Who Are You When No One Is Watching?
When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.
*Thank you to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
I got a copy of Girl in Snow from the publisher through NetGalley. It was like a freebie since I didn’t actually request for it and who am I to say no to free book, right? I so love the cover and the blurb looks like something I’d enjoy. Plus, I’ve read somewhere that it is one of the books to watch out for in August. Naturally, my interest is piqued. I am excited to immerse myself in the mystery of Lucinda Hayes’ murder. But then, it wasn’t what I am expecting at all.
One snowy morning, in a small town somewhere in Colorado, a 15-year-old girl’s body was found by the school’s night janitor. Lucinda Hayes, pretty, popular, kind and nice, a girl adored by many. Her tragic death rocked the quiet town, knowing it is one of them who might have killed her. But there are three people who are more perturbed by her death. Cameron, the guy who’s secretly in love, bordering on obsession, with Lucinda and suspected by some to have something to do with her murder since he was caught stalking her. Worst, he can’t seem to remember what happened the night of her death. Could he be the guilty one? Another is Russ, the police officer investigating Lucinda’s case who also happens to be Cameron’s dad’s ex-partner and promised to look after his son. He’s keeping secret that’s haunting him even if it’s not his own. There’s Jade, the girl who hates Lucinda and would love to see her gone. The guy Jade’s like prefer to be with Lucinda instead. The dead girl also took away from her the baby sitting job she’s had. Lucinda had a perfect life Jade’s been hoping to have. Could her unpleasant wish cause Lucinda’s demise? With Lucinda’s death, the three of them are forced to confront the secrets they’ve been hiding and maybe finally find solace.
Going into this book, I was expecting to read an intriguing and mysterious pursuit of Lucinda’s killer. Not only that, I was prepared to read more about her since she’s the girl in snow, right? But instead, I found myself reading stories of 3 individuals in the wake of Lucinda’s murder investigation. Recounting their lives, struggles, and secrets leading to the uncovering of Lucinda’s death. Not what I was hoping for at all. I am disappointed, yes, and it doesn’t help that the characters are unlikeable. It is so hard to get into I abandoned it, a lot of times. But I didn’t lose my faith in it, it looks like it got potential and so I carry on. And as I read on, things slowly picked up. But that’s the thing, it took a long time. And when it finally did, I feel like something is missing. And before I know it, it’s over and I am left wanting for more.
And though I don’t really like any of the three main characters, it is still curious to know them and their struggles, to know what makes them feel so sad. Cameron, for me, is the most engaging. What pushed him to watch his neighbors and why was he so caught up with Lucinda? Jade is okay but I wanted to read something more from her, like the life with her family and less with her pining over a guy. While Russ is a bit boring, his relationship with his wife is well…interesting. Of the three, I like what happened to his story as he found closure. But in a whole, it is Lucinda who I want to know more the most. And though I’ve read about her through the 3 narrators to drew a conclusion, I still think it’s not enough.
One thing I really admire in Girl in Snow is the writing. It is written lyrically which is such a surprise for a debut. There are also two POVs from teenage kids so it has a YA vibe to it, though I’m not sure if this will appeal to YA readers. Overall though, it is a solid read. A bit disappointing, sure, but wonderfully written nonetheless.