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Cold Spell (Fairy Tale Retelling) Hardcover – November 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Kai and Ginny have been in love since they were children. They live in a shabby apartment building on the wrong side of Atlanta, and it has been them against the world, forever. As the end of high school approaches, strange events tear Kai from Ginny. A mysterious woman steals him away, but it is not simple infidelity at work. There is an entire supernatural world at play with our own, with werewolves that steal young girls and a Snow Queen who steals young men. Ginny fights to get Kai back, finding allies along the way. While individuals and scenery are described in vivid detail, the characterizations are weaker. Readers are told about, rather than shown, the teens' all-consuming love. Kai is described as an immensely talented violinist, while Ginny has no special qualities. In fact, a character describes her as not doing anything yet, so potentially she can do everything, which is a nice way to spin a bland, Mary Sue-type character. The pace is fast and the action is almost nonstop, helped along by a deus ex machina of a rich couple who have the talents and connections that Ginny needs, and who form an instant bond with her. If readers are willing to turn a blind eye to some of these issues, they can enjoy the action, the great descriptive language, and the swoony love story, loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen."-Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Pearce’s fairy-tale retellings continue with this modern take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, joining her previous updates to Andersen’s tales, beginning with Sisters Red (2010). Ginny has been told to “mind the beasts” since she was young, but she never believed the warnings. Her best friend, Kai, has slowly but surely become her boyfriend, and the two have grand plans to leave behind their less-than-ideal families to run away together. However, Ginny’s world (and her belief in her own sanity) is shaken when Kai is stolen by the Snow Queen, Mora, who rules over the beasts in hot pursuit of Ginny on her quest to rescue Kai. Pearce’s lyrical prose evokes the sweetness of first love and weaves Ginny’s tale into the other stories in the series. As Ginny hunts the Snow Queen, she meets a host of interesting characters and muses on who she can trust and the nature of her relationship with Kai, but underneath it all, she is determined to take the reins of her own life. Grades 8-12. --Stacey Comfort

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Product Details

  • Series: Fairy Tale Retelling
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316243590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316243599
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jackson Pearce lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn't make it; other jobs she's had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist.

Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn't tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since. Visit Jackson online at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lili's Reflections on December 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was incredibly curious going into this book because I’ve adored some of Pearce’s books and I’ve struggled with others. Thankfully, this was a good one. While it didn’t blow me away, I found it entirely enjoyable and easy to get through.

I recommend reading the previous novels in this series to understand the little things. Concepts and characters from all past Fairytale Retelling novels are brought to life in this one. It was done perfectly. I often found myself freaking out silently in my head because I was making these awesome little connections that Pearce painstakingly weaved throughout the previous three books to make this one all the more complex. While none of these plot points are obvious and overly important, they prove to make you understand and appreciate reveals a little more. While reading the previous novels are not necessary, I do think it can enhance your reading experience.

The characterization in this one was fabulous. I adored Ginny and Kai. Ginny was willing to fight tooth and nail until the very end to win Kai back. She would not allow someone who meant so much to her to disappear out of her life. It’s incredibly easy to respect her and love her for it. She’s the kind of friend you’d kill for. Kai was rather amazing as well. You could tell his love for Ginny was genuine—the way a romantic bond really should be. However, the secondary characters were so awesome that they sometimes stole the show. Namely Flannery. I’m not going to tell you how Ginny met this girl because that’s an adventure all on its own, but she’s a rough and tumble girl with a foul mouth and a pension for getting into trouble. In other words, she’s entirely entertaining and perfect for comic relief.

With that being said, I did have a few issues with the plot of this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kris on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love how threads from the previous books in the series come together in Cold Spell. I'm just realizing that there may have been some in Fathomless; however, I hadn't realized it before because Fathomless was the first book I read in the series. This is really cool because not only are these pretty cool twists on popular fairy tales, they're also interconnected.

Ginny and Kai are wonderful characters. While it is kind of (maybe more than a litle) disturbing that they've known they love each other since they were seven, which is also basically around the time they first met, and they were planning their wedding at the age of eleven, their romance is sweet and touching. It's the love of friends that have always viewed each other as family and never expected to be apart, and from the way they talk to each other it's apparent that they deeply care for each other. It's not the passionate burning that's been swarming the YA lit market. Still, it was frustrating at the beginning how Ginny is so willing to give up her own future to be with Kai, believing her future to be with him. That's why it's a blessing that Kai gets taken by Mora - because Ginny needs this time apart from Kai, this time chasing him down, to learn that she can live without him and that she has talents of her own. I only wish that she didn't find it so easy to get away with running away from home. I don't think it's a great message to send out, and it's getting to be a clichéd trend in YA lit.

Mora is also a compelling character. Though she's the "villain" in this story, she's also a victim of circumstance. I would have liked to learn more of her story, especially how she's connected to the ocean girls of Fathomless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PWDecker on December 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful adaptation of The Snow Queen. I really liked how I could match the characters with their fairytale counterpart. Pearce continues to expand the mythology she has created. I loved all the connections to her already existing mythology as well as all the new and interesting things she introduced. I like how we get more details each book.

I really liked the main relationship in this book. I loved all their little quirks and how some of those nuances came into play at the conclusion of the book.

There were so many unique and interesting characters. I especially liked the chapters from Mora's point of view.

This book was an easy and fun read. Some things happen too easy, but it's still an enjoyable read. I think Pearce's books have only gotten better. I liked Fathomless more, but I think that's only because of the subject.

I'm waiting for an epic team up book where all these awesome characters from each Fairy Tale Retelling come together to take on the Fenris. This needs to happen!

I hope Pearce continues to reinterpret fairytales into modern stories. I give this book a 4.5/5 and it's a must read if you've read Pearce's other books. If you like fairytales and haven't, I'd suggest starting at the beginning though. They are each their own stories, but the experience of reading them as a series is so much better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elle Hinkley on March 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Describe this book in one sentence- An interesting take on the classic Snow Queen story.

Rating- PG-13

Why this rating?- Violence, destruction, mild kissing, and some mild language.

For ages- 15-18

Recommended to- Fans of fairy tale retellings

Stars- Three out of Five.

Why this number of stars- Before I start critiquing the content, I'd like to say that the cover (amazing as it is) has absolutely nothing, as far as I can tell, to do with the book. Now with that out of the way, my favorite aspect of this novel is the strong theme of self-empowerment. I enjoy the fact that the female lead, in the end, ends up not just getting the guy, but understanding that without him she is her own person. This sends a great message to girls that the guy is not what defines you, but your actions are. The two stars I knocked off were for not being descriptive enough. In some scenes you would get the entire surroundings, but in others the reader was lucky to get a house and a few furnishings described. My belief is that the perfect book should have you living and breathing with the main characters.

Would I read the second book?- This is the fourth book in it's series, but I read it before the others. I was able to understand it as a stand alone, however I would like to read the other books.
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