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A Reader of Fictions: I'm a Long Way from Home - Shooter Jennings

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm a Long Way from Home - Shooter Jennings

After the Snow

Author: S. D. Crockett
Pages: 290
ARC Acquired from: Feiwel & Friends via NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone.

But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone -- he doesn't have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl -- but Willo just can't do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?

First Sentence: "I'm gonna sit here in my place on the hill behind the house."

After the Snow reads like Huck Finn meets dystopia. Unfortunately, I really don't like Huckleberry Finn. Why? Because, even at the very best of times, books written in dialect are a struggle for me. For one thing, dialect tends to equal poor grammar, which always makes me shudder. I did a lot of shuddering in this book. It also slows down my reading, both because I don't like it, and because I'm reading it all out loud to myself in my head (if that makes sense).

The main character, Willo, constantly talks to a dead dog that he has made into clothing. He even thinks it answers him, which is freaking creepy! Not only that, there's a 'mad dog' personality and a 'good dog' personality. Really. Willo, in his head, keeps holding conversations with a dead dog with multiple personalities. What the effin' what?

So yeah, I didn't really like the characters or the writing, but what about the dystopian elements, the world-building? Not so much there either. I don't feel like I really got a handle on what was going on here. I mean, I see that the weather went crazy, and there is a brief comment on how that happens. However, I want to know more about how the society functions and why so many people don't have papers and why everyone's so interested in the mountain men. And what's up with the crazy pseudo-religion, rebellion group? None of this was at all clear, and not in a cool leaving you guessing kind of way.

I really wish book descriptions for books in dialect were written in dialect. If that summary had been written the way the book was, I would not have read this. Well, maybe I would have, but only because it's a dystopia. Still, the description doesn't really give an accurate picture of what you're going to get. This definitely was not for me.

Favorite Quote: "That's the kind of thing people always thinking. They always got to see some sort of scary thing in everything."

Rating: 1.5/5

"I'm a long way from home and so all alone
Homesick like I never thought I'd be
I'm a long way from home, everything is wrong
Someone please watch over me."

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Anonymous Christina Kit. said...

I know what you mean about dialect. I did like the way it flowed in The Help but it can be tricky. I liked Huck Finn, didn't mind it there.

The dead dog thing is awful.

March 23, 2012 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I know, right?!? Every single time he started talking to it, I would look at the book and think, 'what, what, what are you doing?'

March 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Mimi Valentine said...

Oh no! I'm sorry that this one disappointed you, Christina :( I always have trouble with dialect too. A story can have the most beautiful world and amazing characters, but I won't love it as much as I can because of the way it's written! And I wish that the summary would mention something about it because I've been disappointed by books before because of it too!

Still, thanks so much for the honest review, Christina! :)

March 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks for visiting, Mimi!

It seems like they really should warn you, because they're going to attract a lot of people who will read it and not like it, rather than people who might have. Sigh.

Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli was definitely one of those where I could appreciate that the writing was amazing, but that my enjoyment was still colored by the dialects, even though they were nowhere as thick as Willo's.

March 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger In Julie's Opinion said...

Wow! I am so glad I read your review before I bought this book, because a lot of the problems you mentioned you had with the book are the same sorts of things I dislike! Dialects are a big problem for me because if they aren't done right, they kill the whole book for me, and it is VERY difficult to do them right! Thanks for the very honest review, and for clearly stating what you didn't like about the book :)

March 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Gabrielle said...

Good review! Yeah, I tend to have the same issues with dialects. Sometimes it works, others it doesn't. Not sure if I'm interested in the book anyway.

March 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM  

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