BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Road Out Of Winter – by Alison Stine #blogtour @HarlequinBooks

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Road Out Of Winter blog tour! A huge thanks to Lia Ferrone for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I don’t read nearly enough dystopian stories and there was just something about the blurb of Road Out Of Winter that made me want to try it straight away. And it definitely turned out to be an unique and satisfying read! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: Road Out Of Winter
Author: Alison Stine
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: September 1st 2020
Publisher: MIRA
Finished reading: August 29th 2020
Pages: 227

“I never realized, before last year, how dull winter was. How much the same of everything.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and MIRA in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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It’s a fact that I don’t read nearly enough dystopian stories, so I jumped on the chance to join the blog tour of Road Out Of Winter for not one, but two reasons. One: it was the perfect excuse for me to pick up the genre again. And two: the blurb itself had me completely under its spell and I loved the sound of the illegal marijuana growing angle. I’ve been looking forward to dive into what sounded like a fascinating story, and now I’ve read it I can confirm that it is without doubt out of this world. Unique, bitterly cold, mesmerizing and even terrifying: Road Out Of Winter gives us an image of an alternative near future with an air of possibility that will chill you to the bone.

There are a lot of interesting elements in this story, but let’s talk about the setting and the dystopian world first. Although there isn’t an exact date mentioned as far as I know, you immediately get a feel that the story is set in an alternative near future that is very close to our current world. This gave the dystopian elements even more impact for me, as it is quite easy to imagine how it could be like if the cold winter months suddenly never left again… And trust me, after more than two months of cold winter weather, that IS a terrifying thought. The main dystopian aspect of Road Out Of Winter is basically that somehow the season meter is stuck on ‘winter’. This might seem like something minor, but when you start thinking about the cycle of nature, growing plants and how many industries rely on weather changes, you will start to realize just how big of an impact this neverending cold will have on life. Road Out Of Winter does an excellent job portraying the effects and consequences as well as how far out of control things will spin.

What I also loved was the illegal marijuana growing element and how the plant growing element is incorporated into the plot in general. I’ve always had a strange interest in stories with a drugs element, and it was interesting to learn more about Wil’s background and home situation before the cold never left. The drugs element is mostly focused on the before, but the plant growing element will be important throughout the story and really shines through in Wil’s character with her having the talent to make things grow even under the most difficult circumstances. The growing element for me represented the hope for a better future, and I liked how it kept popping up along the way.

Road Out Of Winter can in a way been seen as a dystopian road trip story, where unlikely characters spend time together on an improvised and dangerous road trip while trying to reach a better and warmer destination down south. The dystopian vibe will mean a lot of obstacles and challenges, and there is no doubt whatsoever that this road trip will be no picnic. It has been interesting to follow their struggle as the different characters in play meet those challenges; the different plot twists and obstacles showing us more about the dystopian world and the consequences of no longer having no other seasons but winter.

As for the characters… Wil was without doubt an intriguing character, and it is her strength and perseverance that keeps everyone going. That said, I do think that her character lacks proper development, and the same can be said for all the other main characters in play. There is a lot of mystery around both their background and past, and they don’t exactly grow much during the story either… It’s as if they were frozen in time along with the stuck winter season, but somehow weirdly enough it did mostly work for the story. I think it has to do with the fact that they are basically a random bunch of individuals being thrown together on an impromptu road trip; it makes you forgive the fact that you don’t know almost anything about their background, as the characters are mostly living in the present anyway and they have more pressing things to deal with.

That said, I do have to say that I was quite disappointed by the final developments in the story. After everything that happened before, I felt that the ending was both rushed as well as what I consider way too open. The story left lots of questions unanswered and I didn’t feel my journey with the main characters was concluded or even paused in a satisfying way. I’m not sure if I missed the memo that this was actually the first book of a series, or the story simply ends this way, but the fact is that the final part did put a damper on my overall reading experience.

Despite the unsatisfying ending, Road Out Of Winter is still an unique, fascinating and highly readable dystopian story that will make you wonder what would really happen to our world if the cold winter weather suddenly becomes the only weather throughout the year. If you are looking for a little something different and a dystopian road trip in the middle of a cold cold winter sounds like your cup of tea, you will be in for a treat!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALISON STINE lives in the rural Appalachian foothills. A recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), she was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She has written for The Atlantic, The Nation, The Guardian, and many others. She is a contributing editor with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Author Website // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads

BUY LINKS

Harlequin // Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Books-A-Million // Powell’s


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WWW Wednesdays #283 – September 2nd

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m in a bit of a beginning reading and blogging slump right now, so I’m hoping a little change of genre will bring a stop to that before it becomes worse… I’m keeping my fingers crossed The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page will do its job. I’ve also started Knock Knock by Chris Merritt as I have an ARC of the sequel due soon.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Memories We Bury by H.A. Leuschel (4/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW
I was positively impressed by Helene Leuschel‘s short story collection Manipulated Lives as well as her stand-alone novella My Sweet Friend a few years back, so of course I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to join the blog tour for her first ‘full novel’ psychological thriller. She has a way of describing the psychological aspects and effects of manipulation that is both realistic and extremely thorough, and after reading the blurb of The Memories We Bury I could just feel it in my bones I was in for another absolute treat. And that is exactly what this story turned out to be!

2. Road Out Of Winter by Alison Stine (3,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 07/09
Look out for my thoughts during my stop of the blog tour!!

3. Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison (2/5 stars) REVIEW 05/09
Oh boy… I didn’t expect to have this reaction to Dot Hutchison‘s newest story at all. I mean, I loved her The Collector books, and I fully expected to have a similar reaction to Deadly Waters. I confess I requested it months ago without even reading the blurb (something I do when I’ve loved multiple books by an author), and started reading this story without reading the already available reviews… I kind of wish I would have now, because they would have been a warning. Basically, this book is an over the top, exaggerated man hating world where all men are abusing, rapist bastards and the girls in college are in constant danger. This anger and hate literally streams out off the pages and REALLY made this a very unappetizing read, and combined with the undeveloped character cliches, the exaggerated plot with excessive violence and attacks and lack of credibility in general, I really wish I would have just DNFed it instead.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have a pile of ARCs and blog tours due soon, so I hope the slump will go away soon…The Wife by Shalini Boland is up first, and then it’s two upcoming September blog tour titles: The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn and The Orphan Of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox. And I don’t think I will be able to get to my latest TBR jar pick Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf during September either… Unless a miracle happens. xD


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WWW Wednesdays #282 – August 26th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading an upcoming blog tour read: The Memories We Bury by H.A. Leuschel. I’ve enjoyed her writing in the past and I’ve been looking forward to this one! I’m also starting a little something different: the dystopian Roads Out Of Winter by Alison Stine for another upcoming September blog tour.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Day We Meet Again by Miranda Dickinson (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 10/09
I know that contemporary romance isn’t my typical genre, but after I read Meggy’s review earlier this year I simply had no other option but to add it to my wishlist straight away. And guess what? It turned out to be yet another fantastic recommendation! I absolutely adored my time with Sam and Phoebe and I probably would have finished The Day We Meet Again in one sitting if it wouldn’t have been for all the redecorating going on just as I was starting this gem. Oh yes, I’m definitely adding Miranda Dickinson to my list of authors who can actually make me fall in love with the contemporary romance genre!

2. When I Was You by Amber Garza (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 31/08
Look out for my thoughts during my stop of the blog tour!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m reading Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison next as it’s due next Tuesday. I’ve been looking forward to this one as I love her The Collector series! I’m probably reading Knock Knock by Chris Merritt after that as the ARC of the sequel is due soon… And The Wife by Shalini Boland is due soon too so another title I need to get to ASAP. My newest TBR jar pick Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf will have to wait until at least mid September as I really don’t have time for it right now (and I also have a bunch of other reads I want to read first 😉 ).


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WWW Wednesdays #281 – August 19th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Soooo…. What is new since my last WWW two weeks ago? Well, nothing much, as I’ve basically been spending the last two weeks painting and redecorating 24/7… Leaving me without any time or energy to read, let alone blog (in case you were wondering why I haven’t been responding to comments or bloghopping lately). xD I’m still reading The Day We Meet Again by Miranda Dickinson, and I’m so sad I can’t spend more time with Sam and Phoebe as I’m loving the story so far! The end of the DIY is in sight, so I hope to finally finish this beauty some time soon though. I also need to start When I Was You by Amber Garza as my blog tour stop is getting really close. Yikes!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Last To Know by Jo Furniss (4/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 21/08
Look out for my thoughts during my stop of the blog tour!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I need to get cracking with my upcoming ARCs and blog tours as I’m in danger of falling behind… First up are The Memories We Bury by H.A. Leuschel and Roads Out Of Winter by Alison Stine which both have blog tour stops in the first week of September. I’ve pretty much given up hope to complete the 20 Books Of Summer challenge as I still need to read three non ARCs to do that and I have too many ARCs due soon. Whoops? xD I’ll be picking up Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison soon instead as it’s due on September 1st. My newest TBR jar pick Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf will have to wait until at least mid September as I really don’t have time for it right now (and I also have a bunch of other reads I want to read first 😉 ).


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WWW Wednesdays #280 – August 5th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading upcoming blog tour read The Last To Know by Jo Furniss, which I’ve heard fantastic things about. I’ll also be starting The Day We Meet Again by Miranda Dickinson as I’m in the mood for a change of genre… I’m not sure how long it will take to finish these though, as the painting has started in earnest and I haven’t had much spare time to read as a result. xD

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel (2/5 stars) REVIEW 11/08
So… I’m still not sure what happened here, but I guess it is unpopular opinion time again? I loved Station Eleven back when I read it in 2018, and I fully expected to have a repeat experience in The Glass Hotel. It was one of my most anticipated releases this year, and I still can’t wrap my head around my negative reaction to the writing and story itself. It might just be that I’m not in the right mindset for this story right now, but the fact is… I REALLY didn’t enjoy my time with The Glass Hotel.

2. I Am The Night by Ethan Cross (1/5 stars) REVIEW 10/08
I have a weak spot for serial killer thrillers, so as soon as I read the blurb of I Am The Night I knew I HAD to read it. I’ve been looking forward to read it ever since, and I fully expected to have a brilliant time with this first book of a series that is being republished… Sadly, things weren’t ment to be. I’m going to keep things short in my review as I honestly don’t have much to say about this book, but I’ll be explaining briefly why this book ended up being such a disappointment for me.

3. Dark Pines by Will Dean (4/5 stars) REVIEW 11/08
I always love a good Nordic noir story and I’ve been meaning to start this series for a while now… And my first experience with Tuva was without doubt a positive one! I can’t wait to read the next two books very soon.

4. Bad Parts by Brandon McNulty (AUDIO) (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 14/08
I picked this Netgalley audio ARC on a whim as I wanted another audiobook to listen to while working on our home improvement project… I don’t usually read supernatural thrillers, but this story did the trick for me and made for hours of entertainment while painting.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I really need to read When I Was You by Amber Garza as my blog tour stop is coming up… I also need to get to early September blog tour read Roads Out Of Winter by Alison Stine for the same reason. Afterwards it’s another 20 Books Of Summer title with Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, which I’ve been wanting to read for a long time now. My newest TBR jar pick Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf will probably have to wait until at least mid August, as I really don’t have time for it right now (and I also have a bunch of other reads I want to read first 😉 ).


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