ARC Review: Snowglobe by Soyoung Park

Posted February 24, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 10 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review:  Snowglobe by Soyoung ParkSnowglobe by Soyoung Park, Joungmin Lee Comfort
Series: The Snowglobe Duology #1
Published by Delacorte Press on February 27, 2024
Genres: YA Dystopia, YA Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: four-half-stars
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In a world of constant winter, only the citizens of the climate-controlled city of Snowglobe can escape the bitter cold—but this perfect society is hiding dark and dangerous secrets within its frozen heart.

Enclosed under a vast dome, Snowglobe is the last place on Earth that’s warm. Outside Snowglobe is a frozen wasteland, and every day, citizens face the icy world to get to their jobs at the power plant, where they produce the energy Snowglobe needs. Their only solace comes in the form of twenty-four-hour television programming streamed directly from the domed city.

The residents of Snowglobe have fame, fortune, and above all, safety from the desolation outside their walls. In exchange, their lives are broadcast to the less fortunate outside, who watch eagerly, hoping for the chance to one day become actors themselves.

Chobahm lives for the time she spends watching the shows produced inside Snowglobe. Her favorite? Goh Around, starring Goh Haeri, Snowglobe’s biggest star—and, it turns out, the key to getting Chobahm her dream life.

Because Haeri is dead, and Chobahm has been chosen to take her place. Only, life inside Snowglobe is nothing like what you see on television. Reality is a lie, and truth seems to be forever out of reach.

Translated for the first time into English from the original Korean.

My Review

This was one of the ARCs I picked up when I attended the AASL conference back in October last year. I planned to be done with this earlier this week, but then my week got kind of busy with bringing home an extra dog for a house guest mid-week. Otherwise I would have sped through this much quicker as it was really a story that kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t realize it is also supposed to have a sequel until I went to post my review and saw it listed as part of a duology.

We get a bit of the story about why the world is the way it is due to climate change. And then that explanation leads into the Snowglobe background. The main character is Chobahm, who has always been told that she is kind of a ringer/doppelganger for one of the Snowglobe’s biggest stars, Haeri. Chobahm’s family lives outside the Snowglobe, in fact, the only way to see the show is for those who live outside the dome. Inside the dome you are someone who is either an actor, or a director most likely.

I really liked the way the tv shows worked with the Snowglobe, especially the more we found out about them. It was such a different way to have a reality tv show. In fact, they even had a murderer as part of the show at one point. Or a woman who had her own show and was a murderer. That retired actor now lived in the city outside of the Snowglobe where Chobahm lives. And she is an outcast, no one likes her or trusts her because they saw her murdering on her show. Because yeah, these are “reality” shows, and what you see happening is what is actually happening to the “actors.” Chobahm dreams of being a director, even has her own ideas for shows. She’s applied to be in the film school, but has just received her latest rejection when the book starts.

On a day that this murderer/actor comes up and asks her to do her a favor, other things start to happen. She is approached by a famous director, the one who directs Haeri’s show, to come in and take over for Haeri so that the show can continue. Because according to the director, Haeri committed suicide, and they have nothing to wrap up the show. Director Cha offers that once they are able to wrap up Haeri’s show in a year as if she decides to go out of the Snowglobe, then Chobahm can direct her own show, her dream.

Of course no one can know that she isn’t the real Haeri. Only the director, Haeri’s mom, and Haeri’s grandmother know the truth. So once Chobahm is in, she must become Haeri. Good thing it was her favorite show to watch and she has a pretty good idea on how to act. But she soon learns not everything is great in this world. She witnesses the director killing another actor. She sees just how Haeri’s mother and grandmother actually treat her. And there are other connections in the Snowglobe that seem to be in on secrets with Haeri that now she must figure out.

Not to mention there are these mirrors that are more like portals? And she accidentally falls into one, and stumbles into some places that she isn’t supposed to be. Bonwhe, the president’s son ends up being in some of those places, and one is even his bedroom. He also has a tie to the original Haeri that Chobahm must try to figure out in order not to give it away. But it seems he was trying to help Haeri get away from Director Cha and the abuse that she was suffering from.

When a stranger seems to know what is going on, and Chobahm thinks maybe Haeri isn’t actually dead, she is blindsided and shipped away, only to be replaced with yet another lookalike. And soon the whole story gets even more twisty. As one twist is revealed, the story moves on for more and more. While I kind of wondered if some of the twists might be the actual behind the scenes story, it was definitely done well.

The ending wrapped up in a way that I thought it was the end, but also was left with a few things needing more, as well a little extra at the end called “The Awakening”. So I can definitely see how there can be a sequel, because that needs to be addressed. Not to mention the criminals didn’t actually get their punishment yet, or if they would even end up just getting let off of any charges. I’ll be eager to read a sequel to this, and will definitely be purchasing this for my students to read!

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10 responses to “ARC Review: Snowglobe by Soyoung Park

  1. Sounds like an unique set up with the whole Snowglobe reality tv thing. I like a plot with some well done twists and turns. Hopefully the sequel is just as good.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Fortunately this had an ending so that it doesn’t NEED a sequel, but there were still things left that could definitely fill another book I think!

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