The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Have you ever read a story where it felt like you were actually part of the characters lives? The Snowball Effect is one of those kinds of stories, and Lainey Pike is one of those kinds of characters.
Eighteen year old Lainey is your somewhat typical jaded teenage girl, except she has bigger issues to deal with. Her stepfather died in a motorcycle crash, her grandmother died shortly after that, and her mother fully lost it and hanged herself in their basement…two days after her high school graduation.
Sounds like a lot to deal with, right? Well, there’s more…Her mother left behind another child, Lainey’s brother, Collin, is five years old and has sever behavioral problems, and now there’s someone else to add to their dysfunctional family, Vallery, Lainey’s long gone older sister. Vallery hasn’t been in Lainey’s life since she was a very young child, and Vallery never even knew Collin existed, until now. And now, Vallery is back and in charge of Collin, but not willingly and definitely not patiently.
To add to everything else in Lainey’s already chaotic life, there’s Riley, her adorably sweet boyfriend, who wants them to move in together and start a life of their own. But now that Vallery is back and they’re sharing the responsibility of Collin and for everything else, Lainey has way more to deal with than she ever has.
Now, Lainey has to get to know Vallery all over again, and get Collin to not only behave, but behave for Vallery and come to trust her. Then there’s the task of trying to find a way to forgive her mother for being mentally absent and leaving her. But how easy can it be to make peace with a dead woman?
There was so much about The Snowball Effect that I absolutely adored and it’s hard to know where to start! Lainey is one of those characters that is so easy to relate to. She’s frustrated with her siblings and her job, she has her friends and relationships to deal with, and it’s all complicated.
Holly Nicole Hoxter has an adorable hit on her hands. The story did tend to jump around a bit, but it made up for that with it’s realistic look at a teenager’s way of coping, while trying to move on and improve their life, plus dealing with whatever else life throws their way. Then there’s Riley, whom I absolutely adored! He’s kind and sweet and totally loves Lainey, no matter how she treats him. Talk about a fantastic boyfriend! There’s also the relationship that Lainey, Collin, and Vallery forge with one another, and I found it to be realistic and beautiful.
But there’s more to The Snowball Effect than the story itself. Hoxter’s writing flows so beautifully, and she has a talent that few writers have. There are few writers that have the ability to take an incredibly sad situation, such as the loss of a loved one, and make it so hilarious, yet moving. This is an author that I not only look forward to reading more from, but I also know will go far.
Watch out for Holly Nicole Hoxter, she’s a talented author and an awesome storyteller. The Snowball Effect actually reminded me somewhat of a Sarah Dessen novel, and that is always a good thing! I definitely recommended this to all teens, and adults, that enjoy a good, realistic, entertaining story.
I received this book as part of 1 ARC Tours.