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Book Review: Snowed In, by Teodora Kostova

Book – Snowed In

Author – Teodora Kostova

Star rating – ★★★★

No. of Pages – 108 (using locations, I’m guessing that about 14 of these were adverts at the end)

Ease of reading – very easy to read

Would I read it again – Yes!

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from the Diverse Reader blog and it has been my first book by Teodora Kostova.

I can sum up how I feel about this book in just a few words, so don’t expect this to be one of my usual ‘essay’ type reviews.

I loved it.

It made me cry.

It hurt.

To start with, we have Nate, who is this sad, desperate, on the verge of a big life changing decision, college guy, just twenty and madly in love with his oblivious best friend. I fell for him right away. I loved him, wanted to be his friend, wanted to take care of him and all of it, in just a few pages.

Then Quinn, the hot best friend, comes into the picture and you know something isn’t right, right away. He appears ill, acts strangely and even Nate notices that something is wrong.

Oh, it’s definitely wrong.

This is where I can’t tell you any more about the plot. I can’t. It would ruin all the mad, crazy, heartbreaking moments that you need to feel and experience, to enjoy this story. So go read it and then you’ll understand why I can’t tell you what happens.

Needless to say, it’s something bad.

I still love Nate. He tugs at my heart strings like I actually know and love him. There isn’t a minute when I don’t feel his pain and know exactly why he’s so furious with Quinn, when his stupid friend messes up so royally.

But here’s my problem: at about 30% of the book, we enter Part II and Bye Bye Nate. His POV’s are gone. Never to return. This really made me sad, because there were some great opportunities to let us see his side of things, without giving anything away. I mean, we mostly see his reactions through Quinn’s eyes, so we get the gist of the Nate of the rest of the book – angry, unforgiving, vindictive and a hot mess – but I would have liked to see that from Nate’s POV. You get glimpses of the emotional turmoil he’s in, when he’s quiet, withdrawn and cries, though he doesn’t want Quinn to see it, and you can imagine what he’s thinking. But I don’t want to imagine it. Nate is an amazing character and he’s mostly told through another person’s skewed POV.

As for Quinn, I can’t like him. I don’t hate him, but I can never like him, after what he did to Nate. Personally, I wouldn’t have forgiven him for what he did. I understand his reasons, but coming back the way he did, expecting Nate to welcome him and eventually forgive him makes me homicidal. The guy is a class A idiot and I will never like him.

I spent most of the book asking why the hell Quinn thought he deserved to be treated nicely, when he comes back into Nate’s life TWO YEARS LATER! I mean, a few months, fine. A year, makes less sense, but Nate’s more likely to forgive him. But two years? Even knowing the reason why, I’m struggling to think of why he’s gone so long, because it’s not really explained. Part of the situation is, but not the reason for the length of time, because we’re told that the ‘incident’ that messed everything up had already started by that point. I, personally, would have liked a more logical explanation.

Quinn also has to be some kind of stupid to be surprised that Nate had grown angry and vindictive, after what he’d done. Even I knew he had a reason for what he did (I’m not telling you what!) but I also know that Nate didn’t! Nate had no clue, except a lousy, empty apologise and regrets expressed in a note. Not even a letter! Nate didn’t have the first idea why Quinn did what he did, so he reacted as anyone else would. In fact, better than some people would have.

Inevitably, as the title suggests, the ‘Snowed In’ event brings it all to a head. However, though I applaud the author for not making it one blow out scene and then instant forgiveness, I do have to question Nate’s forgiveness. He was devastated – heartbroken and gutted – when Quinn did what he did. The way he acts throughout the entire story suggests that although forgiveness is possible, it will never be easy nor quick. Yet, that’s exactly what we get. I can’t accept that.

As Nate said “I hate that I resented you for so long, making my soul shrivel and slowly die”. I mean, who can forgive in just a few days, after experiencing that? Sure, they both acknowledge that it will take a long time to fully build back trust, but Nate suddenly becomes so at ease with Quinn again, after two brief – unsatisfying, to me – discussions about the ‘incident’. He practically becomes a sex slave and lap dog to Quinn, obeying without question when he asks him to run the showed water, baking and showing guilt about things that are never his fault. But Quinn makes him feel like it’s fault, for not understanding, for not instantly accepting that he must have had a good reason to do what he did.

Ugh. As you can probably tell, Quinn drives me insane. For that reason – because I really dislike him and what he did to Nate – I’m giving this just 4 stars, because I don’t get the forgiveness at all. It makes no sense, after everything my poor Nate went through.

I only have one thing left to say about this and I’m using Nate’s own words:

Fuck. Me. That was intense.

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