Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Midnight in Everwood

Rate this book
There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.

339 pages, Hardcover

First published October 28, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Maria Kuzniar

7 books68 followers
Maria Kuzniar spent six years living in Spain, teaching English and travelling the world, which inspired her debut novel The Ship of Shadows. Now she lives in Nottingham with her husband, where she reads and writes as much as she can and bookstagrams at @cosyreads. She is always planning her next adventure.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,329 (19%)
4 stars
2,582 (37%)
3 stars
2,093 (30%)
2 stars
722 (10%)
1 star
169 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,672 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,201 reviews40.7k followers
December 5, 2022
The idea of retelling adult version of Nutcracker is extremely tempting! After seeing this beautifully illustrated, magical cover, only thing in your mind is taking to a journey to Everwood as fast as you can!

The beginning of the story was also promising. It took place in 1906. Marietta Stelle was dreaming of becoming a dancer but unfortunately her plans were derailed by her parents’ intension to force her marry with the sinister toy maker next door called Dr. Drosselmeier. She feels in her guts that was something wrong with the man which was absolutely true!

She finds herself in Everwood with bunch of other women who were forced to be dancers of the king, after being fooled by neighbor doctor. Before getting killed, she has to find a way to escape this haunted land!

The things made me have second thoughts about this book are: haphazardly and one dimensional developed characters and their relationships. I couldn’t relate with Marietta from the beginning and at the captivation process, I was expecting to see more moving, powerful women bounding. Also the love interest as sub plot was not realistic for me! And the conclusion was also semi- satisfying.

The idea and the beginning of the story were promising but the entire execution of the classic needed extra development, emotional depth.

So I can only give three stars because of creative idea to adapt Nutcracker into adults’ world. But this book still made me feel like I just read a YA fantasy novel!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Harper 360 for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
March 12, 2023
There are not many foods I won't eat, but from the top of my head, squid and marzipan are my most disliked foods, and actually, even the very thought of squid brings me out in a sweat. If you would care to join me on imagining a three tier cake, complete with jam, buttercream and a thick, disgustingly sickly marzipan, you'll have to do a double take, as you'll think you're reading Midnight in Everwood.

This entire book revolves around food, one way or another, and quite frankly, it was tiring. The majority of the descriptions, whether that be an object, a person or a place, all had to have something to do with sweet dishes. The occasional simile would be acceptable, but this, this was put out there to get me.

It's funny, as all the males in this story all had voices as silky as warm caramel, and eyes like hazelnut swirls in which you could apparently drown in. Please, may I be spared? I'm pretty sure our main character, Mariette, farts butterscotch gums, and Pontefract cakes, too.

Mariette is an immature being, who lives in a silly fantasy land. She ignores all advice, and goes ahead and does things that are utterly stupid anyway. The odd thing is, at any point in the book, she doesn't actually acknowledge that she has acted stupidly. She doesn't learn from her mistakes, and for a woman in her early twenties, I find that rather concerning, but despite all that, she is made out to be the hero.

Maybe she's too busy getting lost in Legat's hazelnut swirl eyes.

I enjoy flowery prose and an interesting long word or two that I need to look up in the dictionary, but this book was inundated with abrupt, obvious thesaurus researched words, that in some instances, didn't fit with the sentence. Many of them didn't make any sense, and I felt like I was reading something that needed a decent edit. When you use language you need to know exactly when and where to use it. Another issue was that a number of sentences appeared to be snapped in two, with an incorrectly placed full stop there. Why?

And, that sex scene. There were so many broken sentences, I. Just. Wasn't. Sure. Who. Was. Sticking. What. Where.

Overall, I've left this reading experience feeling overwhelmed by all the sweet tasting food on my tongue, underwhelmed by the flat, skeletal characters, but most of all, I'm relieved, as it's only just occurred to me that I only spent 99p on this drivel.
January 1, 2022
Rounded down from around 4.5 stars ⭐️

Midnight in Everwood is a retelling of the nutcracker which follows dancer Marietta who is transported to the magical Everwood. However, not all is quite as magical as it seems in this new world.

