Monday, 5 June 2017

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice

Series: N/A
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Page Count: 400
Published: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

Britt is going on a trip with her friend, planning to backpack in the surrounding nature, and maybe even impress her ex-boyfriend, who dumped her unexpectedly months before. When she and her friend drive into a blizzard, she has to seek shelter in a nearby cabin inhabited by two men, Shaun and Mason. At first they seem friendly, but it soon becomes clear that something just isn't right. 

These men are on the run from the law, and they demand that Britt lead them off the mountain, taking her hostage. Britt soon finds that she is not the only girl who has run into trouble on this mountain, and as tensions rise, she doesn't know who she can trust. Will she survive? Or will she die at the hands of her kidnappers, or the blizzard?

I'm a fan of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series, so when I saw that she had written a contemporary, young adult thriller, I was super excited. The idea of being trapped in a blizzard on a mountain, uncovering gruesome mysteries and fighting for survival, simultaneously terrifies and intrigues me, so naturally, I had to get this book. 

To be perfectly honest, I found the beginning a bit hard to get into. This wasn't due to the pacing, I think the pacing was actually really well done, but rather the characters. It took me a while to actually like Britt, the main character, and as for her best friend and ex-boyfriend, I never really liked them at all. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't like Britt at first, I think it was a mix of her narration and her fixation on her ex-boyfriend, but thankfully as I got further into the book, she became much more likeable. 

Her kidnappers, Shaun and Mason, brought an interesting dynamic to the story. Shaun, once revealed as a criminal, is completely unlikable in every way, and it isn't necessarily because of his criminal actions. As a person, he was deceptive and impulsive, and as a villain, he truly unnerved me. The idea that there are people like Shaun, real people, actually out there in the world.... Then there's Mason, who isn't really like Shaun at all, though Britt remains suspicious of him throughout the novel. Mason was written as a mysterious character, somebody with secret intentions, and I appreciated the little mystery of who exactly Mason was that was weaved into this story. 

I did have a bit of a problem with Mason's character at times, and this ties into some of my issues with Britt, as well. There was a bit of romance, or infatuation, in this book, but it just seemed out of place. I've read lots of books with kidnapping, mystery, and romance all mixed together nicely, but the romance in this book made me roll my eyes. I won't explain too much, as I don't want to spoil this for anyone, but I really believe that the romantic aspect could have been handled in a much, much better way.

One thing that I really did enjoy about this book was these memories or flashbacks of Britt's life that the reader gets every now and then. It helped me to understand Britt a little bit better, and it helped me to change my mind about disliking her. I feel that without these memories or flashbacks, this book wouldn't have been as enjoyable. 

The thing that made me truly appreciate this book was the twist at the end. While Britt and the reader are playing a guessing game throughout the whole book, the ending made me believe that one theory was true, and then the next page, it was like all the evidence just shattered and pointed to a completely different conclusion. Those last few chapters were a serious roller-coaster, and I had to stop myself from speed-reading through them to find out how it was all going to end. As for the actual ending, I think that it was a nice way to end the book, and while it played with some of the things that I had issues with earlier on in the novel, it wrapped things up nicely. 

Altogether, this was an awesome read. Thrilling and filled with mystery, I was not disappointed. While there were a few issues throughout the book, the twist ending certainly made up for it.

I recommend this to fans of young adult thrillers. If you like books that make you keep reading late into the night, play a guessing game with your mind, and offer devastating twists and turns, this book is for you.

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