In this Bed of Snowflakes we Lie (ParisDude’s Review)


Title: In this Bed of Snowflakes we Lie
Author: Sophia Soames
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 14, 2019
Genre(s): YA, Christmas
Page Count: 217
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Blurb:

Oskar Høiland hides from life. It just makes things easier that way, not having to face all the fears and drama of living. He avoids other people, because Oskar has grown up fearing the snide remarks and the quick glances that strip him of the tiny scraps of confidence he still has left. He is just going to keep existing. Work hard to complete his medical degree and perhaps watch a few more series on Netflix in peace and quiet over Christmas.

Erik Nøst Hansen should be an almost fully-fledged adult. He should be able to sort out the mess that festers in his head and stop lying. It’s just hard. And it’s bloody terrifying to even acknowledge the thoughts that swirl around in his head at night when he can’t sleep. He also needs to figure out how to talk to the boy downstairs. The one with the golden curls and the crooked smile. The boy who is completely monopolising Erik’s messed-up heart.

A story of falling in love and being brave. A Christmas tale with a difference, set in the university dorms of central Oslo, where lies are uncovered, snowflakes are falling all over the place, and beds are made to lie in. There is a slightly unconventional family. A mess of animal onesies. Too much food and a very Merry Christmas.


I know we’re not here to share song titles or Youtube-links. But the other day I stumbled upon this amazing song, “Falling Free”, by Danish singer Eivør (she’s from the Faroe Islands, in fact), where the chorus goes, “Now I surrender / I am falling down / Hoping you will catch me / Before I hit the ground. / You are all I see/ For you, I am falling free.” Listen to the song, listen to the text, listen to the singer’s powerful voice and intensely emotional singing, and you’ll get in a nutshell what this book is about. Two young students, full of insecurities and doubts, meet, fall in love with each other against all odds, and their love is beautiful, pure, a thing meant to last. Both of them could say about the other “You are all I see/ For you, I am falling free”. This is a wonderful book about growing up, about trust, about letting go of one’s fears and inhibitions, about allowing oneself to fall free, to fall in love, to love and be loved. Wrap up this central message in a Christmas-time frame, set it up in oversnowed Oslo and rural Moss, and you get a story as sweet and moving as a story can get. I was all but sniffling while reading.

Once again, Soames writes a book that is extremely messy. The characters are messy, their development is messy, the writing is messy. The plot is straightforward, you could say, but messily so: nothing’s smooth or silky or predictable. Don’t get me wrong, this is not me complaining, quite the contrary; I love it. Everything Soames creates, almost despite herself, is messy, but it’s the same sort of messy all our lives are. I’ve come to equate that messy thing she’s got going in her novels with Scandinavia, for her main characters are always Scandinavian, at least partly. They do strange things, they have strange reactions, you don’t always understand what they want, what they say or where they think they’re heading, but in the end, everything makes sense (more or less). Everything turns out for the best. What I really like about these characters is… precisely that: that I like them. They’re never black or white, not even grey for that matter, but highly colourful, erratic, intense, lively, endearing. Life is pulsing throughout the story, life with its odd turns and twists. And nobody ever reacts the way you’d expect, and as a result, they don’t go in circles, but reach goals they never even knew they had.

Yes, I loved this book as I loved the two previous ones I’ve already read. Goose-pumps, tender tears, and feverish page-turning guaranteed. A foolproof 5 stars. Alas, I have to take off half a star, to my utter regret, because this time, the book has really been shoddily proofread and edited. Word repetitions aplenty (you can’t use “just” or “get” or “whilst” several times in a row, in one single paragraph, without me rolling my eyes), and at places a bit too much swearing that seems to obscure what the author wanted to say. I hope that will be remedied for the final, published version, which I urge you to grab, no matter what, because you’ll want to read this story! It’s Christmassy as hell, it’s cute as fuck, it has the most amazing title I’ve ever seen, and one of the sweetest love-stories ever.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of In this Bed of Snowflakes we Lie provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Dieter, born and raised in Austria, studied Political Sciences in Vienna in the early 90s. He's living in Paris, France, with his boyfriend and working as a graphic designer. In his spare time, he loves to write, read, cook, take photos, and travel as often as possible. He’s already published two short-story collections as well as four poetry collections. His first murder mystery novel “The Stuffed Coffin” featuring Damien Drechsler and the dashing Greek student Nikos has been released on Jan. 6, 2019, and is available in English, French, and German. By the way, the French version "Le cercueil farci" has won the prestigious Prix du roman gay 2019 in the category murder mystery. Dieter runs a gay book reviews site in French and is also writing reviews for Gay Book Reviews under the pseudonym of ParisDude.
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