This book transported me right back to my childhood. I was in love with ballet from a young age and it was so lovely to experience that love again through this book. To begin with, Everwood felt so magical, I desperately wanted to be able to travel there myself! This is a story of friendship, love and courage and was a perfect read for December!

The writing in this book reminded me of the classics I have loved. However, if you struggle with/do not enjoy classics you might find the writing difficult. Additionally, there are a lot of ballet terms which could get overwhelming if this is not your thing. Unfortunately it did get a little repetitive for me in the middle, and I didn’t feel the same urge to keep reading that I had felt to begin with. Nevertheless I still really enjoyed this story and really want to go and see a ballet now!

I would recommend this to anyone who loves classics and retellings…or ballet fans! I want to thank Netgalley, HQ publishers and M.A. Kuzniar for allowing me to read this book and give my personal thoughts.
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
673 reviews5,624 followers
January 5, 2021
Gorgeously whimsical with confectionery descriptions that made me devour this book from start to finish.

Midnight in Everwood is set in Nottingham in 1906 and follows Marietta who is passionate about her dancing. A ballet is coming up and she is set to give her final performance before she turns 21 and is forced by her family to say goodbye to her dreams. One day, a mysterious stranger moves in next door and begins to build this elaborate set for her performance. But there's something not quite right with it as Marietta discovers when she enters through a door to the enchanting, but oh so dangerous world of Everwood.

This is an adult 'The Nutcracker' retelling by E.T.A. Hoffmann (as well as the retelling by Alexandre Dumas), and you can feel the inspirations of the magic that is established in The Nutcracker without being too overwhelming. 'Midnight in Everwood' stands on its own, so reading The Nutcracker first isn't a requirement, but I'm so glad I did because I could see the nuggets of inspiration that lent itself to this story. Kuzniar establishes her own world and imagination with a writing style that will rival some of the literary greats - at times I felt like I was reading a novel by Oscar Wilde or something!

Marietta is a strong and proud protagonist who is determined to achieve her dreams and to not be oppressed by the people around her. Sometimes she gets into trouble because of this, but she's a character that stays true to herself all the way through, even when a romance blossoms for her. It's a romance that doesn't hinder the plot or the characterisation of Marietta, and I love when a romance doesn't try to steal the show. I also loved the depiction of female friendship in this too, and there were many moments when Marietta and her new friends are empowered by each other in order to face their obstacles.

A gorgeous world is built in this in Everwood, and I felt that spirit from the Kingdom of Toys in 'The Nutcracker'. The descriptions are sensory and confectionary (if that's even a word) and there were a lot of moments where I wanted to curl up with a hot drink and read about the frosty settings. This world does have its dangers though, making it somewhere I kind of wish I could go, but also I don't think it would be a good idea if I did. Not everything is as lovely as it first appears to be, but it's so fun to discover everything along the way.

We also have a cruel and vindictive villain in this who I hated. It was very easy to feel for these characters, whether it's compassion for our protagonist, or a sense of loathing for our antagonist, it was a beautifully constructed world filled with a colourful cast of characters.

This book is a performance of the highest calibre with show-stopping moments that are gorgeously written. You can see the attention to detail throughout this and 'Midnight in Everwood' is a book I would whole-heartedly recommend to everyone when it arrives in October 2021. A huge thank you to HQ Stories for sending me a gorgeous ARC copy of it. I also filmed a reading vlog where I read the two original Nutcracker stories in preparation for 'Midnight in Everwood', which I also read during the vlog, and you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/M65vLc7tmE0
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,074 followers
December 20, 2022
Mixed reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed this magical, wintry tale.

I’m not overly familiar with the original story of the Nutcracker so I was able to take everything in my stride.

Marietta is from a noble family, but she dreams of being a ballerina. Her father has told her this years Christmas performance will be her last. She receives advances from a mysterious neighbour who has just arrived in the town.

When she rejects his advances she flees and finds herself transported to another world. This world is run by a tyrant king who seeks only his own pleasures and cares nothing for his people.

He quickly spots Marietta and forces her to dance for him every night. She must find a way to escape and return home.

A quick and easy read, the descriptions were wonderful and I enjoyed all the different characters. A nice Christmassy story.

