Title: The Winter People
Author: Rebekah L. Purdy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Received via NetGalley
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.
Salome is afraid of winter. Thanks to a near-drowning accident when she was a little girl, Salome has been freaked out by snow and ice to the point where it is affecting her daily life. She's been sent for therapy, put on medication, but every winter it's the same story. But when her grandparents go away for the winter, asking Salome to watch their huge property, Salome has to face her fears... but maybe with a little help?
I will say, that there is a lot of teenage angst in this one. And a lot of guys. Three, to be exact. And while it did seem a bit much at the beginning, they did start to eliminate themselves out. Each of them was a part of the mystery surrounding everything, so until you knew what their part in the story was, you couldn't really root for one or the other. (I will say, VERY glad with her final decision, as that was the one I liked best. Hehe.)
The beautiful descriptions of the cold and what Salome was feeling really made this come alive. It wasn't super predictable, as I still had no idea what could happen up to the end. Sure, I had ideas, but nothing definite. Also, I felt frustrated on behalf of Salome, with her mother and grandmother withholding info and such. Sure, everything had its time and place, but it can't be easy having everyone think your crazy, and then finding out your mother knew the reason for it.
I think this worked beautifully as a standalone. The plot was well-paced and while a few things did seem manufactured, there wasn't any parts where I felt lost or didn't know what was happening or why it was happening (which often happens to me with fantasy novels).
There were some moments when I was like "really, Salome, how fickle can you be?" with her bouncing from Colton, to Nevin, to Gareth. But once we found out more about the guys' involvement and everything seemed to settle down, it was fine. Like I said, I was pleased with the outcome and the overall ending.