#loveozya :: SNOW :: Ondine Sherman

Today I have the pleasure of joining in with the Aus YA Bloggers latest blog tour, for Ondine Sherman’s new contemporary YA novel Snow.
Snow is the second book in Sherman’s Animal Allies series, and follows teen Sky on a journey from her home in Australia to Alaska where she’s meet her estranged father for the first time. Here’s the synopsis:
Sometimes you have to leave everything behind to find yourself.

Sky is travelling to Alaska to meet her father for the first time.

Far away from her friends back in Australia, she navigates the new relationship with her father and meets Jaxon, a local boy struggling with his own problems. In a cold, vast and beautiful place, they are isolated except for the wild animals who live there.

As Sky gets to know her father, she finally feels she has a chance of having a real family again. But her father has a secret that threatens everything Sky holds dear. Will she have to choose between family and her love of animals?



I had some mixed feelings about this book, and its predecessor Sky.

Sky isn’t the most likeable character, but she is also a teenager who has just had her life turned upside down by the death of her mother, and is meeting her father for the very first time, so I can kind of mostly forgive her. Across the two books I don’t really feel like I’ve got a good sense of who she is as a person, with the exception of her views on animal rights (more about that later), and there were a few times where she did things that I felt were out of character for what I expected from her. She does do a lot of really reckless and alarming things in this book, and I’m not sure that the balance of the seriousness and danger of these actions versus the idea of “following your heart” is quite right.

I did enjoy the supporting cast perhaps more than Sky herself – I think she is super lucky to be surrounded by people who are so supportive of her, and willing to offer her unconditional love. I liked the presence of the adults in her life throughout both books, and the way that they are all flawed in their own ways.

While I enjoyed the overall story, I did feel like sometimes the animal activist bits felt quite forced in, and a bit preachy/lecture-y. I think that Snow was definitely better in this respect than Sky, and I was pleased to see some balance to the discussion of eating meat. I know every book can’t be/do all things, but I think it would be good to see the discussion framed more around the benefits of eating less (or no) meat/animal products, rather than the negatives of a meat diet. Also, perhaps a bit more practical information for young people who might be inspired to look into veganism and use this as a starting point (in terms of what sorts of things people do eat, or where to get more information about nutrition etc).

One of the main themes in this book is – obviously – family. As I mentioned above, I did enjoy that the adults were all flawed and I liked the discussion about how there are no perfect parents and sometimes we have to forgive people. I do think that perhaps this went a little too far with some of the things that happen with Jaxon’s dad, and the idea that the most important thing was that Jaxon and his dad should be together, when his dad was really quite dangerous. While I’m all for family love and forgiveness, I don’t agree that absolutely everything must be forgiven just because someone is blood, and this is one of the reasons I love ‘found family’ stories.

The book comes with a sneak peek of the third book in the series, Star, which I think is the final installment (to be released in 2020).

Thank you so much to the Aus YA Bloggers and Pantera Press for having me along on the tour! Make sure you check out the other wonderful bloggers who are posting their thoughts on Snow this week too – you can find more info here!

 xo Bron

***
Snow by Ondine Sherman is out now from Pantera Press
Source: Free copy provided by Pantera Press
Format: Paperback, 265 pages
On Goodreads

2 thoughts on “#loveozya :: SNOW :: Ondine Sherman

  1. Lovely review!I completely agree with you – there wasn't the information or resources for people to find on HOW to become vegan, rather than just being told off for eating meat. And I absolutely agree on the Jaxon's dad point – all shouldn't be forgiven just because you're blood related. That sends SUCH an irresponsible message. ♥

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  2. I haven't read this one yet Bron but I remember the first book introducing sustainable animal products rather than veganism, the choice to stop eating meat may not be an option in some countries simply for nutritional means. It sounds like Jaxon's better off without his father and I'm interested to see how that plays out. Great review Bron, hopefully you enjoy the next book in the series a little more.

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