good retelling, but the lack of world-building made it really hard for me to appreciate this novel because as a visual reader, I need to be able to see them in my mind to immerse myself in it. The antagonist's simple-mindedness and the book's failure to bring something new to the table in this regard wasn't something that I could overlook as well. The I'm evil because I am is just something that doesn't work with me anymore. But thankfully, the lack of overwhelming romance and the strong heroine saved the day, and they are what redeemed this book for me. Stitching Snow 2.5 stars I was pretty determined to not compare this book to Marissa Meyer's fairy tale scifi series as I read it, because a. it's hardly the first to do a mash-up of genres and b. books deserve to be judged on their own merits. But it's pretty impossible not to see the similarities in Stitching Snow's tone and a few other elements to Cinder, except with characters and relationships that aren't quite as compelling, and a story line and dialogue and romance that don't really spark. It's going to be interesting to see how Meyer's fourth book Winter, which is also loosely based on Snow White, compares when it comes out next year.

    I really dislike Essie as a name, but I did like her as a character, though she's really the only one that's really of any interest. I think Kip could have been interesting, and maybe Laisa, but neither they nor the perfectly-fine-but-forgettable love interest Dane really ended up doing much for me.

    I think this one's probably best suited for die-hard fairy tale retelling fans, or those who haven't yet read Meyer. Sorry for repeated references to the other series, but we do respond to books in the context of other things we've read, no? And unfortunately, for me, this one pales in comparison to The Lunar Chronicles.

    An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review. Stitching Snow Blog: Melissa Martin's Reading List

    PRINCESS SNOW IS MISSING... WHERE COULD SHE BE....





    Princess Snow (Essie) is on the planet Thanda where it's sub-zero weather, sounds like my kind of place. She's been here for 8 years.

    She's a bad ass and I love it! She's in cage fights with the miners of all things!



    She works with a really nice guy named Petey who tries to keep her out of trouble. Essie has made 7 drones to help in the mines. The drones and the humans mine for merinium, it's really important around the galaxy!



    Oh and here is a little EXCERPT on how merinium is made:

    ♣♣♣♣♣

    One of the few native animal species here is called the harri-harra. It's a giant worm that burrows in the bedrock and --Dimwit, I said stop! If you weld your feet together, I'm not fixing it. Anyway, the harri-harra leaves a trail of secretions and excrement in its wake that seeps into the stone, undergoes a chemical reaction and, after enough time, you have merinium.

    ♣♣♣♣♣

    Meanwhile, on in other parts of the galaxy, her father and step monster live on the planet Windsong and they think Essie is dead.



    So, Essie is living the life on Thanda with her drones, she fights in the cage matches to get money to keep upgrading her drones. They don't really look like these... see below ↓



    These drones are her 7 dwarves so to speak in the original story, as if you haven't figured that one out. We have: Ticktock, Clank, Dimwit, Clunk, Whirligig, Zippy, and Cusser. They don't really put in too much of an appearance in the book which was kind of sad to me. Although, Dimwit and Cusser do and I love them both, especially Dimwit, but I have always loved those two dwarves they are acting as :)

    Then this dude named Dane drops in on the planet.. literally, he crashes. Sooooooo... Essie decides to be nice and fix his ride for him. Well.. this, that and the other happens.. and he kidnaps Essie and Dimwit and Cusser are a long for the ride.

    Dane says he's taking Essie back to Windsong because her dad is a prisoner there. Essie's father took all of the Elites on the planet as prisoners, blaming them for her kidnapping. Essie is very sad about this and had no idea as info on Thanda is limited. Anyway, they make some stops along the way on some other planets to finish fixing the ship. Oh...and.. Dane is an Elite and Essie is half Elite. What is an Elite you ask? You will just have to read the book to find out because I'm not telling you EVERYTHING!

    There are a lot of things that happen a long the way but I'm leaving those out. Let's just say at one point, Dane and Essie start to fall in love :) Hey, it's a fairy tale, don't like it.. tough!



    They get some plans together with some peeps and head on over to Windsong. Essie puts on a show about being kidnapped and left in Thanda etc, and that she saved Dane and he's sworn his life to her. Her father is so happy to see her, but well all know the evil queen.. IS NOT.

    There is a point where a poison apple is involved, not in the way you think.



    Some really sad things happen. I cried a little, don't judge me! Some good evil things happen, depending on how you look at them, and there is a royal wedding :) Hoorah!





    I cried at that part ↑



    Stitching Snow 3.5 stars

    Also reveiwed for Addicted2Heroines

    Space, the final frontier...

