Sunday, 3 April 2016

And I'm a little bit scared tonight, I need to run just far enough, so I can smile again, smile again, so I can smile again

The Steep & Thorny Way
Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

The Steep and Thorny Way is exactly what I've come to expect from Cat Winters, if you've read and loved one of her books, you'll know you get rich, authentic setting, it's history well researched and a book full of meaning, and The Steep and Thorny Way is no different.

 The Steep and Thorny Way's stories are important to be told, from Hanalee and her parents, to Joe and a small town taken over by the KKK and the way minorities and people of a different religion, and people who 'don't quite fit in' were treated. And it's brutal and horrific and I'm sure, since it's YA, that it's less violent than it would've been, but it still has its impact, because it's hard to read it when you want to hurt characters every few pages, and believe me, you'll want to hurt certain characters every few pages.

However, the mystery surrounding Hanalee father’s death left me bored, even with the ghostly paranormal twist Cat Winters has, because it's more of a slow going plot, but it definitely went a different way than I was expecting it to, but it also went an important way that showed the way minorities were faced.

Setting aside the violence, there's also the fact that minorities had no rights or control over their own lives. No rights over who you can date and marry, if you can have children. 

The Steep and Thorny Way shows you how far we've come since the 1920's, but it also shows how we haven't come far enough.

Rating: 4/5




  1. I have this one, but haven't read it yet. I love Cat's books!

  2. I've never read anything by Cat Winters but I love retellings so I've had my eye on this one for awhile! I don't do very well with slow plots, but it does sound interesting... I'm glad you enjoyed it even if it wasn't perfect!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  3. This is such a fascinating premise. I don't think I've read anything by Cat Winters but I feel like I should prepare myself with other books before reading this one.

  4. This is such a fascinating premise. I don't think I've read anything by Cat Winters but I feel like I should prepare myself with other books before reading this one.

  5. Good to hear it lived up to what you hope for these

  6. Great review! I really do want to read this one. It sounds great, and your review has me even more excited to check it out.


  7. This review is PERFECT- especially the last line, because it is SO TRUE. I was so MAD while I read this. Because it should just never ever have happened, and it sure as hell shouldn't STILL be happening. I really enjoyed the book too. I almost took off a half star for the ghost dad thing, but then I decided that screw it, the book is important enough to earn its stars. So glad you loved it too!

  8. I think it's a great time to read this one, I absolutely love Cat Winters so I'm almost positive I will enjoy this one too, the setting sounds so well developed. Great review :D

  9. I just adore cat winters. Sorry some of it bored you. Her books can be a bit slow but usually velvety slow. Its just so good that the slow takes you on a longer ride. I love how she does the paranormal, historical fiction, real issues kind of books.

  10. I'm so not the biggest historical fan but this one sounds so amazing! I'm thinking I may have to give it a try.

  11. Cat Winters is totally one of those authors I keep meaning to check out because I always see so much good things about her books! This one sounds like an interesting take on historical fiction and some modern issues we're still facing.

    Lovely review, Kirsty!

  12. I like the sound of the important topics discussed in the novel, but I'm not so sure what to feel about the storyline because I'm not sure if I'd be interested in the mystery or not. Either way, I'm glad you enjoyed the book!