Reader Beware Month: Beware, The Snowman

I have never been able to make a snowman in my life.  The reason for this mostly hinges on the fact that I live in Miami, snow’s worst enemy.  I do consider myself a little deprived of that experience growing up.  Anyway, having never really been around actual snowmen, maybe there’s something I’m missing.  Whatever else Beware, The Snowman is, I can tell you this:  It’s not the least bit creepy or scary, even from a kid’s book standpoint.

Jaclyn and her Aunt Greta have recently moved to the town of Sherpia, a small town at the edge of the Arctic Circle.  Jaclyn is confused as Aunt Greta basically chose to move here without real reason.  Then, Jaclyn notices something bizarre:  The same, creepy snowman is in every front lawn.  It has an angry frown and a scar on its face, it’s arms up as if trying to scare people away.  What is the reason behind this bizarre tradition?  The explanation is even sillier than you can imagine.

Let’s just be blunt here.  The story of this book is just outright silly and stupid.  There is just no way you can make a snowman scary.  Many have tried, all have failed.   I think the problem might be that I usually associate snowmen with joy and good cheer.  You know, Christmasy stuff.  So any attempt to make them scary just seems silly.  However, that doesn’t make this a bad story.  On the contrary, I had a lot of fun with it.  It was refreshing to see such an absurd story after a stream of ones that took themselves seriously.  While this one did have a “straight face” the whole way through, I couldn’t help but find it very campy.

As to the characters, I felt like the story wasn’t focused on developing them at all.  Jaclyn doesn’t seem any different than she was at the end of the story.  She didn’t learn any lesson or anything.  The story was more focused on building up the snowman as this big, terrible thing.  As such, we never really got to know the characters outside some shallow, generic aspects.

The twists in this book are absolutely amazing and over the top.  You will never see them coming and I urge you, if you haven’t read this book, not to look up the twists.  Read the book.  It’s fantastic how completely nonsensical they are in every possible way.  The climax of the book is absolutely dripping with goofiness in my opinion.

Ultimately, this book was like a bad, goofy horror flick.  One that you can’t take seriously at all.  So, you shouldn’t.  If you go to read this book, go with the intention of finding it hilariously cheesy.  It’s completely enjoyable that way.  If you try to take it too seriously, I’m afraid you’ll be left out in the cold.


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