Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

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Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Summary:
Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga. 

Britt Pheiffer 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.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and 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, 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…

My Thoughts: 
Reading Becca Fitzpatrick's Black Ice is a cinematic experience. When Britt and her best friend Korbie become stranded in the heart of a blizzard, they take shelter in a remote cabin only to be taken hostage by its two handsome occupants. Forced to help the men evade police capture by getting out of Grand Teton National Park before the storm is over, Britt hopes she stays alive long enough for Korbie's older brother Calvin, who's also her ex-boyfriend, to find and rescue her before it's too late. Black Ice is more than just a romantic thriller, it's a fight for survival against nature's terrifying strength.

I felt that Becca Fitzpatrick dropped too many hints about the overarching murder mystery because I figured out all the connections between the characters and the identity of the murderer within the first few chapters. It kind of ruined the fun for me because I expected this mystery to take much longer for me to unravel. The clues definitely needed more subtlety or ambiguity because the few attempts to throw readers off course were not convincing enough. In the end, all it did was cause me to become frustrated with Britt because, for an apparently smart girl, she couldn't see what was right in front of her face.

Britt places her faith in all the wrong people, even when the signs are SO obvious she shouldn't. Not only does Britt have a horrible sense of judgement, but she's also a perpetual liar; she lies to others and she lies to herself all the time. It makes Britt an unreliable narrator, and even though she claimed she'd trained how to backpack the Teton Range, I didn't fully believe she could actually survive in the wilderness. She even acknowledges several times that she's spoiled and relies on the men in her life to do everything for her. 

Calvin is an arrogant rich boy. Britt may have known him since she was a child, but she was—and still is—too blind to his faults to realize he was never a good boyfriend. Korbie is annoyingly melodramatic and self-centered, and I was so relieved she didn't have a large role in the novel. She and Britt seemed to share nothing in common; they may have been close when they were younger but now their separate interests are drifting them apart. Mason was the only character I didn't want to punch in the face or strangle. He may have helped to hold Britt as a hostage, but he's oddly protective of her and definitely hiding secrets...

While I wasn't really a fan of the characters (except Mason!), Becca Fitzpatrick's vivid descriptions of the Teton Range in Wyoming made up for it, helping to bring the novel to life. I was completely captivated by the suspense and danger of Britt's trek through the mountains as the relentless blizzard raged on. Despite some of my mixed feelings, I really do hope Becca Fitzpatrick's Black Ice is a success. After exhausting the YA paranormal and dystopian genres, there's still so much potential in the mystery/thriller genre to grow. Even though I didn't love Black Ice as much as I hoped I would, it hasn't dissuaded me from wanting to read similar novels.

Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing this review copy!

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