So the question is. Do I read a Christmas book in June? Or do I send it back to the library and reorder nearer Christmas?
Profile Image for Sylvie .
632 reviews821 followers
December 31, 2021
2.75 rounded up to 3 stars.

I was planning on reading this book on Christmas Eve, but Christmas isn't over yet so let's do it!

I'm a simple girl... I see a Nutcracker retelling and BAM it turns into my most anticipated book of the year.
Profile Image for ☾.
225 reviews1 follower
November 30, 2021
2.5 stars. poor execution, very slow pacing, questionable plot holes when you really sit and think about it, and a whole lot of not-that-good-at-all-but-not-the-worst-thing-ive-read-so-lets-just-force-read-through-it-and-pretend-i-didnt-read-that-part-to-make-this-read-bearable. i love the nutcracker, though!
Profile Image for Lucy.
415 reviews611 followers
November 19, 2021
3.5*** rounded up.

”You have discovered the delights of Everwood, of course. A land of ice and sugar, enchanted beyond measure. From which door did you seek entry?”

I would say that this book had quite a slow start. The first 30% is of Marietta in Nottingham. She is a young woman from a prominent family who is being stifled by her parents expectations of her to wed, when all she dreams of is dancing. When a new neighbour arrives, Drosselmeier, he sets his attentions on Marietta despite the feeling of unease she gets around him. Drosselmeier is so creepy and Marietta just wants to get away. However, Drosselmeier won’t let her runaway that easily, and in his cruelty, he sends her to Everwood - a place that is magical and has access to multiple doors leading to multiple universes, however, this magical place has its own faults. It is run by a cruel, tyrannical king who enjoys collecting objects. And Marietta becomes one of them.

The above paragraph is basically what is known in the description of the book. However, this was actually the first 40-50% of the book- so much of the plot is given away and I just prefer reading my books with a few more surprises.

In the beginning of the book you do get to see how Marietta feels confined in her life of expectation and you, as a reader, want her to run away from it all. And while I did find this beginning of the book very slow moving, once Marietta enters the world of Everwood the pace and writing picks up. The author does well in describing this magical, dreamlike town of Everwood with its own tensions and rebellions arising. We get to see how Marietta develops bravery and her saving grace is the female bonds she’s able to form, as well as a forbidden love interest.

I loved the female friendship in this and seeing Marietta come into her own. I also really liked her developing romance with Captain Legat and how sweet this was.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,159 reviews1,517 followers
January 22, 2022
Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar is a adult historical fantasy retelling of The Nutcracker. The first thing I would point out though that although this is meant to be adult it did feel to me like a young adult fantasy.

Marietta Stelle loves nothing other than to dance ballet but Marietta’s parent have other things in mind for their daughter. Marietta’s parents want her to find a husband and give up her dreams of dance becoming a proper member of Edwardian society.

When the mysterious Dr Drosselmeier moves into a neighboring home Marietta’s family is won over by him. Dr Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance which is enchanted with magic and transports Marietta to a snowy forest where Marietta catches the eye of King Gelum who claims her as his own.

Midnight in Everwood to me was the type of novel that I found myself transported right into the story but soon found that I wanted more than what I was finding. The world building was great but the story seemed to go at a rather slow pace spending half of the novel on things already known to the read in the book’s description and still with the slow pace leaving me feeling that it didn’t go as deep into the characters as I would have expected. Perhaps I just build this up to much but in the end I could only say it was an OK read.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Laura.
221 reviews14 followers
December 18, 2021
Midnight in Everwood is a dark fractured fairytale retelling of The Nutcracker.

This one started off strong for me with its glittery and delectable writing and reminded me of many things I loved from the Bridgerton TV show, but I hit a solid WALL after about 40%, when Marietta reached Everwood, or the Nutcracker world.

While I originally liked her writing with all of the food descriptors, it quickly turned excessive and sickly sweet, and I felt like I couldn’t read a single sentence without being inundated with descriptions of chocolate this, caramel that, butterscotch everything. It became way too much. The author’s writing style also seemed like she was trying to use EVERY word in the thesaurus, and while I am a sucker for a well-crafted sentence with biting and descriptive words, the way in which this author wrote came across as stilted and gave the book poor flow. Character development was lacking and plot holes seemed to abound once we reached Everwood, and I found myself caring little for how the story would end.

