Review – The Winter Place by Alexander Yates

The Winter PlaceThe Winter Place by Alexander Yates

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Overall Rating 5 Stars

-Book Description: 4

-Cover: 3.5

-Plot: 5

-Creativity: 5

-Grammar: 4

-Simile Use: 5 (minimal usage)

-Description: 4 (very well written)

-Show And Tell Balance: 4

This is one of the few books I’ve picked up recently at a book store as opposed to Amazon, and I’m glad I did. Initially, the cover pulled me with it’s glittery coloring and soft hues (however, the girl in the stock photo is slightly redundant, as she is on many covers). What made me buy the book, however, was the quote on the back of the book jacket. It was catchy and beautifully written. The description promised a tale of growth with a strong paranormal undertone, so I picked it up. The beginning of the book, as promised in the description, shows how Axel and his sister Tess become de facto orphans, and the vivid imagination of the youngest of the two. Axel is seeing things he shouldn’t, and when they’re hauled to Finland with grandparents they didn’t know existed it follows him there. The plot of the book is interesting, but it is slow going. I have to be honest, that although this book states it’s young adult or middle grade, I don’t agree. Here in lies the problem with labeling a book in a genre due to character’s age. If I were middle grade or young adult, I simply would have DNF halfway through. The story was intriguing, but not in the paranormal ‘mystical’ way promised. It was the depth of emotion and growth that kept me reading, and had me thinking that anyone under 18 would typically not read this for enjoyment. The novel would, however, make an excellent summer reading project for an essay. As an adult I thoroughly appreciated the depth and maturity of the novel. In addition to these factors, Mr. Yates is an excellent writer who does not utilize the crutches of similes or overly robust description to guide his story. If you’re looking for an engaging adult read, I would highly recommend this. If you’re looking for mystical, paranormal intrigue, I would say look elsewhere.

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