by: Cameron Dokey
Free-spirited Grace and serious Kai are the best of friends. They grew up together listening to magical tales spun by Kai's grandmother and sharing in each other's secrets. But when they turn sixteen and Kai declares his love for Grace, everything changes. Grace yearns for freedom and slowly begins to push Kai - and their friendship - away.
Twas really good. One of my favorites in the Once Upon a Time series that I've read so far.
Smart and Interesting Heroines: CHECK
Grace: I'll admit, I didn't really like her until the end, but she added to the story in some interesting ways. It became her journey to recognizing and overcoming her fear and other flaws and to realize all the things that she had to be grateful for. I was also especially fascinated at reading about her from Kai's perspective.
Deirdre (Hope): I really enjoyed her journey from sorrow to hope. She was independent and strong, but also sort of shy when it came to being around other people. I thought she was rather perfect for Kai, because he liked to ask questions and learn about how things work. And she wasn't annoyed at being asked a lot of questions and genuinely cared when he explained what he learned about things work to her.
Brave and Strong Hero: CHECK
I really liked Kai.I thought his perspective was interesting to read, because I know some people who seem to be very similar to him. He was intelligent and curious. But if I had to describe him in one word, it would be steady. It was often commented on that his voice never wavered. That it was steady and quiet and genuine.
Extraordinary Supporting Characters: NOPE
You never really meet anyone other than Hope, Grace, and Kai. You meet Johannes and Oma and Petra, but I didn't feel like I knew anything about them. They were continued mysteries in the story.
Unique Setting and Original Plot: CHECK
It might have seemed newer to me because I'd never even heard of the fairytale it was based off of (The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson). I really liked how the story moved along and the land where it was set. The cold and the wind were amazing devices with which Cameron Dokey made you feel different and interesting things.
Excellent Plot: CHECK
I really loved the pacing of the plot. It was fast enough to keep it interesting, but slow enough to aw you to reflect on what happened.
All in all this was a great story.
"Then there are the tales that shout; stories that can shake the rooftops with their wonder..."
"Pick any time of the day or night and somewhere, everywhere, stories are being told. They overlap and flow across one another, then pull away again just as waves do upon a shore. It is this knack that stories have of rubbing up against one another that makes the world an interesting place, a place of greater possibility that it would be if we told our tales alone."
"Love cannot thrive simply by being offered."
""Unharmed." It's a nice word, isn't it? A comforting word, though not quite all-encompassing. "Unharmed" is not the same as "unchanged" after all."
"How I wish your mirror could show you the coldness of your heart. I wish that it could show what lies beneath your beauty. I wish it could expose your flaws."
"Except that love is rarely simple, even when you think it is. Or maybe I should say that love is rarely simple in the way you think it is."
"But it is the fact that a plant can do these two things at once, anchoring itself to the earth even as it reaches for the sky, that makes it strong."
"I was giving serious consideration to the physics that allowed me to walk, even though I'd just managed to put both feet in my mouth."
"I'm good at mending broken things, though I never expected to mend a broken heart."
"These were the days when the journey ceased to be a burden, when I celebrated to fact that each and every step brought me closer to the horizon."
"You have such good eyes, Kai...Don't waste what they can see."
"For even as the winter carries within it the seeds of spring, her heart had nourished, as all hearts must, the strong yet fragile seeds of hope."