I admit that I was lukewarm about Belles, but in Winter White I saw the character development that I wanted in book one and I have to say that I very much enjoyed this installment. The family drama continues to unfold, which really moved the story along, but I really felt that Mira and Izzy started to grow as people. Mira learns to stand up for herself and Izzy discovers that she is someone who deserves to be defended, which I really loved. The addition of Brayden’s sister, Dylan, was very interesting and definitely added some drama that was fun to read. Dylan’s appearance also forced some issues with Brayden to the forefront and that sub-plot was interesting, although I would have liked to know more about Dylan.
This series is perhaps more solidly in the teen category than a YA Crossover, but I think that if you are looking to engage a teen reader that likes contemporary family dramas, this is an excellent choice. Both girls are smart and strong, but in ways that differ from each other. While boys and romance definitely play a part in this story, it’s not the main focus. No one likes a good romance better than I do, but it’s nice to see a great balance between focusing on the girls and their inner struggles in addition to the inevitable boy-related drama of high school. I also liked the contrast between the privilege of Emerald Cove and the more humble circumstances that Izzy grew up with and doesn’t want to forget. I would feel comfortable giving it to younger teens (13-14) and I think it would also make a good choice for a parent/teen book club selection. Everyone will love the cliffhanger at the end and I think a lot of readers will be waiting impatiently for book three!
I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.