Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Winter Dream by Chantal Gadoury – ARC review


My Rating ~ Two and a half stars

2half-gold-stars copy 3

RELEASED: 27 November 2018

Publisher: Parliament House Publishing

Format: e-ARC

Pages: 292

Source:  Received from the author in exchange for an honest review


This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…

Except, maybe, a mouse.

At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?

Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?



Many thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of Winter Dream in exchange for an honest review.

I’d like to preface this review by saying I have never read / seen the Nutcracker story.  I know very little about it, save for the nutcracker dolls I’ve seen in the shop and a brief outline, and that may have affected the way I viewed this retelling.

I have previously read and loved books by this author, and I don’t think this was a bad book, it just wasn’t really for me.  I found the writing to be a little too close to one of those odd fairytales that don’t quite make sense.  Almost too sweet and ‘down the rabbit hole-ish’.  I quite enjoyed the first part of the story, where we met Clara and felt her desperation at being the type of girl who longed for adventures, in a world where girls were more likely to be swept into arranged marriages to suit the station of their family name.  Clara’s odd, magical uncle intrigued me too, but once we got to the Nutcracker part of the story, it all turned a little too fanciful and far fetched for me to become truly involved in the story.  I’m assuming the army of mice and the Mouse King are part of the original Nutcracker story, but I just couldn’t make myself get behind the idea of being frightened by a bunch of mice.  Any other animal, toy etc, maybe, but I just kept seeing tiny, white furry mice.

I unfortunately guessed the twists and reveals a bit too soon in the story as well, even without knowing the original story.  I actually kept hoping I’d be wrong and get a shock at the end.  I didn’t dislike the story, but I would have loved to see some of the much darker elements and scenes I know this author can write make an appearance.



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Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl


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