Author: Salla Simukka
Genre: Young Adult/Drama/Action
Publication: Skyscape (English), Tammi (Finnish), Clavis (Dutch)
Release Date: Februari 20th, 2013 (1st published in Finnish)
Spoilers: Not much.
Welcome to the 2nd Salla Simukka Week post! Today I’m reviewing the first book in the Snow White Trilogy, but I do have a side note: not all the books have been published in English (yet), since Salla is from Finland. Since I have read all the Dutch books (THANK YOU Clavis and Speelboek for getting me review copies before meeting Salla!), I will also review the Dutch versions (which doesn’t differ from any other version, just the cover and the publisher/pub. date etc.). The Dutch title is “Rood als bloed”, as you can see on the picture.
Since the first book DOES have an English Goodreads page, I can introduce you quickly to the first book in the series.
“In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood. Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls. But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business. As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.”
Wow, sounds pretty exciting right? Lumikki, the main character, who’s name is Snow White, is a tough chick. At first I didn’t really like her. She was holding back her feelings an thoughts, she was really stubborn and wasn’t really into getting to know new people. I felt like she was holding back something, it hinted to that. But, strange things started to happen and Lumikkia finds blood stained money. She surely doesn’t know what to do with it, so she decides to leave the money for what it is and goes to class. Dear Lumikki, way don’t you warn somebody? WHY? Oh, well, after class Lumikki decides to take another look at the money. Only this time, the money is gone.
After a lot of strange things happening, we learn a little bit more about Lumikki. She doesn’t really have a good bond with her parents, which is a secret lurking in the shadows. Another person who doesn’t really like her own parents, is one of her classmates, who, of course, has everything to do with the blood stained money. Lumikki tries to ignore the girl, but it doesn’t do any good.
Where did the money come from? And why is Lumikki being chased by creepy guys who try to shoot her? And why is Lumikki sinking deeper into the dark drugs world full of secrets? Why can’t she just be a normal seventeen year old?
Fortunately, Lumikki is very smart, but also a bit stubborn. She has no intention of giving up on finding out what happened to the money and to who it belongs. Her curiosity wins from her fear, which is a good character trait I think. She overcomes her fear of being ‘social’, something I think is one of the hardest things to do for a teenager who likes to be alone.
Over the course of the book, I started liking Lumikki more. I could finally understand where she was coming from. At least better than at the beginning of the book. There was definitely a small character development. Lumikki changed, but so did her friends. The weird and creepy events made them change. They can’t help it.
The story over all was very very very very exciting. It was an easy read, I finished the book within a few hours. It was crazy, but I couldn’t possibly close the book. Everything I went to the toilet (not even kidding), I wanted to go back and read some more. I couldn’t even sleep. At the end, I was sitting on my couch at 2 am in the night, reading as if my life depended on it. At least it felt like it.
The book is fast paced, well written and has a good ending. It’s not an open and, but it isn’t a closed end. It’s like: the events have come to an end, but it leaves you with so many questions about Lumikki. That’s what made me read the second book in the series the day after finishing the first book.
Would I recommend this book? YES. It’s written pretty simple, easy to understand. But because the story is so damn good, you will just keep reading until you’ve read the last pageof the book. Salla amazed me and I hope she will keep writing the way she does now.