Book Review: Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

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3.5 out of 5 stars to Girl in Snow, a new mystery and suspense novel written by Danya Kukafka and set to be released on August 1st, 2017.


Many thanks to Simon & Schuster, NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to review an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel. I enjoyed it and would be interested in reading more by this author.

Why This Book
This is slightly embarrassing, but I’m not one hundred percent certain how I came to read this book. I was awarded the novel on NetGalley in May, but I believe someone recommended it to me, or maybe the publisher reached out to me to take a look at it. I can’t find any emails, which I normally save, or any comments that might refresh my memory… so bottom-line, it was part of a NetGalley list of books I wanted to read.

Plot, Characters & Setting
Lucinda is a teenager in a small Colorado town who is found dead in the snow on a school playground by a custodian. She was hit in the head with a blunt object and left to die. The story follows several people in the town who either knew the girl or knew of her, each having different opinions about whether Lucinda was a good person or a bad girl.

Cameron is the boy who loved her from afar, except someone knows he was stalking the girl and watching through her windows. He’s had mini-breakdowns after his father left town years ago under very bad circumstances. He doesn’t remember doing anything, but people close to him know he was missing, saw him talking to her and believe he’s guilty.

Jade is a fellow schoolmate who did not like Lucinda. Lucinda stole the boy Jade loved, but the boy never really loved Jade. Jade is not upset that Lucinda is dead, but her younger sister is angry. Jade’s mother treats her daughter poorly and seems to be hiding some sort of a secret.

Russ is the cop assigned to investigate Lucinda’s death. He’s harboring a secret about his friendship with Cameron’s father, as well as the reasons Cameron’s father disappeared. He’s also certain the school custodian, who happens to be Russ’s wife’s brother, is guilty. He tries to navigate the situation, but finds himself stuck on the past.

A few other characters intersect, e.g. a couple with a young child that both Lucinda and Jade babysat for. A young school teacher accused of flirting inappropriately with his female students. And the friends and family members of all 3 main characters.

One of these people is guilty. But the question is who… and you’ll need to read the book to find out.

Approach & Style
I read the novel on my iPad through Kindle Reader. It was about 4500 lines, which is about a 300 page hardcover — not that long. Chapters are relatively short and alternate perspective from the 3 main characters: Cameron, Jade and Russ. The language and writing are absolutely beautiful. So much background and description are revealed in the narration and prose. There are limited amounts of dialogue.

Jade tells 2 sides of every conversation — what she wishes she said (through a play she is writing) and what she actually said. For a young and new writer, the author has a firm grip on flourishing language. On occasion, it fell a little too simple, but it balanced out from the lengthy details of everything else going on in the background.

The best part of the story is the absolutely beautiful descriptions of the characters and the scenery. Everything feels authentic. The plot is complex in that there are different levels of relationships happening behind the scenes, which readers only see when certain characters happen to stumble on the supporting cast. It’s a good approach to hold interest in the story. The plot has many interesting sub-components, which help reveal who people really are on the inside versus who they appear to be on the outside.

I didn’t know enough about nor care much for Lucinda. A lot of details were revealed about her, but she’s dead when the story starts. As a result, I felt like she could have been anyone as opposed to having a real strong desire inside me to want to know who killed her. I felt less of an attachment to her, but if it were written a little differently, I think it would have been an easy 4 rating for me. Also, once the killer is revealed, there is no scene explaining how/why it happened. You have a hint at the reason for the murder, but you never actually watch or hear the scene played out from either the narrator or a confession from the killer. It felt like a bit of a letdown.

Author & Other Similar Books
This is a very typical story about 3 seemingly disconnected characters where you have to figure out how everyone knew each other. There are a lot of similar type stories on the market right now, as it’s a popular genre and sub-genre. In a way, it was similar to “Beartown” in the structure, focus on teenagers and the mystery portion. But it was also like “I Found You” where the 3 stories will intersect somehow, but you just don’t know until the end, but also that this this was about teenagers and “I Found You” was not only about teenagers.

This is the author’s first book. She definitely has writing talent and storytelling abilities. I think with more experience, she’ll flush out some of the areas that felt a bit weak to me and become a fantastic and creative author in this genre. I’m glad I read it and will chance her next book.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.


15 thoughts on “Book Review: Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

    Carissa Reads It All said:
    July 17, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    I also got this book from NetGalley months ago… I’m debating if I actually want to read it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 17, 2017 at 1:29 PM

      The writing is good. The plot is good. Something was missing in the ending and the reason why the girl was killed. I’d read more by her, but as her first novel, I think it was average.

      Liked by 1 person

    dinosaursdonkeysandms said:
    July 17, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Me and Dizzy have nominated you for the following awards. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    Naty said:
    July 18, 2017 at 2:49 AM

    Humm this actually sounds interesting – more like a psychological mystery than a crime novel… or am I mistaken? I had actually not heard of this book before your review. Now I’m itching to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 18, 2017 at 6:41 AM

      Yes. Not a story about the police searching. All about what everyone thought of her and then someone is revealed as the killer.


    mistysbookspace said:
    July 18, 2017 at 6:51 AM

    I have been seeing this book a lot lately. I never really paid much attention to it but I just might need to add it to my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    TeenBookLit101 said:
    July 19, 2017 at 6:19 AM

    Looks good book 📙

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 19, 2017 at 7:17 AM

      It was good. Some great parts, some so-so parts. Wound up good tho, I would have liked a stronger ending.


    shalini said:
    July 22, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Not my kinda book, didn’t like cover too…

    Liked by 1 person

    […] was curious about Girl in Snow after seeing a review from Jay about it, and it seemed to me that the book was a study of human relationships and the complexity […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Holly B / Dressedtoread said:
    August 8, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    I still want to read this one, but I don’t think I’m going to like it (so weird that I want to read it)!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 8, 2017 at 8:46 AM

      It’s not a normal suspense book. It’s more like a perspective on life from different characters, at least until the end… then you get into a bit of page-turning-rather-quickly where you want to know who killed her.


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