Weekend Reads #40 – Snow White Trilogy by Salla Simukka

Posted August 15, 2015 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Weekend Reads

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Weekend Reads #40 – Snow White Trilogy by Salla SimukkaAs Red as Blood by Salla Simukka
Series: Lumikki Andersson,
Published by Skyscape on 2014-08-01
Length: 274 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Rating:

In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.

Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.

As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka was not at all what I expected. Personally I was expecting a loose retelling of Snow White. Instead what I got was a subpar crime novel about a supposedly ordinary girl who just happens to know a lot about stealth.

Lumikki Andersson is 17, away at boarding school, finishing up her senior year in what she hopes to be a quiet affair. She keeps to herself, is untrusting and when she finds a pile of Euros covered in blood in the photo lab at school she tells no one. Why would she? (Seriously that is how this girl thinks!!!!) I’m not sure I liked her at all. There were a lot of holes concerning her character. For example, how does a teenage girl know all this spy stuff when she admits that she has no special training?! I mean seriously what girl at 17 knows that if she styles her hair differently or stands a certain way than she will be less recognizable?!

Then there’s the other characters. They are major part of the story, in fact they are the reason there is money covered in blood in the school lab. All I can really tell you about them is that the two boys come from different walks of life (one is rich, the other not) and both like to party. The girl is also rich and likes to party. Besides that nothing! These characters fell flat, so flat that I can’t remember their names or really even be bothered to look them up.

The plot was just okay. There’s the mystery of the money covered in blood. Where did it come from? Why did it fall into the other students’ hands? Why is it covered in blood? Honestly there wasn’t a lot of excitement or intrigue in my opinion.

And honestly I wonder if (and this is a big if) something was lost in translation. This book/series was not originally written in English and if like me you check out Goodreads the reviews written from the original version are all 4 or 5 stars while the English are mostly 3 or less. Why? Well there’s a lot of unnecessary adjectives and the dialogue is a bit repetitive.

Overall I nearly DNFed this book several times, but stuck it out. The ending (and by ending I do mean the last 2 chapters of the book) picked up. It was like the plot was stalled throughout the entire book and the the end BAM! it all came together in a nice neat little package. Personally I wouldn’t recommend this book, however if you like crime novels and annoying MC maybe you’ll enjoy it. If you pick up the book, come back and let me know how you liked it!

Final Conclusion:

didnt-like-it

This book fulfills #18 on the COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt.
Weekend Reads #40 – Snow White Trilogy by Salla SimukkaAs White as Snow by Salla Simukka
Series: Lumikki Andersson,
Published by Skyscape on 2015-03-03
Length: 224 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Rating:

The heat of the summer sun bakes the streets of Prague, but Lumikki’s heart is frozen solid.

Looking to escape the notoriety caused by the part she played in taking down Polar Bear’s crime ring, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson escapes to Prague, where she hopes to find a few weeks of peace among the hordes of tourists. But not long after arriving, she’s cornered by a skittish and strange young woman who claims to be her long-lost sister. The woman, Lenka, is obviously terrified, and even though Lumikki doesn’t believe her story—although parts of it ring true—she can’t just walk away.

Lumikki quickly gets caught up in Lenka’s sad and mysterious world, uncovering pieces of a mystery that take her from the belly of a poisonous cult to the highest echelons of corporate power. On the run for her life again, Lumikki must use all her wits to survive, but in the end, she just may discover she can’t do it all alone.

As White as Snow by Salla Simukka picks up a few months after the end of book one. Lumikki is on vacation in Prague, clearing her mind of all that happened to her and her friends when they tangled with Polar Bear. With only a few days left in her vacation, an older young woman approaches her claiming to be her sister. Confused and a little untrusting, Lumikki decides to investigate the girl’s claims and finds herself in a heap of trouble.

