In a small town hidden among the mountains of Alaska, Winter Craig finally confesses her feelings to her lifelong crush, Spencer. But the day after their very first kiss, Spencer leaves to get his pilot's license - and is killed in a plane crash.
Winter's dreams fall apart after losing Spencer, and she spends her days walking the halls of her high school like a ghost, wishing she could rewind time, longing to have him back. It feels as though a layer of ice has hardened over everything, making her go numb. But when the boy next door becomes an unlikely friend, slowly, Winter's frozen heart begins to melt. Can love - the very thing that destroyed her - make her whole again?
Sigh. I'm not quite sure why I gave this book 3 stars. Let's start with the positives: realistic plotline and characters. Usually when a character dies they've been dating someone for months or years, not just 24 hours, and while I've never read a book set like that before, it could totally happen. I also found the characters to be pretty realistic: there was no set protagonist or antagonist because each was developed with layers of angst and whatnot. I've also never read a novel set in Alaska and would've loved to have more of the natural setting incorporated into the descriptions. That being said it was really logical to have Winter complain about L.A. and university being so far away, a real concern many Alaskans must have.
However realistic Winter Longing was though, it still felt very juvenile and shallow. It seemed far too simple and not gut-wrenching enough. While I'm glad Winter didn't jump into Jesse's arms right away but I found the fact that she would be so frail and needy all of a sudden really took her character back a few decades. I'm really starting to hate the whole "damsel-in-distress" persona and appreciate it when authors write badass strong independent female protagonists. I found the "flashbacks" to how Spencer and Winter met to be really pointless because they were never referenced in present time. Usually authors do flashbacks to show character development or change the reader's mind about a character (i.e. Snape in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows) but instead the flashbacks just...solidified that Spencer was a good guy, as if we'd never heard that one before. I wish that Tricia Mills had picked a slightly more edgy angle for this novel, like Winter being completely unable to love anyone again or her university plans taking her away from her grief too soon.
Favourite Quote: "That's why reading still held too much of Spencer for me to enjoy the stories now. I doubted even new books would carry me away."
Recommended: The Secret Year (Jennifer R. Hubbard), Ripped at the Seams (Nancy Krulik), Sing Me to Sleep (Angela Morrison),
Laura (All the Word's a Page)