Thank you to Netgalley for the e-ARC!
Profile Image for CC.
326 reviews3 followers
March 24, 2021
"Ida’s brows drew together in the vaguest semblance of a frown. Once, she had smiled freely, only frowning whenever life conspired to displease her. Once, her emotions had tumbled across her face with abandon. That was before the fine lines had started their creep over her features. They dug in like sharp-fingered goblins and gnawed at her youthfulness, encouraging Ida to close her face off to the world. Witnessing this, Marietta felt she almost understood the lengths lengths Countess Báthory had resorted to in her battle for youth. As reading the Aeneid would have her believe, the descent to the underworld was easy."

My notation for the above quote in my ARC was simply a bewildered 'What?" which sums up almost the entirety of my review. Midnight in Everwood just didn't appeal to me. The novel is drowning in so many new writer pitfalls that it is a chore to wade through, which is unfortunate because with better execution I may have enjoyed it. Adapting a beloved classic is a tall order, but I expected more even from a YA novel. The author tries to write expressive prose but instead of being eloquent it is excessive. Dialogue is stilted and even for the 19th century reads unrealistically. There is a lack overall of varied sentence structure so many descriptors are oft repeated such as 'fine' and 'the finest' to denote quality. There's a lot of talk about eyes, and also hair. Many foreheads are furrowed and many brows wrinkled.

There have been excellent retellings of old stories like Tangled, Uprooted and of course Wicked so it can be done. I believe there is the seed of a great idea in Everwood but it hasn't yet been realised.
Profile Image for Arbuz Dumbledore.
324 reviews259 followers
December 12, 2022
Zakochałam się. Bardzo przypomina mi 'Dziewczynę, która skoczyła do morza'. To pięknie napisana cudowna baśń, absolutnie magiczna, klimatyczna i wciągająca.
Profile Image for Beth, BooksNest.
256 reviews494 followers
October 28, 2021
AD • Review Copy, I received a free copy of this book from HQ Stories in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Midnight in Everwood captured me immediately from the blurb, a magical Nutcracker retelling that promised to carry me away to a fantasy land. And it didn't disappoint. Maria's writing is beautifully, whimsical and paints such beautiful imagery. To me this book had a slight touch of the gothic to it which just added to the growing atmosphere of a stunning winter landscape contrasted against the unpleasant situation our main character Marietta finds herself trapped in. Set in an Edwardian society in the North of England, there is beauty in every page and M. A. Kuzniar's writing made the English setting feel very romanticised, which made the reading experience even more enjoyable. I haven't read many books from this time period, but I immediately felt at home with Marietta's story and felt compelled to see her journey.

I love reading about a main character with passions and Marietta's is ballet, something I've not read much about, but loved exploring this talent through our protagonist. Marietta seeps independence and strength, she is also trapped in so many ways in this book, but the growth we see her go through truly feels freeing for her. Ballet is a delicate and elegant dance, it is soft and graceful and Marietta encompasses these characteristics too, but she is also sharp and alert and breaks the mould her parents want her to fit. She is her own best cheerleader and I loved the references throughout this book to her rights as a woman and her worth. I didn't expect this novel to make me feel empowered as a female, but it did, I felt proud of Marietta's achievements because of how hard she has to push for them.

The magic system in Midnight in Everwood is one of my favourites, a truly fantastical world where anything can happen. It's accurate to say this book is for fans of Garber and Morgenstern, the attention to detail when it comes to the different magical features of the world Marietta find herself in are completely reminiscent of these writing styles. I feel that glorious food comes hand in hand with enchanting magic in this novel because wow the descriptions and mouthwatering food creations. I read this in the week of Christmas and I think that was smart because I was never short of sweet treats to satisfy the cravings this book gave me!