    The big question on everyone's mind seems to be whether or not Stitching Snow is a rip-off of The Lunar Chronicles.
    Hmmm.
    Well, retellings are, by the very nature of the genre, all rip-offs.
    But that's not really what people are talking about, is it?
    My personal opinion?
    I'm leaning towards, no. No, I do not think this is a rip-off.
    I mean, is no one ever going to be allowed to write another retelling in space, just because Marissa Meyer did such a good job of it? I certainly hope not.
    That would be like saying every story about a young wizard is a rip-off of Harry Potter, and every story about a snugly vampire is a rip-off of Twilight.
    Yes, there are some similarities. Yes, they will bother some people.
    But for folks like me, who gobble up multiple retellings every year? Well, I'm used to the fact that some of these stories occasionally have components that feel familiar. Granted, the reviewers who are comparing this book to Meyer's books, have valid reasons to feel the way they do. All I'm saying, was that it didn't bother me very much. However, in the interest of total disclosure, I probably would have rated this a full 4 stars if there hadn't been things that reminded me of The Lunar Chronicles' world.

    So, with my opinion on that out of the way, here's the review:

    This one took a few chapters to get interesting. The setting on Thanda wasn't something that drew me in, or made me want to read more.
    Cold = Boring.
    Possibly this is because I hate cold climates. I know that tons of people love the Winter Wonderland stuff, but not me.
    Anybody remember Chilly Willy the Penguin?
    Yeah, that's me anytime the temperature drops below 75 degrees.
    True story:
    When my husband and I first met, he had just moved to Florida (having spent the better part of a decade in Colorado), and I nearly killed him on several occasions.
    How?
    Every time the temperature dipped down past 70, I cranked the heat up to 90.
    FULL-BLAST, baby!
    I'd find him passed out on the couch, sweating and gasping for breath.
    Meanwhile, I'm wearing a sweatshirt and wool socks.
    All I can say is that he really must have loved me.

    So, for whatever reason, I found the icy setting bleak and uninteresting. It wasn't until they left the planet entirely, that I perked up and started paying attention.
    Once they were hurtling toward another planet, the plot started clicking a bit better for me, and by the midway point, I was fully engaged in this story.

    Essie (Snow) is the missing princess. Duh.
    Dane is Prince (not always so) Charming. Their romance wasn't insta-love, so bonus points for the two of them getting to know each other first. On the downside, it's not really a sizzler.
    And instead of the Seven Dwarfs, you have seven mining bots that each have their own personality traits. Cusser (Grumpy) and Dimwit (Dopey) are the two main bots that follow Essie throughout the entire story. The rest kind of take a backseat, so, quite frankly, I can't remember their names, or who they line up with in the Disney movie.
    The evil Queen is very...well, evil. But, for me, she wasn't the creepiest villain in the show. No, that spot is reserved for Essie's father. You don't find out why he's so awful until over halfway through the book, so I really can't say anything without it being a spoiler.
    But...DAMN!
    He was so glad to see her alive, and had no idea his new wife was actively trying to kill his child. Yay!
    And yet...*shudder*

    I think Lewis did a really good job of putting a lot of the recognizable parts of the Snow White story into this book.
    Poison apple. Check.
    Huntsman. Check.
    Kiss to Wake Up (with a twist). Check.
    And believe it or not, even the Burning Iron Shoes make an appearance!
    The only thing missing was the glass casket. Yeah, it's not there.
    shrugs

    If you're looking for a YA romance, you'll probably think this is a bit dry and crunchy.
    But if you're looking for your next fairytale retelling, I think you could do a whole lot worse than Stitching Snow.
    However, I also think this one is going to be hit or miss with fans of this genre.
    So.
    Basically, don't come crying to me if you don't like it.
    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    Thank you, NetGalley!
    Stitching Snow
    “The day I was born, my father was more interested in unusual weather for the season. He chose my name and had some genetic resequencing done. He wanted what he wanted. So I was made Princess Snow, eyes like the sky and hair as white as my name.
    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived Snow White.



