by Brenda Stanley
published by Tribute
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Standalone, YA Saves, 100 Books in a Year
The Color of Snow is one of the most intense YA contemporaries that I have read this year. Brenda Stanley takes the reader for one highly-emotional ride.
Sophie Sanchez lives in seclusion with her father, Miguel, who never allows her to travel outside the home or receive any visitors. One day, she accidently reveals herself when a co-worker of her dad’s comes to call with her two boys in tow. Sophie forms a fast friendship with the boys, Donny and Damien, who come to see her in the morning while her father is at work. When Donny dies mysteriously, her father explains why she must never get close to anyone; he believes their family is under a curse that will kill anyone they love. This leads him to putting bars on her windows and replacing her bedroom door with a gate. Years later, Damien comes back to see Sophie and discovers the conditions in which she is living. After her father shoots Damien, the authorities come and arrest him and take Sophie to live with her mother’s family whom she believes hates her. Sophie quickly learns a lot about her new family, but the reason for her father’s kidnapping her is still a mystery to her.
What Stanley did that really made The Color of Snow stand out from any similar story is tell the story with a loose timeline, alternating between Sophie's present, her past, and her father's past. It gives the novel wonderful depth and lets the reader see what events led up to her father's arrest which started the book, and lets the reader sympathize with not only Sophie but also empathize with her father. This last point is highly tricky, but Stanley executes it very well. However, handling so many story threads slows the pacing a little in spots, but Stanley's engaging story definitely keeps the reader salivating for more and to continue reading until that thread is picked up again.
Brenda Stanley's story-telling prowess makes The Color of Snow one of the standout reads of the summer.