Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter

Book Description via Goodreads:

18-year-old Lainey Pike can tell you everything you need to know about the people in her family just by telling you 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, still devastated over her husband's death, hung 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 moves back home to act as his guardian. Dealing with her brother has always been a struggle, but sharing the responsibility with her sister is proving to be just as challenging.

Lainey knows that this is all her mother's fault, but she also knows that she eventually has to move out of the "anger" phase of the grieving process. What she can't figure out, though, is how to make peace with a dead woman.

Source: Holly Nicole Hoxter (Thanks!)

My Thoughts:

Lainey is going through a hard time. She knows that normal people should cry when one of their parents die. However, it seems like there are no tears for the mother she never understood. She is left with the responsibility of taking care of Collin and adjusting to the older sister she has not seen for years. Aside from all of these, she comes to find that going through the grieving process is difficult. She is stuck in step two – the anger phase – and finds that she is unable to stop herself from manifesting this emotion.

Hoxter presented a different angle with which to view life. All the flavours of life are mixed together to come up with this perfect recipe. Sad and tragic, Lainey had the attention her sister desired and lost the love and caring that her little brother had. Her imperfection and her troubled state led her to pour all her anger on Riley, the perfect boyfriend. I guess, when you are perfect, your own imperfection is your own perfection. The inability to do nothing wrong would be extremely annoying to the people around, as well as intimidating such as to cause envy. Although I do not believe that there is such a thing as a perfect boyfriend, I would like to know more about Riley, to find out why he has become the person who keeps Lainey standing. I found Eric, the unexpected stranger who stepped in Lainey’s life, fascinating. His philosophy and reasoning piqued my interest. Of all the characters, I liked him the most.

If I were asked to tell you what YA book I have read and learned the most from, I would answer in three words: The Snowball Effect. Reading this novel was like going through a journey. It was like living a section of someone else’s life and closing the book and walking away with a new perception and so much more.

The Snowball Effect is heartbreakingly beautiful with the generous amount of loss, struggle, anger and confusion. Readers will enjoy the bittersweet taste in this story of grief.



  1. I heard of this book a while ago and it sounded like something I would really want to read so I am glad you enjoyed it. Great review :)

    Here from the CEP.