    Heehee. No, I have not gone off my rockers! Ok, I have, but that's beside the point. Of course, everyone has their own interpretation of a book, but for me, this book is Star Wars meet Snow White.. It has a kick-ass heroine, a realistic romance (and not a hint of a love triangle to be found! Halle-fucking-lujah!). The oh-so-familiar elements of the classics are still there. The dwarves...with a twist. The Evil Queen.
    My stepmother. Crying never got me anything but a slap across the cheek from her. She haunted the edges of my earliest childhood memories. She was inescapable…until I escaped.
    The Huntsman.
    “You were the one,” Dane whispered. “The one who helped her escape.”
    A knife in Kip’s hand, both of us staring at it, staring at each other…The indecision in his eyes fading only when he hands it to me.
    The poison apple.
    I hardly glanced at Olivia’s gift—a ruby-studded pendant in the shape of an apple I remembered her wearing a few times.
    But there are also spaceships, evil emperors, adorably clunky androids... named Dimwit and Cusser.
    Dimwit chose that moment to spot-weld one of its feet to the deck.
    As usual, I didn’t include that infuriating bucket of a malfunction in my tally of problems. After all, I could solve that one with a quick hour of dismantling work.
    For some reason, though, I never did.


    And not to mention, Jedi mind-control
    My surroundings went fuzzy, blurring with motion as something inside of me was yanked somewhere else.
    To someone else.
    And Snow White herself...genetically engineered to look like her name.

    The Summary:
    I didn’t want to go home,” I said simply. “I still don’t.”
    Essie is a rough, tough girl with a secret. She has not had an easy life. One of the youngest miners on the planet, she is no stranger to hard labor. She is a brilliant programmer and engineer. She can fight, and does. Essie can watch her own back, and she will need to. She is all alone, and nobody will watch out for her.



    Life is lonely, and hard. Essie only has two stupid bleeping droids to keep her company (no, really, they bleep and bloop and whirr quite loudly. One is named Cusser...for the words it makes her say). She is content to be left alone...until the day a foreign boy, Dane, crashes into her life. Literally.
    The flats spread before me, and the shuttle lay dead center. Not as bad a crash as I’d feared—it was still in one right-side-up piece. The sparks and smoke, however, didn’t bode well.
    Dane is pretty nice, he gains her trust, he even helps her fight off an attacker. He's just kind of a a little dumb, because hello, he's a treasure hunter. Right. But seriously, he's not a bad dude. That is, he was nice until he kidnaps her. Well, fuck.
    Every alarm in my body went off.
    Something cold and metallic touched my neck. The shuttle skewed out of focus. My legs weren’t under me anymore, but somehow I hadn’t hit the floor.
    “I’m sorry, Essie.”


    It turns out that Dane wasn't lying. He is a treasure hunter. He was just lying about the type of treasure he is seeking.
    “I’m not one of the half-drunk miners you’re used to fighting…Princess.”
    He knew.
    I couldn’t breathe.
    “I’m the ‘treasure’ you were looking for,” I whispered.
    “The treasure I got, the way I see it.”
    Essie is not Essie. Essie is the long-missing Princess Snow. Daughter of the despotic King Matthias and his magical, bewitching Queen Olivia. Dane is part of the Exiles, and he has pretty valid reasons for wanting to kidnap Essie. When she disappeared, his people were blamed. They were punished, reviled. But was it truly the princess' disappearance that made the king seek to destroy their people...or is it part of a much bigger plot?

    Whatever it is, the Exile's miserable, darkened existence is partially her fault, however indirectly. Dane brings her to his people, who want to bring her back on the throne. The Exiles see her as a beacon of hope. She is the heir to the throne. She can overthrow her evil father. She can restore peace to the empire. She is their salvation. Or is she their pawn?
    she’d put her trust in people who couldn’t protect her. People who maneuvered lives like strategically placed pawns.
    Leaving only me, the last.
    Snow has her own reasons for running away. Her life as a child in the palace was not as blissful as it seemed. Is she ready to confront her past? Is she willing to put her fears aside? Will she finally embrace her destiny and become the queen everyone knows she could be?
    Shoulders straight, Essie. Chin level. Just like Mother.
    The council sat around the large table, caught in the midst of an argument. Dane was the first to spot me, his lips parting in mute surprise. The older council members followed his gaze, and the room went silent.
    “You wanted a queen,” I said solidly, pushing my Thandan accent aside. “You’ve got one.”


    Essie:
    Windsong needs you.…
    My mother’s voice again. After the memory of the pond and the dragonflies, it was too much. I turned and ran back to the complex, ignoring Dane’s shouts.
    One thing hadn’t changed since he took me from Thanda—I still would not let him see me cry.
    I really, really hate her name. Essie = nail polish brand to me, so yeah, name = hate. The character, however, is just fine.
    When he doubled over, I kicked his legs from under him. He dropped and I followed, bracing my legs against his while my upper body pinned his shoulders. The shouts surrounding the cage crested as Thacker pushed against the threadbare mat. Before he could throw me off, I grabbed a fistful of his sweaty hair and slammed his head down.


