Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Thriller
Pub. Date: October 7, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Hush, Hush
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late. Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally? BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…"
Instead of going to Hawaii over spring break, Britt has convinced her best friend, Korbie, to come along with her on a hiking trip of a lifetime. They are going to hike the Tetons and stay at Korbie's family's cabin in Wyoming. She partly plans this trip with the hopes that it will gain attention from her ex-boyfriend, Calvin, who is an avid hiker and also Korbie's brother, but she also plans it to prove to herself she can do it. She has been training for quite sometime and even has all the equipment, thanks to Korbie's generous parents. Looks like her plan is playing out just the way she has hoped: Calvin is going to be the "chaperone" on this trip and meet them up at the cabin later that day. On the way up to the cabin, they encounter a blizzard that sort of pops up and the girls find themselves in a precarious situation. Despite Korbie's complaints, they try to find shelter and abandon their car on the road. They come across a cabin which happens to have two hot guys, Mason and Shaun, staying there. Mason just so happens to be someone she has encountered at the local gas station the other day and helped her get out of an awkward jam with her ex-boyfriend, Calvin. So, what is he doing here? The guys take the girls in, but quickly Britt and Korbie find out these young men aren't who they seem to be and things get dangerous quickly. In the back of her mind, Britt hopes Calvin will find them and come to her rescue. Becca Fitzpatrick's Black Ice is a thriller that I really felt torn about. On one hand, I found it to be compulsively readable, but on the other hand, I loathed all the characters, so it ended up being an "meh" read for me after all.
First off, Britt is an annoying character in Black Ice. I just couldn't relate to this girl at all. Both Britt and Korbie are spoiled, privileged, and vapid. For real. I'm not joking. Britt isn't as bad as Korbie, but the amount of eye-rolling I did concerning these two girls and their antics was crazy. They were always making poor decisions and getting themselves into disasters. First off, Britt is boy obsessed. I mean I get that she is still hurt by Calvin dumping her, but she needs to get over it and move on. Just when I think she is giving Calvin a run for his money, she does something stupid and I find myself not liking her again. She was really shallow, which leads me to Korbie. I'm not even going to get into it, but she is like a 90s mall chick. Why would Britt even take her on a rigorous hike? Her idea of cardio involves shopping at Nordstrom. And these two aren't even best friends. They don't support each other, are severely competitive, and are straight up mean-girls. So, you get the idea.
What I liked about Black Ice, and why I finished it, was the suspense/thriller part of the story. I liked the whole man vs. nature and the "survival" theme. There are parts of the novel that involve police tracking people, unexpected weather, and of course, murderers on the loose, which all added to the suspense The setting of the Tetons was fantastic and I was on the edge of my seat with worry that Britt was going to end up freezing to death out in the elements.
The romance in Black Ice didn't work for me completely. Main reason why: I didn't like Calvin or Mason. I thought all the guys in the books were jerks and I wasn't rooting for either. Even when Britt finds herself attracted to Mason and he shows he isn't a monster, I felt like I couldn't trust him despite his backstory. And Calvin is just awful. Why she would still feel attracted to him after he treated her that way (dumped her before a dance) is baffling. I just wasn't feeling any of the guys and I don't like the whole idea of Stockholm syndrome.
So, Black Ice is a fascinating thriller and I liked the suspenseful parts, but it was the characters that ruined the story for me in the end. If you read this book, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.