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September 20, 2010

Book Review - Burnt Snow by Van Badham

My review of Van Badham's debut YA novel is now up over at the Infinitas Bookshop site, and I'll post it here too. It's a great read.

I've been giving lots of thought to the YA market lately, as I've been told my MS currently on submission may be positioned somewhere between the YA and adult markets, not that I intended that when I wrote it. One of the latest big things in publishing (not that new really) seems to be the YA crossover market, which refers to books which ostensibly are intended for those in their teens but hook in many readers from the adult market too.
 
What have you been reading lately? Do you like reading/writing Young Adult fiction, even though (like me) you may have left high school behind a good few years ago? What appeals about this kind of book?

Read on for my Burnt Snow review.

*****
 Burnt Snow puts a modern paranormal twist on the old tale of forbidden love, introducing us to Sophie Morgan, a year 11 student starting at a new school in a fictional town on the NSW South Coast. It’s not long before Sophie notices bad boy loner Brody Meine, and though she’s warned to stay away from him by both her superstitious ‘hippy’ mother and Ashley, the school Goth, Sophie can’t keep her distance. When she and Brody touch, the sparks quite literally start to fly. The romantic elements of Burnt Snow are compellingly told and beautifully evocative; readers will really believe in Brody and Sophie and their dilemma.


This is Van Badham’s first novel, but before she became a novelist she was already an award-winning playwright, and this pays dividends in her assurance with both characters and dialogue in Burnt Snow. The characters come to life and leap off the page as you read, and - for those of us who have put their highschool years behind them – you will feel you’re back in those familiar corridors with Sophie!

This is an addictive read; at 700 pages Burnt Snow is a long book, but there are no slow sections or dull moments, so it certainly doesn’t read like one. The complex and endlessly imaginative plot is filled with witchcraft, magic, and herbal lore, and you never know what the next turn of the page will bring. Burnt Snow ends with an emotional roller coaster of a finale that leaves the reader wanting more.

Burnt Snow is targeted at the YA market, and deals well with issues facing this age group like drugs and teenage sexuality, but the basic story appeals to all ages – I certainly enjoyed it!


2 comments:

Alison Stevens said...

Hi Adina, I saw you on Rach Writes and thought I'd stop by to say hi.

I love reading YA. I think it's because it takes me back to the raw emotion of those years. Emotion that my life (thankfully) doesn't have on a regular basis, now that I'm married with kids. But a little escapism never hurt anyone. :)

Adina West said...

Hi Alison, nice to have you join.

Escapism...aaah, bring it on! That's certainly what I love about reading and writing romance.

I have to say that when YA fiction is TOO angsty it makes it harder for me to enjoy as an adult reader, but I'm certainly willing to go along for the boy meets girl ride with all its ups and downs. Nothing like young love.

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