    I like the fact that Essie is strong. I like the fact that Essie is a fighter, a cage fighter for prize money, in fact. I like the fact that, in a YA world filled with girls who want to be artists, writers, singers, clothes designers, our Essie is a programmer and an engineer. I give high praise to authors who give their female characters a love for math and the sciences. It is entirely too lacking still, even in this day and age. Girls should be encouraged to pursue a love of math and science.

    I like her fear. I like her past. I like the fact that she does not allow a dark moment to hold her back.
    Knocked out, helpless in a room full of drunk men.
    I splashed icy water on my face, forcing deep breaths to keep both the memory and the panic attack at bay. Nothing had happened. Not then, and not today.
    I like the fact that she is hard, with a core of steel. She is not a crier, she holds things inside, but she is ever-so-vulnerable just the same. Nobody is perfect. I like that she holds herself back, while still being susceptible to ever-growing teenage hormones, while never letting it overwhelm her. She remains strong, but never so stubborn as to become the cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face type. THE FEELS, LET IT OUT, GIRL!
    “Dimwit Essie queen Essie,” he said. “Essie mother proud.”
    And the twitchy malfunction who’d never botched anything he didn’t mean to dipped himself into an unmistakable bow.
    I didn’t fight the tear that slipped down my cheek.
    I smiled, and I bowed back.
    The Romance:
    A siren blasted my ears, echoing off the smooth walls. Lockdown. If we got trapped in that chamber, it was over.
    I turned, and my eyes found Dane’s. He was still with me. He looked right at me and took a breath.
    “GO!”
    And I did.
    Priority, girlfriend. You haz them. And I love you for it. Yes, this book has romance. The love interest is a kidnapper, and I don't give a fuck. Dane is a good guy. Yeah, Essie has her silly girl moments. So what? You have them. I've had them (and still have them). The point is that the lovey-dovey is kept to a minimum, and I never found myself going...



    I'm not excusing the fact that he kidnapped her, but you have to admit, as Essie admitted...his reasons, to free his people. To release them from blame and scorn...to rescue his father (I am your father. Sorry, couldn't help myself) are pretty fucking valid reasons.
    Kidnapping me to trade for political prisoners made him a despicable smear of buzzard dung. Trading a girl he’d just met for the father he’d lost eight years ago…that made him something else.
    And do I ship them? You fucking bet I (space)ship them. Dane and Essie bring out the best, the brightest, the bravest part of themselves when they fall in love.
    “Please, Essie,” he said. “Let me take you home. Let me make it right.”

    If I let him take me back to hide behind mine-drones and cage fights…it would never be the same. I couldn’t forget the price of my freedom.

    There had to be another choice.

    I had to create one.

    Do what needs doing, even if it terrifies you.

    Only one option remained. The one I’d never been willing to acknowledge, but now I had to.

    “Right, then, I’ll go home.” Dane relaxed and smiled at my words, but I wasn’t done. “Home,” I went on, “is Windsong.”
    Stitching Snow

    Are you looking for a science fiction fairy tale retelling? I recommend Stitching Snow which is a Snow White retelling set against a space adventure. Me? I was sold. I would say it was a cross between The Lunar Chronicles and These Broken Stars.

    The plot itself is a tad hard to explain. Even the synopsis is extremely vague. Basically, eight years ago Princess Snow disappeared prompting a war across planets. We follow Essie who has been on planet Tandra minding her own business. One day, a spacecraft carrying this boy Dane crashes near her house and she helps him and it inadvertently thrown into the center of this war she didn't want to be a part of.

    First off, I wasn't sure about this book when I started it. I wasn't completely sold at the beginning and I didn't like how Dane and Essie's interactions were going or why Essie cared about helping him. Then, I reached sixty pages in and everything changed and I was completely hooked and I was all for this crazy space adventure ride I was put on. It had everything I liked in a ya scifi. There was different planets, spaceships, royalty, balls, underground fighting, the whole bit.

