Skip to main content

Review: The Steep and Thorny Way

Cat Winters - The Steep and Thorny Way
Expected publication: March 8, 2016 by Amulet Books
Pages: 352
Genres: Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA, Retellings, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

~
But really.

Though I've wanted to grab one of her books for quite some time, and I promise to snatch In The Shadow Of Blackbirds ASAP, I have mixed feelings about this jawn.

This story takes place in Elston, Oregon, in the early '20s. Hanalee Denney, a biracial girl with barely any rights, is still recovering from her father's recent death. She believes his murder was planned and her new stepfather, Clyde, was somehow involved. So when an acquaintance offers to brew an elixir in the hopes of getting Hanalee to speak with her father in the afterlife, she's jumping for the chance.

In the occasional times she tries to place her worry behind her, Hanalee found solace in her friends, Fleur and Joe. I genuinely liked Fleur. She was a sweetheart. Joe and Hanalee, on the other hand, have an interesting friendship/relationship, which I can't go too indepth without full-on spoiling. The ship-teasing between he and Hanalee was more annoying than swoon-worthy.

Cat Winters tackles two of the most valiant subjects of today and she does so realistically and expertly. Though Hanalee is undeniably a warrior of an MC, the treatment she and Joe received was nothing short of disgusting.

I had multiple problems with her talks with her dead father, though. I thought the book would end similarly to Vanishing Girls/We'll Never Be Apart. To be honest, I was relieved it didn't. But Hanalee would tell people about these spiritual chats and no one would bat an eyelash. Like, wtf. She's talking to the dead. Is that a normal thing in the '20s???

Also, I felt the ending was full of plotholes. I'm not fluent in the story of Hamlet. I know it's ghost-related. Whatever.
Cat Winters writes gorgeously. Her concluding author's note is so darling and heartfelt. The graphics included were mesmerizing as well. I'll definitely make sure to pick up Cat's next novels. This one, however, I remain conflicted over.
~

Comments

  1. I have yet to read a Cat Winters novel, but I have heard of her name a lot! I really like the fact that it is kind of supernatural, with talking to ghosts and the likes, but I'm not sure if I would fully enjoy this book. I would probably yell at everyone for being mean to the MC. I hate it when people are treated harshly. I get secondhand-anger (is this even a term?) due to it. And it makes me mad and stresses me out.

    So yeah. But I am glad you liked it! Even though you were conflicted about it. I think conflict makes you think more about the book and certain aspects of it. So there is always that.

    Awesome review Peach!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear, In The Shadow Of The Blackbirds is fantastic & I know Cat Winters has a story in that new horror anthology, but tbh, it was only okay. It deals with a few phenomenal topics fairly well but I couldn't Secondhand anger is so a thing! It's so stressful! Thanks, Val! :)

      Delete
  2. humm well thats a bit unfortunate, I hope I like it, been very curious

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It handles a few tough topics well! I think you will!

      Delete
  3. This sounded like it could have been amazing. Shame you didn't completely enjoy it :( Hopefully the next Cat Winter book you read will live up to your expectations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It had its good and bad points, really. It could've been really fantastic but it sort-of flopped, in my opinion. Thanks, Bec! :)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blog Tour Review: Christmas In London

Anita Hughes - Christmas In London Published: October 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4.5/5

A charming, glamourous love story set at Claridge's in London during the magical week before Christmas starring a sweet NYC baker and the Cooking Channel Producer who could change her life.

It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day, so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want L…

Review: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn

Marianna Baer - The Inconceivable Life of Quinn Expected publication: April 4, 2017 by Amulet Books
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?

Review: Antisocial

Jillian Blake - Antisocial Published: May 16, 2017 by Delacorte Press
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Romance, Young ADult
Pages: 256
Source: NetGalley
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

Alexandria Prep is about to be exposed.

Senior spring was supposed to mean sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her perfect basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.

Then the hack…