Rating: 4.5 stars
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.
How I loved this book! It was a really great story and a quick read. The story was so believable, despite all the crazy things that happened to poor Lainey. Despite the serious tone of parts of the book, it had a light feel to it and parts were filled with humor.
The Snowball Effect was fairly predictable, but that was part of its charm. I loved the basis of the plot. As tragic as it is, it provides for a wonderfully written story and how one girl copes with it. The first few pages, I was a little confused as to what was going on. Though once I got 2 or 3 chapters in, I was hooked and there was no putting it down.
The Snow Effect featured a cast of beautifully written characters. Every character had their own unique personality, and it was really refreshing. As a reader, you can really sympathize with Lainey. She had a really pleasant voice, though at parts I wanted to yell at her, and tell her what she should be doing. Hoxter did a wonderful job writing Lainey. Riley had to be my favorite character of the book. Riley was the guy every girl wishes she had. He was just perfect. Kara and Christine were my other 2 favorites. Kara was perfectly understanding, and Christina just cracked me up.
I loved Lainey, Collin, and Valery’s dysfunctional family and how they made it work. It was lovely reading about them as they worked through all the problems, and watch them grow closer and closer to each other.
The ending didn’t leave me completely satisfied. The ending felt a bit abrupt, and just going a bit more into story would have done the story more justice.
Overall, The Snowball Effect just really clicked with me, and I absolutely loved it.