    I LOVED Essie. She was such a spunky heroine. She took zero fucks. You're introduced to Essie as she is partaking in a fighting match. Essie was fun, sassy, intelligent and extremely independent. I loved her. Even though Dane is obviously her love interest, she was the first to say she could do things on her own and that was the thing - she could. She had the goods to back at up and wouldn't be annoying and get into bigger trouble trying to do it on her own. I think so many heroines in ya just rely on the guy. Essie does not. As much as I loved Essie, I did feel she was a little unreliable at times. There's this one bit towards the end between her and another character that is revealed and it didn't shock me, but it confused me because she was interacting with this character during the book and didn't mention it. And guys, it's monumental to the point where it would have been on her mind interacting with this character. maybe the author did this for shock value or a big reveal but it ended up just making me not believe or trust Essie a little. But still, she was a great character.

    One thing I found weak was the world building. It is a standalone and building a scifi world in one book is difficult. There were rules in this book that weren't really explained or delved into. There is this group of people in the book called the Exiles and in fact, they can bodyhop into other characters. It's never really explained how they have these abilities or why or if they're human or alien. It wouldn't bother me as much if it weren't for the fact that it's implied that (maybe) the planet of Windsong (where Snow is from) is/was planet Earth. And if that's so, it changes everything with the solar system that was introduced to me because nine (I STILL COUNT PLUTO) planets weren't mentioned, just three. I don't know. I wished it was just a little more developed.

    Since it is a fairy tale retelling, I was really impressed with how Lewis blended aspects of Snow White everyone knows and updates it to a science fiction setting. Listen. Guys. Essie built seven drones that are so loyal to her and all have their own personality. I was so in love with these damn robots. I want one. There are also nods to apples, poison, stepmothers, mirrors, and slumbers. It was such a fun adventure. i know the next book is a companion, so we won't follow any of the characters in the book, but I hope it's set in the same world. I want to know more about it. Stitching Snow This is definitely a lot of fun, but it's hard to look past the many parallels to the 'Lunar Chronicles' by Marissa Meyer.

    Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:
    - 1. A book you meant to read in 2015 but didn't Stitching Snow It's definitely going to be difficult to not compare this to Cinder; it's got robots, a misplaced princess, space travel, and a fairy tale backbone, but honestly this was just different enough for me to stop the comparisons there. The story didn't really get its hooks into me until around 19%, and it's interesting that I see a lot of people that didn't finish this stopped before that point. Honestly, that's where the whole book did a 180 for me and I was glued to the page. I'd say, if you get to chapter 7 and you're STILL bored, then this is probably not for you.

    I love retellings. I eat them up and ask for seconds. Snow White isn't my favorite story, but the way Lewis incorporated some of the fairy tale's well-known bits into her novel were pretty smart. I didn't think it would be easy to translate some of the things from the original story into this futuristic retelling, but I enjoyed seeing little bits and pieces of it stitched in to fit perfectly.

    While I really liked Essie, I thought the standout character was definitely her bumbling drone, Dimwit. That dumb robot actually made me tear up near the end. Her other drone, Cusser, gets an honorable mention, and I think if the drones hadn't been a part of this novel I wouldn't have liked the story nearly as much.

    Another thing I appreciated was the fact that this is not a series. I know I said this in one of my last reviews for The Darkest Part of the Forest, but it is actually rare for a young adult novel to stand alone. Don't get me wrong, I love series too, but sometimes you don't need 3+ books to tell a story. A lot of times I feel like authors are just spreading things out because they can, or because it's too difficult to tell a full story in one book, but sometimes I just want to read a book and not worry about cliffhangers or how many months I have to wait to find out what's going to happen next.

    I think it's possible to love this book and also love Cinder. There's no reason why both books can't exist with the amount of other fairy tale rellings. Sure, there are similarities, and you might feel like Cinder did them better (or worse) but it's not like you can't enjoy them both. Or course there's the flipside to this coin as well; if you hated Cinder you might love this one instead! If you're in the mood for a science fiction retelling of Snow White with robots and fighting and a pronounced darker side of this fairy tale, then give this one a chance. Stitching Snow
    Snow White and her seven Drones get revamped in this sleek looking space opera. I didn't know retelling fairy tales set in space was a thing. Clever enough idea. I hope this horse doesn't get beaten to death with the inevitable rehashes.

    [Wouldn’t want to botch the pretty girl’s face, right? Idiot.]

    A few moments into this I came across this gold nugget and I almost closed the book altogether. Um, no, no, no, no, just no. It felt so self-referential. But in the past, I have been guilty of far greater instances of lack of self-awareness, so I pushed past that, and read on.

    I am glad I did, this book was very enjoyable. Then I read Essie had dyed her hair red and I was a goner. The contrast of red against white seemed appeasing. Cerise snow always an interesting concept, and sometimes people do come back from the cold. Of course, after a little while, she changed her hair back to their natural white. At least I think the color of her hair was white. Lewis wasn't too big on descriptions, or even describing things past the bare basics.

