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Snowflake, AZ

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Ash gets on a Greyhound bus to the place Bly was last seen: Snowflake, Arizona. Six thousand feet up in the wide red desert, Ash meets Mona; her goat, Socrates; her dog, Cooper; and finds stepbrother Bly, too.

In their ramshackle homes, the walls lined with tinfoil, Mona and her neighbors are all sick. But this isn’t any ordinary sickness: modern life has
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Norton Young Readers (first published September 5th 2019)
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Average rating 3.11  · 
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Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

I don't know. This one just didn't add up to a cohesive whole for me. As much as I like Sedgwick's work, as much as I was taken by most of the ideas in this story, Snowflake, AZ doesn't strike me as a novel that is successful at what it tried to accomplish.

The novel starts with Ash arriving at Snowflake, AZ (a real place). He is looking for his older step brother, and he finds him in a small community of people who suffer from medically unrecognized maladies, such
Jacqueline Allan
Jul 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had great hopes for this book and love the author however I gave up 60% into it. I was truly bored with it. The language was strange and the storyline was just odd. I thought it would be similar to 1984 in a way but no. I hate giving up on a book but this was probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

Marcus Sedgwick sure writes some unique stuff. I won't pretend that this was my favorite of his per se, but it definitely had some thought provoking moments. In the book, Ash sets out to find stepbrother Bly, who's disappeared into this remote community in Arizona (ironically named Snowflake). When Ash arrives, they find that it's a community of people living primarily off the grid, but the reas
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

I usually adore this author and was excited for an opportunity to read this. Unfortunately, this book was a little slow for me. It feels important and has many ideas that are interesting, but not much happens. This book is more one of ideas than events.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The premise of this book is based on a real life event that happened to the author, Marcus Sedgwick. After returning from a trip to Asia he started getting sick. Doctors could not give him a reason for this illness, and were inclined to suggest that it was all in his head.
On the back of this diagnosis, Marcus discovered a real-life community living in Snowflake, Az who claim to suffer from illnesses born (among other things) from chemicals used in the modern world.

The book explores this concep
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’m not going to lie and say i finished it. I got 55% of the way through and honestly it’s been a real trudge through it. I’m sad to give it such a review as the premise is incredibly promising, however the way it is written is very strange and slow. I’m usually a real fan of Sedgwick but unfortunately this one just isn’t for me.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is difficult. I think Marcus Sedgwick is a genius and I wanted, rather badly, to enjoy this book. The fact is that I didn't, not even a little. That said, the last page, kind of like the last story in Dubliners, made the slog of the rest of it worth it, more than, perhaps.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book frustrated me. I wasn't sure what it would be based on the description. I thought maybe dystopia, which it is in a weird way. Then I read the author's note in the beginning that said the book is based on his experience of being told that his unseen disease is all in his head. This book could have been a great thing for people with unseen diseases (mental illnesses, chronic pain, etc) that have faced disbelief and even anger from other people. Instead, we have a group of people who have ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think I could sum up in a nutshell what this book is all about any better than the synopsis that came with the book from the publisher: ‘A timely, contemporary novel challenging ideas around health – our own and our planet's – and the stigma that persists around illness’, so I am not going to try.
My first brief response on Twitter when I finished reading the book was that quite simply: ‘This is an incredibly powerful book for anyone who manages a long-term chronic illness such as C
Samantha Fondriest
The writing is probably a 3, the plot is a 1.5, but the conspiratorial way medicine is treated - especially in an age of anti-vaxxers - is downright dangerous and problematic. And I’m not someone who usually finds things “problematic,” so that’s saying something from me. This book is full of tin-foil levels of crazy. I couldn’t get past how absolutely batshit crazy the first 2/3 of the book, despite some interesting-but-not-fully-developed points the author tries to make in the back third. Hence ...more
This book is hard to rate. There is such oddness in the book, and it isn't the main topic of the type of illness either, it's the way the book is written.

First of all the narrator, Ash, calls him/her self a kid. (It is never firmly stated if Ash is a boy or girl, I'm going with girl for pronouns sake.) Early on Ash says she is 18, but the way Ash thinks is more like aged 12. It's way off, the age and the writing level and the extreme immaturity. So I found myself continually asking, how old is Ash
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ash (nickname Snowflake) visits his step-brother Bly who lives in Snowflake, Arizona. It’s a middle-of-nowhere town where all the residents suffer from illnesses which can’t be explained, or often aren’t even believed, by medical science. The residents believe their illnesses are brought on by the chemicals and electricity of the modern world.

And there’s a Tennessee Fainting Goat. Don’t entirely know why there’s a goat. But he’s called Socrates.

There were lots of interest
Graham Vingoe
Firstly, the proof copy I read wasn't particularly well formatted (chapter titles mingling with the starts of sentences was slightly confusing at times). What I did like about Snowflake was that I got a real sense of place about the town and its inhabitants who are not entirely there by choice, and the fact that when the inevitable happens at the end (no, I won't say what but it isn't totally a surprise), we are only given a hint of What Happened as Sedgwick refers to it. Some parts of it did se ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-mt-bookpile
Snowflake refers to both a town and a character (real name, Ash). Ash has traveled to Snowflake to find his brother, whom he thought was in SF becoming a police officer. Turns out, Bly and everyone else in "the forties" is suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitives or Environmental Illness or both. Houses are lined in aluminum foil, products are off-gassed, and some of the residents live outside to avoid illness. Is it psychosomatic? Is it real illness/sensitivity? There's a lot of jargon and s ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, read-2019
I've liked Marcus Sedgwick's work in the past because it was weird in a different and interesting and lovely sort of way. This one was also weird, but in a meandering and conspiratorial and not particularly interesting way. Feels more like an author who started reading about a topic and then wanted to write a story about it and so tossed in some random ingredients (a narrator who speaks in an inexplicably Huck Finn-esque dialect! a brother slash potential love interest! a bunch of extremely high ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
{1.5} I stopped "reading" this book after the first 50 pages, and just started skimming the words on the page to say that I finished it. From what I could tell, the storyline really didn't move at all from the first chapter to the last, and it had almost no action. The writing was just incredibly boring, and I feel like this book tried to be symbolic and meaningful but was just so bland. It moved so slowly, and even when big moments (like a major death) occurred, it seemed glossed over when it s ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Snowflake, AZ is what you expect from Marcus Sedgwick, a quirky, thought provoking, what the heck did I just read kind of book! Ash arrives in Snowflake, AZ in search of his brother, Bly. Ash quickly learns that Snowflake isn’t your usual town. Among its high elevation, Snowflake is home to nothing but sick residents. The only cure for these residents is to stay away from modern life. The chemicals will make you sick. The overall question of this book is are you sick or is it all in your head? A ...more
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I received a digital advanced readers copy through NetGalley. In a not so distant future, mankind pays a high cost for its unbridled ill considered abuse of resources and dependence on synthetics. I would give this thought provoking novel a 3.5
Doris Raines
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2019 added it
Enjoyed the premise and the voice, but I felt "stuck" in a story Sedgwick wanted to tell as a memoir but decided to disguise as fiction. I would have rather have had the memoir.
Jakob Behrendt
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely life changing. I've never read a book that completely changed my outlook on life I would 100% recommend this to anyone looking for a good book.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
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Stacey Jenkins
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Sep 10, 2019
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May 02, 2019
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Oct 06, 2019
Laura Koenig
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Sep 07, 2019
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Sep 27, 2019
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Sep 15, 2019
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Nov 03, 2019
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Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Heart of Another" ...more
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