Maria's writing is truly hypnotising, I felt myself falling down the rabbit hole when reading this book, it really swept me away. The imagery is still so vivid in my head and I still feel very invested in the characters, who I am inventing my own stories for after this book ends. I feel incredibly lucky to have read this book early and to have been able to enjoy Maria's excellent talent and magical writing. This book comes out in October 2021, but you can preorder it here. 
Profile Image for Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk).
1,412 reviews2,302 followers
December 16, 2022
Baśniowy, tajemniczy i mroczny retelling dla dorosłych jednej z najbardziej świątecznych i magicznych opowieści na świecie, czyli „Dziadka do Orzechów” E.T.A. Hoffmanna.

Kto pamięta oryginalną opowieść niemieckiego romantyka E.T.A. Hoffmanna „Dziadek do Orzechów”, ten z pewnością pamięta również swoiste uczucie nachodzącej konfuzji tak podczas lektury, jak podczas oglądania kultowych już spektakli. To historia niezwykła i cudownie magiczna, jednak przez swoją magię i nachodzącą ją często fabularną dziwność – niecharakterystycznie chaotyczna. Niemniej, zawładnęła wyobraźnią milionów, oczarowała swoim wdziękiem i oryginalnością, stała się ucieleśnieniem świątecznego ducha i magii Świąt Bożego Narodzenia. M.A. Kuzniar w „Północy w Everwood” zaklęła całą tę magię oryginału, cały ten wróżkowy pył, ale… uporządkowała chaos i wykreowała fascynującą opowieść już nie dla dzieci, ale dla dorosłych spragnionych niesamowitości.

A tej niesamowitości, tej magii, tej całej cudowności jesteśmy spragnieni, nawet jeśli nie mamy o tym pojęcia! To M.A. Kuzniar z każdą kolejną stroną przekonuje nas, że chcemy więcej i jesteśmy jak te łapczywe dzieci pożerające, nadgryzające, utytłane od góry do dołu cukrem, czekoladą i wszelką możliwą słodkością. Każdy kolejny rozdział jest jak śnieżna kula pełna hipnotyzujących, przyciągających uwagę detali. To trochę tak, jakby znaleźć się w sklepie, którego ściany, podłogi – każdy kolejny kąt – spowijają świąteczne dekoracje, a który już na wejściu sprawia, że chcemy kupić w nim WSZYSTKO! Nawet jeśli za chwilę piernikowy czas minie i puff! Świąteczna magia odejdzie w zapomnienie. Taka jest właśnie „Północ w Everwood” – wypełniona po brzegi opisami tak barwnymi, tak obrazowymi, że w jednej chwili nasza wyobraźnia wyrabia salta i fikołki, a nasz wewnętrzny chciwy dzieciak tylko jeszcze bardziej się nakręca.

„Zobaczyła, że w jednej z chat sprzedawana jest płynna czekolada w miętowych miseczkach; w innej – bladoróżowe myszki z cukru, które piszczały, gdy się je nadgryzało; w jeszcze innej działające pociągi z piernika, jeżdżące po torach z lasek cukrowych. A potem były domki kuszące jeszcze cudowniejszymi odcieniami magii.”

To jedna strona „Północy w Everwood”, ta żarłoczna, zjawiskowa, ta, która sypie się cukrem i leje gorącą czekoladą. Z drugiej zaś strony mamy obiecany tak mrok. Tytułowe Everwood to kraina skąpana w cieniu, w tyranii, pod rządami mężczyzny ogarniętego snującą się w duszy obsesją. Tam walka dobra ze złem toczy się każdego dnia, a zło nosi maski, przybiera pozy. To pozornie piękne miejsce, osłodzone i pachnące, zaklęty zakątek, który jednak jest jak złota klatka, piękna pułapka, więzienie, z którego nie ma ucieczki. Nasza bohaterka musi pokonać słabości, musi odnaleźć siłę, musi dojrzeć do tych najważniejszych życiowych decyzji. I o tych decyzjach, o tym poświęceniu, o kobiecej odwadze jest właśnie ta powieść. Także o odnajdywaniu swojego głosu i jego siły w świecie, który chce go stłamsić za wszelką cenę.