So this book is more of what I was expecting out of the first one! It’s a mystery/crime novel and I really enjoyed it. It’s fast-paced, with lots of suspense. The characters are actually 3-dimensional AND I can tell you all about them 😀

Lumikki is regrouping in this book. She’s feeling a bit lost after the events that occurred in book one (please note that you DO NOT have to read book one to dive into book two, though it will enhance your reading if you read it first) AND she’s nursing a heartbreak which was alluded to in book one as the reason for her cold/standoffish nature. I had a hard time connecting with Lumikki. She’s not a very likable character, however the plot and other characters make up for it.

Lenka, the girl claiming to be Lumikki’s sister, is twenty and involved in a cult. She’s a little messed up in the head and very naive which is why I think Lumikki is drawn to her and her protective nature comes out. Jiri is a journalist doing an investigative report on the cult when he comes across Lumikki. I like Jiri! He’s a bit arrogant but he’s also passionate about his profession and it comes across in the author’s writing.

The plot focuses on two things: one is Lenka really Lumikki’s sister and two the cult. It’s really is an intense read that I couldn’t sit down! I read it in one sitting…it is that intense. I was intrigued as things were slowly revealed to Lumikki. And the author!!! She does an amazing job of giving different POV, revealing information to us the readers and NOT Lumikki, creating a great sense of irony.

Overall I enjoyed this book much more than the first. I was intrigued by the plot and it captured my attention. If you enjoy crime novels and young adult, I highly recommend this one. My only disappoint in the book is that it had all the young adult cliches that annoy me: absent parents (I mean really, do European parents let their teenage daughters go to another country by themselves?!), angsty teen drama which is why it got four instead of five stars.

Final Conclusion:

liked-it

This book fulfills #11 on the COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt.
Weekend Reads #40 – Snow White Trilogy by Salla SimukkaAs Black as Ebony by Salla Simukka
Series: Lumikki Andersson,
Published by Skyscape on 2015-08-04
Length: 151 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Rating:

After a harrowing summer in Prague, Lumikki Andersson is back in Finland at her prestigious art school, concentrating on graduation. She lands the lead role in the school’s modern-day adaptation of “Snow White” and finds herself facing a new distraction—Sampsa, the boy playing the role of the huntsman, who has an undeniable allure that makes Lumikki conflicted about what, and who, she wants.

As Lumikki starts falling into something more than just her role on stage, a shadow is cast over the production when she begins receiving creepily obsessive love notes. Lumikki can’t ignore the increasingly hostile tone of her admirer’s messages, and when the stalker threatens mass violence at the play’s premiere, Lumikki knows she must discover who is behind the menace and stop the person at all costs.

With a foe who has a heart as black as ebony, does Lumikki have any hope of saving those she loves?

As Black as Ebony by Salla Simukka is the explosive conclusion to the Lumikki Andersson (Snow White Trilogy) series. Lumikki is back at school and moving on with her life. She has a new guy, and instead of sitting on the sidelines she’s living. But then her ex drops back into her life and if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s gained a stalker.

So this book was just okay. Lumikki is back in school, she has a lukewarm relationship with a guy she says she loves, and a whole heap of questions for her parents. Lenka opened Lumikki’s eyes. She had a sister but where is she and why do her parents not speak of her? She’s a woman obsessed with finding the truth.

The plot of this relatively short book revolves around Lumikki’s past. The stalker is not only obsessed with Lumikki but opening her eyes to her “true self” by revealing truths that were hidden. I found this aspect interesting! And as more and more is revealed the author kept me guessing. I thought I had who the stalker was figured out but I was wrong on all counts and never would’ve been able to guess it!

Overall this book was a nice conclusion to the series. Lumikki (and the readers) get answers about things that have haunted her throughout the series AND it’s a great suspenseful read. Personally though I could have done without the romance aspect. There was a love triangle of sorts and it just didn’t work for Lumikki because that’s not who I picture her being. However if you enjoy crime/thriller novels I suggest you read this one!

Final Conclusion:

it-was-ok

This book fulfills #34 on the COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt.

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