Title: As Red As Blood (Lumikki Andersson #1)
Author: Salla Simukka & Owen F. Witesman (Translator)
Publication Date: August 1, 2015
Synopsis: In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.
Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.
But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.
As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.
Review: I'm not going to lie - I picked this book up because I saw somewhere that it was based loosely on Snow White. I mean, the plot sounds absolutely nothing like a traditional Snow White story, and the title kind of references the classic "lips as red as blood," but that's enough to grab my attention!
This book wasn't entirely what I was expecting. I was definitely looking forward to some subtle Snow White references, but I couldn't really find them. Well, except for Lumikki's name literally translating to "Snow White." Despite the lack of a traditional Snow White story, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am glad I gave it a chance. Salla's writing had me hooked from page one, and I know I was going to have to read this book cover-to-cover as soon as Lumikki finds the drying, blood-stained Euros. The whole book felt very lyrical, especially with the descriptions of the harsh Arctic winter. I've never been to Finland, but after reading this book I have absolutely no desire to go there during winter. Ever.
Most of the plot moves pretty quickly, and there were plenty of times where I couldn't wait to read the next page or the next chapter because I just had to know how Lumikki would get out of a crazy situation. Or to maybe learn the answer to one of the bajillion questions I had. Lumikki is smart, resourceful, and definitely someone I'd want to have in my corner if I found myself in a bad situation! She can outrun a bunch of goons, keep her friends safe, and still rock a pair of heels and a ball gown. Her friends are not quite so smart, and the boys were actually kind of annoying.
I'm honestly not really sure where this book will go next though, since I felt like everything wrapped up pretty nicely. I mean, there are a few open ends and I have so many more questions. But I think this book would have worked pretty well as a standalone. I am looking forward to finding out what her next adventure will be, and I hope there are a few more Snow White references, but I won't be disappointed if the next book goes in a completely different direction.
If you're looking for a book based closely on a classic fairy tale, this isn't really the book for you. But, if you're looking for an exciting, fast-paced, YA crime thriller with slight nods to the Snow White story, you should definitely pick this book up! I can't wait to read As White as Snow next to see what kind of trouble Lumikki will get into! 4/5.