Jest w „Północy w Everwood” świąteczny blask, jest zapach pierniczków, jest ciepło, które roznosi się podczas lektury po całym ciele. Baśniowy nastrój, nawiązanie do klasyki, opowieść o dorastaniu – pięknie to pasuje do „Dziadka do Orzechów”, którego pierwotny wydźwięk był inny, a jednak przecież całkiem podobny. To historia stara jak świat, o walce dobra i zła, o świetle, które można dostrzec w mroku, o magii, która bierze się z siły i wiary. M.A. Kuzniar całą esencję klasyki przelała na opowieść wciąż niezwykle klimatyczną, ale już ze współczesną nutą. Taką, która oczaruje dorosłych i dorastających czytelników, szczególnie tu i teraz, zimową, świąteczną porą.

Nawet nie zdawaliście sobie sprawy, jak bardzo tej historii potrzebujecie.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,034 reviews1,420 followers
September 8, 2021
Christmas has come to September with this sweet retelling of Nutcracker.

Marietta Stelle eats, sleeps, and dreams ballet. However, it doesn't matter how skilled a performer she is nor how much she longs for the stage, her days at the dance studio are numbered. Her family desire her to settle down with a husband and you can't be the perfect, doting wife if you are spending hours sweating at the barre or limping around on blistered and bloody toes.

Dr Drosselmeier arrives to town and forms a temporary distraction from the family's squabbles. All are intrigued by his mysterious figure and enchanted by his miniature, woodwork creations. Marietta finds in him a sympathetic ear and an individual captivated by her performances. She is magic upon the stage but he might possess a far darker and more literal source that will alter her life forever.

This was as enchanting and whimsical a read as I had anticipated. I loved how Kuzniar kept the bones of the original tale and delivered the reader a slightly different variation of the magic it contained. This was, for all the beauty it featured, a subtly dark read and I loved how each decision made or mystery uncovered only ever ensured this was increased.

Marietta was at the centre of it all and I loved venturing with her into lands unknown and meeting with figures unlike any she had met before, in 20th century England. She grew in abilities and confidence as her purpose became revealed and sought continually to craft her own version of the future she desired for herself, regardless of the desires of others.

This was a darling little tale, which proved as inspirational as it was charming. The conclusion was a hopeful one and it ensured I closed the final page entirely delighted by all that had transpired.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, M. A. Kuzniar, and the publisher, HQ, for this opportunity.
Profile Image for Dee.
341 reviews6 followers
December 22, 2021
⭐️ 2 ⭐️

I really wanted to love this book; the cover is gorgeous, and the sprayed edge edition is a work of art, unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations.

The story is ploddingly slow-paced and it seemed to take an age before we got anywhere near the magic of Everwood. In my opinion the story lacks depth and the characters are very one dimensional. Marietta, the main character comes across as spoilt and brat-like.

The flowery, sickly-sweet, overly sugared prose made this a difficult book for me to digest, so many repeat descriptions of ‘butterscotch eyes’, ‘molten chocolate’ and other food related similes that instead of tempting me, just grated on me and turned my stomach too much in the end.

Sadly, not for me.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC, in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Profile Image for Jenn.
191 reviews6 followers
November 22, 2021
I really wanted to love this, but there were just too many inaccuracies in the historical setting and ballet descriptions. There's also the prose style which was clearly supposed to evoke an atmospheric and vivid setting, but really added nothing to the story so the reality was a lot of purple prose without any depth.

The characters were also very one dimensional. None of them had a unique voice, and we never got a clear sense of their personality beyond their archetype. The dialogue was stilted and not reflective of how anyone would actually speak. They seemed to just exist as opportunities for the author to make grand, flowery declarations that sound profound, but end up ringing hollow in the context of the narrative.

I was also surprised to see this book marketed to adults because it seems better suited to a YA audience. That's not a knock on the quality of YA novels (some of favorite books are YA), but more a comment on the maturity of our main character. While she may be faced with some very adult life decisions, she reacts to them with the emotional intelligence of a child. She persists under the mistaken belief that the empowerment she feels from dreaming about life as a ballerina is enough to make it true. She never stops to consider any of the obstacles in her way, or consider what she can do to eliminate those problems. She doesn't do anything beyond talk about how much she wants to dance, how much she doesn't want what other girls want, and how powerful that dream makes her feel. By the end of the novel, I was just annoyed from being inside the head of a character that moves passively through her life, waiting for things to happen to her rather than putting any effort to making things happen.
Profile Image for Kristina.
254 reviews73 followers
December 20, 2021
I really enjoyed this Nutcracker retelling. It was very atmospheric and the writing felt decadent. It was easy to feel transported into Everwood. The author made this story feel classic, yet updated with modern thematic content such as agency, freedom, and privilege.

