Publish Date: September 14, 2013
Genre: Young Adult - Fiction, Romance
**I received an ARC from Netgalley.com. Other than the joy of reading, I received no compensation for this review.**
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Oliver Hurst has always been abnormally normal.
His grades are horrible, his best friend just left for Utah, and he's depressed. His overly religious parents don’t help, especially since they control every facet of his life. One stupid sentence said in desperation gets Oliver tossed in an adolescent psych ward, where his depression and fears become even more of a reality.
When Oliver meets snide, tough girl Lacey Waters he doesn't think his life could get any better, that is, until she becomes the ray of sunshine he has desperately needed on his cloudiest of days.
Review: I have read a few books that take place mostly from within the walls of a psyche-ward, or a home for troubled teens, etc. I usually like these books because there are time in which you feel like you get inside the head of someone who is a little off, or has trouble coping, or is just depressed to a very strong degree. I like to see character growth and recovery, which is why I pick these type of books up. It is almost guaranteed that you will “loose” a character in these novels, as the author seeks a realistic scenerio and also to display the gravity of the situation. Going in with this mindset usually causes me to be on my guard from growing to attached to characters, especially supporting characters.
So here we have A Million Little Snowflakes, which I have already indicated is not a “new” concept at all. One of the things that drove me toward requesting this book on NetGalleys was that it was narrated from the male perspective, and given the types of books I enjoy, this doesn’t happen very often. Plus, that cover is very pretty and a bit heartwarming. I wish that the story were the same. Honestly, while the concept was there, this book lacked in so many areas. I cannot complain about not liking how the story turned out – it’s not my story to tell – although I didn’t. I can, however, complain about the lack of depth. Oliver, instead of coming off as depressed, comes off as a typical teenager with a very extreme family. Honestly, had he just reached out to his father (instead of his mother) the entire hospital trip would have been avoided, and probably a million other things as well.
Reading this book was like reading a long narration of day-to-day events, but the descriptions and interactions lacked, big time! While yes, there was character interactions, it felt choppy and lackluster, at best. While each of the characters were described, I didn't feel like I got to "know" any of them really well. The “treatment” portion of the book seemed unrealistic. I mean, this guy walks into an office, has a three minute evaluation and is diagnosed with depression and is Bi-Polar? Based on what, one off-the-wall statement made at a dinner table and the narrators own confession of depression? If it really works this way, I want NOTHING to do with this kind of treatment. The very few therepy-type sessions we are included in as readers show no growth, no improvement. It’s just a basic, “how are you?” “I’m fine,” type deal, with a few additional details here and there, and Oliver coming unhinged at random intervals. The thing is, outside of making a stand for "his women," this doesn't happen any other time. Once again, I feel like we are looking in on a life of a normal, every day teenager. The biggest bulk of the book is dediated to Oliver's feelings toward Lacey, and descriptions on what is going on with her (most of which internal debate). One minute he can’t figure this girl out, the next minute he’s all but confessing love. The “romance” is so skewed, with no real dept, there really just isn’t anything to latch on to or enjoy.
I feel like I'm being mean, and I actually feel bad that I'm going to post this review. I typically will avoid reviewing a book I didn't care for out of respect for the author, but I was asked to post an honest review and that is what I'm attempting to do. I cannot know what it takes to try and put an entire book down on paper. I know for sure that it's a whole lot harder than it is for me to sit and read, and make judgements based on my own thoughts and opinons. I want to honor and respect anyone who can and is willing to sit and write books, since most of my "entertainment" hours are spend reading said books. It is also my hope that authors take what they can of bad reviews and use whatever good feedback they can and throw out everything that is completely useless, without a second thought.