Friday, June 4, 2010

The Snowball Effect

author: Holly Nicole Hoxter
published: March 23rd 2010
publisher: HarperTeen
format: Hardcover
pages: 368 pages
genre: fiction

The following synopsis comes from Holly's website.

Lainey Pike can tell you everything you need to know about the people in her family just by letting you know how they died. Her reckless stepfather drove his motorcycle off the highway and caused the biggest traffic jam in years. Her long-suffering grandmother lived through cancer and a heart attack before finally succumbing to a stroke. And Lainey's mother--well, Lainey's mother hanged herself in the basement just days after Lainey's high school graduation.

Now Lainey's five-year-old brother is an orphan, and her estranged older sister is moving back home to be his guardian. Meanwhile, Lainey's boyfriend is thinking about having a family of their own, and her best friends are always asking the wrong sorts of questions and giving advice Lainey doesn't want to hear. As she tries to pull away from everything familiar, Lainey meets an intriguing new guy who, through a series of Slurpees, burgers, and snowballs, helps her to make peace with a parent she never understood.

My Thoughts:
The Cover:
I think this cover is adorable! It is definitely eye catching and I think most people have stacked cups before. So, that made me curious to what it was about. And it's clear from the title that things aren't going well and just "snowball" out of control. I think the cover shows that well. The stack is falling over. It would've been easy to have some winter scene on the cover, but this is original. I haven't seen a cover like it before.

The Book:
I don't usually go for books about a teenager with serious problems. I'd rather read about fictional series problems, like an entire world is at risk if she doesn't help them out. I think I prefer not to read about "real-life" situations. Lainey's mother died and that's something I don't even want to think about. The Snowball Effect was different, or at least not what I expected a book like this to be.

The book, despite its serious content, it made me laugh out loud. It has both drama and comedy, which I believe is important in any good novel. Too much of one thing gets old. This book was surprisingly funny. My favorite scenes involve crayons. ;)

Holly made me understand the characters, particularly Lainey, and I really cared about them. I wanted everything to work out from the beginning. Now, I suppose that's normal, but these characters were all so lovely and I eagerly made my way through it to find out what happens to them.

This is a great debut and I can't wait to see what else Holly Nicole Hoxter has in store!

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