Tuesday, August 1, 2017

GIRL IN SNOW BY DANYA KUKAFKA - BOOK REVIEW

Going in, the only thing I knew about this book was that it was a thriller. And it was one of the best kinds of thrillers because it was unique from many of the other thrillers I've read.


Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


The story follows a few characters' perspectives after the murder of Lucinda Hayes, an idyllic and beloved high schooler. Her death shakes the whole community, including Cameron, the boy who loved her from afar; Jade, the girl who loved her boyfriend; and Russ, one of the detectives working the case. As the town tries to piece together what happened to Lucinda, the three narrators come to terms with their own interwoven lives and the secrets they've been keeping.

I think this book is quite unique because usually when you get a crime thriller, you get one, maybe two perspectives, and usually from characters immediately affected by the death, the family, the significant other, the best friend. So rarely do you see people as distant away from the victim.

Kukafka's writing style was phenomenal. You could really tell that she knew the weight of her words and chose them carefully. There were a few times where I just had to take a minute to fully appreciate the diction and story as a written piece of art. It's been a while since the writing of a book has drawn me in this much, I know that just based on her writing style alone, this won't be my last experience with Kukafka.

Each narrator had their own life outside of the murder and we got snippets of that throughout the book. Russ's relationship with his wife and her family who had come to America, when Russ first joined the force, he trained with Cameron's dad, Lee. Cameron's father left a few years back, leaving Cameron and his mother on their own. Jade and her sister live with an abusive mother and indifferent father. Each of these characters gets a story without taking away from the main story of Lucinda. Normally, I find these separate storylines detract from the story but, in this case, Kukafka does a fantastic job of making it work.

By the end of the story, when we find out what really happened to Lucinda, part of me was mad at myself because it was the easy answer. I briefly thought about it being a possibility but brushed it off as being too simple. But, as Kukafka shows us, sometimes the simple, classic answer is the best one. By the end, I wasn't reading the book to find the killer, I was reading the book to connect with the characters.

I found myself most connected to Cameron. Each night, after everyone was asleep, he would sneak out of his room and just walk around the neighbourhood. He'd observe his neighbours as they were in their homes, but not in a creepy, stalker way. I know it seems like that, but I think we all have that side of us that observes and imagines. You can never truly know those around you, but Cameron wants to try. I thought this was a less sinister version of Joe's watching in YOU by Caroline Kepnes.

This is one of those books that you can and will read again and again. You'll become enchanted by the story, not noticing every detail the first time through. You'll want to read it again, find clues that you missed, highlight favourite quotes again and again. It's one of those books and for me, it's been so long since I read one like that.

Overall, a new favourite for me, highly, highly recommend.