My Life as a Snow Bunny
Who needs thigh-expanding hot chocolate when one can read My Life As A Snow Bunny? It’s a warm, feel-good book with just enough sweetness (minus the calories) to liven up a dreary winter day.
Written in a chatty, first person style, the story is told by Jo Vincent, a pretty, playful, often sarcastic boy-crazy sixteen year old. When her parent’s divorce, Jo and her workaholic father drifted apart. Not that they were ever close anyway, what with him virtually ignoring her existence. Jo’s father invites her along on a ski trip (along with his newest girlfriend) and the California sufer girl who has virtually no clue what one does with a pair of skies is dreading every minute of it.
As expected, Jo’s neglectful father delivers her safely to Colorado, but leaves her to fend for herself. Her first experience on the slopes starts out badly when she¹s nearly taken out by a wayward “shredder” but ends on a high note when Hans, a hottie ski instructor with a Swiss accent, saves her from disaster. Things are looking up! Jo declares herself instantly in lerve (that’s love with a Swiss accent) with all the enthusiasm of a teen with raging hormones.
Jo and Hans hit if off despite his horrid Dracula-like accent. It¹s a good thing he’s cute and sweet because when Hans says things like “it vas my pleasure” and “vat else vould you like to know?” it jolted me clear out of the book (it eventually turns out there’s a reason for the hideous accent and his real accent is much more attractive). Jo knows he’s hiding something but his mysteriousness only intensifies her interest in him. Jo¹s a little quirky and secretly fantasizes he’s royalty and dreams they’ll soon be fighting off the paparazzi. Ahhh, to be sixteen again! Unfortunately, Jo¹s dad isn’t impressed with Hans and continues to foist Justin, the loathsome drug-addicted son of a wealthy business client, upon her in the rare moments when she catches his attention.
Jo has her hands full fighting off the lecherous advances of Justin, falling deeper in “lerve” with “Hans” (who may or not may not be Swiss), and battling with her dad on a daily basis. During the tumultuous week, she faces a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, but still manages to remain true to her cheery, fun loving self without descending into extended bouts of teen angst and self-pity. She’s very outspoken and eventually the inevitable heated confrontation with dad occurs and all of the hidden hurts, ugly truths and little disappointments are spilled. The hurt was so genuine I nearly cried.
The pace is fast due to the upbeat writing style and the unique use of words and images, but the book excels with its realistically drawn imperfect characters (especially considering the short length of the book). Jo is an adorable young woman whose swooning and sighing over boys reminds me of a friend I had way back when I was a teen. Adding another layer to the realism of Jo’s character are her emotional outbursts and the biting sarcasm she uses as a defense mechanism. Jo’s self-involved dad is developed just as carefully. After they have their big emotional breakdown dad obviously doesn’t change into “the world’s best dad” overnight, which was very believable. Their relationship improves but doesn’t turn all rosy and perfect in the blink of an eye. Even Kate, dad’s newest girlfriend, isn’t your stereotypical witch. Instead she quietly adds an unexpected layer of warmth to the novel. And, “Hans” is a real sweetie. His relationship with Jo is filled with laughs and bold conversations and all of the innocence of brand new love.
The only misstep occurs near the end when the book switches gears to ferret out the culprit who made off with some missing jewels. The guilty party is extremely obvious and the way Jo just happens to coincidentally stumble upon the “evidence” is groan inducing.
I laughed, I got all teary eyed and just plain “lerved” My Life as a Snow Bunny despite its little faults and hope you will, too!