The female friendships in this book were done really well and were quite touching. The romance was sweet too. I do think the pacing may be a little slow for some readers, but it wasn't a problem for me. If you are looking for a winter fairytale for the holiday season, definitely pick this one up.
Profile Image for Marta the Booktrovert.
417 reviews35 followers
December 24, 2021
I need to stop buying books just for the pretty cover. It was ok until 35/40%? Then, Marietta gets to Everwood and completely lost me. Everwood should have been the fun part, instead I was bored to death. I skimmed through until the end and regret my impulse buying once again.
Profile Image for kaitlyn.
144 reviews132 followers
December 15, 2021
thank you netgalley, harper collins 360, and m.a. kuzniar for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review! this is an adult retelling of the nutcracker. before reading, i wasn’t too aware of the story, as i’ve only seen the ballet once as a kid and don’t remember much from it.

i originally picked up this book because of the cover, which is gorgeous! while reading i absolutely loved the writing style. i can understand why some readers wouldn’t like it, but to me it seemed very magical and made the book read like a fairytale. my biggest complaint about the novel is the the characters felt very one-dimensional and i never felt close to any of them. i liked learning about marietta, our main character, and seeing what she goes through, but i never connected to her like i would have liked to. i also thought the pacing was slow and it took me longer to get through than most books would considering it’s winter break.

i loved learning about everwood and ballet throughout the book. the romance was also very sweet and i enjoyed the ending. i recommend this one to fans of the nutcracker, but i can see why some people wouldn’t enjoy it. i’m giving it 3 stars because of my mixed opinions, but i’m glad i read it, especially near christmas time! it’s a good christmas read and got me even more excited for the holiday ❄️

“only the most magical things happen at midnight. when mortal folk are dreaming, safe in their beds, it is then that the sprites and goblins creep out and the air crackles with wild magic.”
Profile Image for Emily.
238 reviews769 followers
December 23, 2021
This book is a beautiful retelling of the nutcracker & I adored it as it is perfect for Christmas with its wintery setting

The writing is so whimsical & I truly felt like I was in a fairytale as all the descriptions of the food had me craving everything sweet

The plot moved fast enough that it kept me engaged & I enjoyed reading about Mariettas growth throughout the book to not give her dreams.
Profile Image for Eloise.
101 reviews45 followers
February 26, 2022

Marietta was a character with whom I had a complicated relationship. I like her brash and no-nonsense demeanour at the start of the book, and her continual battles with her parents, as well as her internal struggle between doing what she loves and living up to her parents' standards, made me sympathise with her. When she initially arrives in Everwood, however, she almost becomes the pampered princess that society has worked so hard to create, desperate to know everything, even in a magical realm.

She immediately overcomes this personality switch, seeing her folly and acknowledging she was wrong, but it threw me a little to see her switch personality types so swiftly. Throughout everything she endures, she has a strength inside her, she is determined to answer to no man, be it a King or her father, and her character development is definitely one I liked following.

Though this is mostly Marietta's story, Kuzniar introduces us to a well-developed cast of supporting characters, some of whom I adored and others whom I wished to see die a horrific death. Dellara and Pirlipata were unquestionably my favourites. They are the women Marietta is sharing a room with in the palace, as well as two others who have experienced what it is like to be subjected to the King. I found myself drawn to everyone, especially Dellara, who is first harsh and standoffish to Marietta, but once you read their backstories, you understand why they hold her at arm's length. I also adored Frederick, Marietta's brother and the only person in her life who understands her dreams.

