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Poetry Editor Jenna Dirksen

Book of the Month: Girl in Snow

  • Post category:Culture

When they told him Lucinda Hayes was dead, Cameron thought of her shoulder blades and how they framed her naked spine, like a pair of static lungs.

By: Jenna Dirksen

February is known for two things: romance and freezing cold. These two things combined create images of kissing in the snow or people holding hands while ice skating. Hear me out, though—what about the image of a frozen dead girl and her harmless but dedicated stalker? Sounds interesting, right? Sounds like something you’d like to read more about? Well, you’re in luck, because February’s book of the month is Girl in Snow, the incredible breakout novel by Danya Kukafka.

Girl in Snow is harrowing, prismatic—a book about violence that is somehow truly gentle at its core. The novel follows the paths of three characters: a boy suspected of murder, a conflicted social outcast, and a homicide detective; all three wondering the same thing: who killed Lucinda Hayes?

While following these characters, their personhoods are cracked wide open. What spills out are the intricacies of human relationships, both pre and post-pubescent. Each character has their own demons relating to the murder investigation. We see the bad thoughts as well as the good, from narrators that may try to seem impartial but struggle with the grisly nature of the crime. Kukafka’s novel is truly unique in that it does not censor, soften, or take a side in the events it details. Instead, the book presents them raw and bleeding, like a freshly peeled scab. And despite the way that sounds, the prose is truly beautiful.

So, if you like crime novels but also like complex teenage angst, grab a mug of hot chocolate and crack this book open during the next snow day. Fans of romance will become absorbed by the web of love stories that surprise at every turn. Fans of Paula Hawkins and Shari Lapena can take a break from Seasonal Affective Disorder with something arguably just as depressing. Fans of me know that this is one of my favorite books of all time. Read Girl in Snow if you’re looking for something heart wrenching to distract you from your devastating loneliness this Valentine’s Day, or if you’re in a relationship, read it anyway, because it’s good.