3.75 out of 5
An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.
Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.
I wanted to give it 4 stars but I couldn’t. It seemed to me that The Winter People took a long time to get off the ground and really get to the meat of the story. Quite honestly, I spent the first half of the book confused. There didn’t seem to be any sort of smooth transition through the chapters until about half way. But with all that said, when I got to the end, I found that I did enjoy it.
Salome has been terrified of winter her entire life, ever since her almost drowning in the pond at her grandparents when she was six. Since then she’s been made to go to a therapist to relive every moment. All her life she remembers being saved by someone or something. She also remembers the warning given to her ” you are not to step foot in these woods again or come near the pond. If you do she’ll find you.”
Fast forward 11 years, Salome has been left in charge of watching her grandparents home over the winter. Her job was to fill the feeders, make sure the gates stay close with rowan wood and leave a trinket in the oak tree. Instead of telling Salome why, her grandmother insists all of these things are a family superstition.
When Salome’s grandparents leave and on her first day of feeder duty Salome meets Nevin. Nevin is not like anyone else she’s ever met and there’s a kinship between them instantly, and although she’s dating Colton with whom she grew up with and had a crush on forever she finds herself drawn more towards Nevin. Along the way we meet Gareth too, who by the way is my favorite!
Something is trying really hard to kill Salome and Gareth is basically her bodyguard. She learns that when she finally gets her head out of the sand and realized everything is definitely not peachy. There is a curse on not only her, but her family and it also includes Nevin too. Salome’s only job is to find a way to break the curse before the curse kills her. Because like every other female with the exception of only a few, the Winter Solstice after turning 18 is when they all die. Salome is no exception (creepy stick lady made that abundantly clear).
Here are some of my problems with the book.
Kadie… sometimes she wasn’t bad. Then other times I wanted to shove my foot up her ass. Definitely one of the more annoying BFF’s I’ve encountered. She was more geared towards when her next lay was going to come from, instead of what the hell was wrong with her best friend.
Nevin… man, he was so sweet at the beginning, creepy but sweet. Then he would get all brooding and snarky and douche-tacular and manipulative as a mother fucker! In the end I understood his motives, but it doesn’t mean I gotta like it while it happens.
Colton… again with the doucheness, sweet in the beginning but then BAM welcome crazy train, next stop stupidville. I swear boys in books are dumb! They PMS harder than 16 year olds girls! And setting up Salome like he did, trust me… it was a doozy!
Salome, oh you ignorant girl, definitely not of your own doing but damn, sometimes you were just dense. At the same time with no one to explain the curse because of course no one can talk about it, I understood. Again, doesn’t mean I gotta like it. I felt like she spent more time analyzing the guys than she did the curse. In the end though, she did grow on me.
AND MY FAVORITE PART!
Gareth! He was just swoon worthy! Gentlemanly, courteous, polite, funny and truly cared for Salome and her well being. He’s the reason I stuck around. He told Salome what he could, he saved her life multiple times. Gareth was the all around good guy.
So thank you for Gareth!
I wish there was more of an ending, maybe an extra 20 pages or possibly an epilogue *hint hint*
This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing LLC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review