Kuzniar certainly has a talent for creating truly magical situations, and her imagination knows no bounds. Everything in Everwood is saccharine sweet, which is lovely to look at but a little too much when you approach too close. The beauty of the structures and surroundings has an elegance and appeal to it, yet there are also small elements of darkness and overindulgence. I was captivated by this world and am grateful that the author allowed us to spend so much time in it, though I do wish there had been a bit more time spent outside of Marietta's frozen sugar palace.

This book starts out a little slow, but after we reach Everwood, the story picks up and becomes a lovely and enchanting tale. I'll definitely be looking into Kuzniar's other works, and I'd love to return to this world and these characters if we had the chance.
Profile Image for pageofbookss.
61 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2022
Przeczytałam ją w okresie świątecznym i to był idealny moment ,żeby to zrobić . Kocham tą książkę za klimat , fabułę jak i relacje bohaterów z główną bohaterką , POLECAM KAŻDEMU A SZCZEGÓLNIE NA OKRES ZIMOWY
Profile Image for Sasha .
293 reviews287 followers
December 31, 2021
I DNFed it...

I think this book was written for a very specific audience and I am not part of that audience. I don't think anything was wrong with the book per se... It was just not for me even though I love Portal Fantasy Books and Wintry Settings (and I thought I liked retellings too...)

The writing style is beautiful (like really pretty) but it needed to be accompanied by a strong plot with more believable scenes.

I don't rate the books I DNF unless there was something really wrong and problematic with them. So I prefer to DNF a book and not rate it than force myself to finish a book and then give it a poor rating... It seems fair to me to not rate it when DNFed then...

We talked about it with the enchanted Book Club; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WEEf...

BUT I have only heard good things about the Middle Grade books that author has written under Maria Kuzniar. So I'm excited for them...
Profile Image for Jennie Damron.
467 reviews60 followers
December 6, 2022
I have been fortunate in having a few back to back 5 star reads. This hasn't happened in a while.
I adored this book in every way. This is Christmas beautifully encapsulated in a book. I can be a bit Grinchy this time of year, but this book makes me want to decorate my Christmas tree and bake tons of Christmas goodies.
This was a beautiful retelling of the Nutcracker. The characters are wonderful, the atmosphere perfect, and the friendship depicted in this book was heartwarming. I am so happy I chose to read this book when I did. I know this will be a book I will reread every year around this time to kick off Christmas. Wonderful book and I highly recommend.
Profile Image for Marta (Bibliofilem być).
442 reviews302 followers
December 11, 2022
Podoba mi się ta wariacja na temat klasycznego „Dziadka do orzechów”, ale ostatecznie nie porwała mnie tak, jak na to liczyłam. Na pewno jednak będę przyjemnie ją wspominać i polecać jako powieść w sam raz na okres świąteczno-zimowy.
Profile Image for Lia Strange.
459 reviews198 followers
August 8, 2022
alguna vez vieron barbie y el cascanueces? yo si un millon de veces, porque amo el ballet y la navidad. bueno este libro es algo asi pero mas adulto
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
December 13, 2021
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Long story short, I know next to nothing about the Nutcracker. Mostly because I don't know ballet, but I do know that it was turned into a movie. Or maybe mentioned in movies? Either way, I know it exists I just don't know much about it. Until now.

Entering into the magical world within Midnight in Everwood. Honestly, it was a pretty good book. I do think that it started off a bit slow for me but thankfully things picked up. It also introduced me to some unlikable characters. Mostly the guys because they just rubbed me the wrong way.

As for the rest of the characters, Marietta and Legat were my favorites. Well, mostly Legat if I'm being completely honest here. He just made things so much better in my eyes and I couldn't help but ship them. Their adventure brought them closer to one another and I just really enjoyed their teamwork when it came to certain foes.

In the end, I'm a little disappointed. I thought things were going to end one way and it went the complete opposite. So, I'm shocked and wondering why. I still enjoyed the book though.
Profile Image for paula ꧂.
192 reviews
February 17, 2023
bardziej takie 3.5, bo pomimo ciekawego świata i niesamowitego klimatu miałam momenty, że trochę się nudziłam i nie czułam większej potrzeby wracania do tej historii, ale jestem dużą fanką motywów baletowych i całej tej tanecznej otoczki🫶🏻
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,672 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.