Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: "Thaw" by Kelly Allan

Title: Thaw
Author: Kelly Allan
Available: Smashwords
Summary: "Isabel “Isi” Simmons died. Only, she’s living to tell the tale. On an Alaskan lake, when she was three-years-old, Isi and her family were ice skating when her world – literally – came crashing down. The ice cracked and they splashed into the frigid waters below, fighting for their lives. The fight was futile, however, and Isi and her parents went under. Now Isi is starting her final year of high school. Her grandmother is sick, her best friend is leaving and her math classes are threatening her graduation. On top of that, she’s the freak at school – with her inhumanly cold skin and dead parents – and struggles to make friends. When newcomers to the area find an interest in her, she is more than on the defense. Memories of the day her parents died come flooding back to her when they’re around and it drives her crazy. Why and how did she make it out of the water but her parents didn’t? It’s a mystery only she must solve. THAW is a mixture of retold Alaskan Indian tales, about a young girl attempting to defeat an elusive monster."
Source: I received this free from the author.

Review: I actually read this as a Beta before it was published, but the author has assured me that there's been no major changes, so I feel safe writing this review without re-reading. (Though I may do that down the line!) I remember liking this book so much that I wanted to tell people about it, but I couldn't because it wasn't published, so I'm very glad that it is now!

This is one of the few YA-ish stories I've read where a female MC did not make me want to reach through the pages and strangle her. I don't know what my issue with YA MC women is, but I have one. I have it with female MCs a lot, though, as it appears for me in some adult fiction, but more strongly in YA. I guess I just have issues. Anyways.

I liked this book a lot. I started reading it chapter by chapter at the crit site that I was at for a while, and when I stopped being active, I wanted to read the rest and Allan was nice enough to send it to me. It had me pretty riveted. I read it in something like two or three days.

I found Alaska as a setting to be new from the books I usually read and I really liked the Alaskan mythos she wove into it. My heart now forever belongs to Dexter. Isi is the "outsider" teen without ever lapsing too far into emo outsider, and she moves things along herself. Although she occasionally needs saving in some ways, she does it herself otherwise.

I remember I had some small issues here and there, but I don't even really remember what they were now, so I guess they weren't that big a deal. I just really enjoyed the story, so I'm giving this 5 Fireballs. I hear rumor that if this book does well, she might write another one. So go out and get this book, 'cause I want another one!

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