    As I read this in December, I got this Star Warsy vibe from it making me almost giddy, maybe that was just my anticipation for the Force that's Awakening right now. And likewise, Essie and Dimwit reminded me of Rey and BB-8 though there are no real similarities, but how could they not in my eagerness to watch the new Star Wars movie (I haven't seen it yet so don't spoil it for me haha)

    I'll admit I liked holding this beautifully made book, tracing the pretty filigreed S with my thumb, with every flicker of touch, every rub of my thumb, it gleamed even more. The book felt fluffy in my hands pretty much like its content, like snowflakes.

    The lack of world-building bothered me, really bothered me. I don't like immense settings or tedious setting up of things that takes too long, but this was too much, the lack of substance bordered on disturbing. I kept waiting for Lewis to show us what any of Snow's dwarfs- excuse me- drones looked like but nope, she never did. I couldn't tell if the drones had two legs or four. I've read novelizations with better world-building than this. I have even a bigger issue with how the expletives were used, or rather not used. I understand what genre this was aiming for, but to have your otherwise believable characters utter words like blazing or tank it, just felt juvenile. Yes, YA and all, but there are young adult novels featuring proper profanity. I don't know any eighteen-year-olds who would say blazing or tank it, do you? It just sounded funny. If this book can handle molestation and attempted rapes then it could most certainly handle few expressive expletives. Dark themes did surprise and then impressed me, wasn't expecting anything deep in this one.

    Why the four stars then? Well, it was fun to read and I did enjoy it, the idea and the book felt nice. It was adventurous. I liked how Snow stitched codes, that she liked puzzles. I liked the idea of seven drones. The inevitable love angle was almost insta, but given that Dane was the only person within Essie's age group then I guess it was only natural they did up together, haha? Speaking of Dane, he was serviceable and almost interesting. And Essie was strong, I like that. A strong character in a weakly plotted book. The planets Thanda and Garam mean Cold and Hot in Urdu respectively, I thought that was really cute. Urdu being my first language; an Ole Tongue and lingua franca of all southern faes.

    Ultimately, Stitching Snow filled me up with a yearning for better-constructed worlds in the Scifi genre, oddly enough a craving for steampunk and fairy tales retellings in general. This year I endeavor to only read well-written books. Maybe write a few of those myself.

    I have told you what I liked, let me tell you what I loved about this novel. I loved its ending.
    The end was fair, it ended just right that had me wanting more. So I am going to apply more warpaint and carry on.


    codicil: So I did see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, finally. Let's just say all in all, on a whole, and comparatively, I feel Stitching Snow was a better space saga. That's saying a lot. Imagine my disappointment with the movie. I came out of it feeling a little discontent, a little dissatisfied, and a lot disappointed. Oh, JJ Abrams, you shouldn't have. See, it's not like I was expecting anything exceptional, just I was expecting a little more, but sadly Disney didn't give me more.
    I was a little shocked, TFA wasn't so egregiously bad just the lack of real substance was shocking. All the inane rehashing mind-numbing, people actually liked that?

    Maybe I am the only person in my own universe who didn't like this movie, or maybe not. There are lots of other rebels who are rising up right now, a few of them writers too, and resisting the truly evil Empire in their cloning of original saga.

    Anyway, if anyone is keeping score, Revenge of the Sith and Empire Strikes Back are still my favorite in the bunch. Say what you will about the prequels, but they were a lot better Star Wars movies. They were dark, progressive, trying not to be funny, well not intentionally. And the prequels were a lot more stylish than the Force Awakens too. And quite frankly a lot entertaining too. I remember Sith being a lot more exciting. It was cathartic too.

    On the plus side, upside being, I think I am in love with Rey, I'll blame that on Disney too, haha. Oh and I am definitely getting a lifesize BB-8. Stitching Snow EDIT: I was right. I completely forgot about this book.

    Okay, so I saw this on the Recommendations page and read the synopsis

    I thought Oh, this looks really interesting! I want to read it right away!

    And I looked at the publication date

    October

    OCTOBER

    Are you kidding me?? That's around 7 months away! By then, I bet I would've forgotten that I added this to my tbr list



    Note to self: Check publication date BEFORE reading the synopsis Stitching Snow

    Princess Snow is missing. Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that's assuming she wants to return at all. Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines. When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid. In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy's future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival. Stitching Snow