Leigh Collazo's Reviews > After the Snow

After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
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's review
Mar 08, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: pub-date-2012, net-galley, read-in-2012
Read from March 08 to 15, 2012

Read full review (incl. content breakdown and readalikes) at http://readerpants.blogspot.com.

REVIEW: When I started this book, I could not stop talking about it! I love the writing style (similar to The Knife of Never-Letting Go and Blood Red Road) and the constant struggle for survival in the snow. About 70 pages into the story, I added it to my Goodreads account and was surprised/saddened to see the mediocre average Goodreads rating. I was bummed; surely if that many reviewers did not like the book, I must be wasting my time reading it. After skimming some of the reviews, I saw that many reviewers did not finish the book or did not like the writing style. Since I did like the writing style and the story, I continued reading, and I am so glad I did.

A character-driven story, After the Snow does have a few slow spots, but it never lasts long. Willo finds himself in plenty of tight-spots where escape seems impossible. Willo's insightful inner-dialogue and unending resourcefulness make him a superhero in my eyes; no matter what mess he finds himself in, Willo has the brains to escape it. I especially love how Willo is no bare-chested, brooding "hottie" so common of male leads in YA fiction. Quite the contrary, he's an odd little duck who wears a dog skull, talks to a dog in his head, and spends lots and lots of time observing nature. Love!

I really, really hope that poor reviews do not discourage potential readers (or worse, the publisher or first-time author). Crockett's writing style is brilliant--simple, insightful, and beautiful. Willo and Mary make a great team, and it seems the story only scratches the surface of these two unique characters and the world they live in. As the months pass and Willo matures, he discovers just how much his parents protected him up in the mountains, away from the filthy, corrupt city. The world-building is slow, and Crockett leaves lots of unanswered or partially-answered questions for both Willo and the reader. The ending does wrap up some loose ends, but it leaves plenty of unfinished pieces for a sequel, which I hope hope hope comes soon. As of this writing, I can find no information about a planned sequel.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Readers who like the style of books like Blood Red Road and the Chaos Walking trilogy should try this little gem. Great characters, world-building, and a sweet potential romance all have me looking forward to a sequel.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY (GRADES 6-8): On order. Yes, it contains some language and crude sexual references, and yes, I am somewhat concerned about that. However, I have a pretty decent audience of smart students--particularly boys--who crave post-apocalyptic science fiction, and I cannot deny them access to this book. After the Snow will be a hit in my school, though I will be careful who I recommend it to because of the content.

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