Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Black Ice

* This review contains spoilers. *

Britt and her best friend Korbie are spending their vacation hiking in the Tetons and staying in Korbie's parents' cabin. They could be lounging on a beach somewhere, but Britt can't afford it and Korbie wants to be supportive after Britt's breakup. On the way to the cabin, a sudden storm hits and they lose their way. They abandon their car and wander in the deep snow until they happen upon a cabin. Inside are two attractive men who seem nice at first, but it becomes clear they are involved in crime and possibly the disappearance of local girls. The men hold the girls hostage and force Britt to guide them through the forest to freedom. She has to comply with their demands or be killed, but she pieces together evidence and plots her escape at the same time. Hopefully she can survive long enough to bring the men to justice and return to her life.

I hated Hush, Hush and its sequel Crescendo, but I wanted to give Becca Fitzpatrick one more chance to impress me. Black Ice sounds like a fast paced thriller, which I typically enjoy. However, I underestimated how much I would not enjoy the overall story. Fitzpatrick's writing is actually engaging. The narrative flows well and somehow kept my interest despite the fact that the characters are awful and the main romance is based on Stockholm syndrome. Britt wants to come off as clever and intelligent, but is really just naive, immature, obsessive, and incredibly lucky she wasn't murdered, much like Nora from the Hush, Hush series. Even in life threatening situations, she can only think about her ex-boyfriend every second. Supposedly, she was training for her trip for months, but never showed any sort of real knowledge on how to survive in the wilderness. Korbie is awful just like Vee in the Hush, Hush series. Their "friendship" is all about one upping each other, putting each other down, and just generally being horrible. Who wants friends like that? I don't understand how both of these relationships Fitzpatrick writes about are never addressed as being incredibly toxic or why she even insists on writing the same characters in similar situations.

On to the "bad boy" Mason/Jude (who of course can't stick to just one name). He is not attractive or mysterious or sexy. He is a criminal who was an accessory to killing a two law enforcement agents, a hit and run, and a robbery. He also kidnapped Britt, threatened her, and held her against her will. I don't care how hot the guy is or how nice he is after that, he obviously is not a good or desirable guy. Apparently, Britt's brain turns to mush in the presence of moderately attractive guys and she just can't help but fall in love with them. The reader is supposed to be happy that he gets away with all of his crimes in the end, which is disgusting and crazy. The super fluffy happy ending was cringeworthy. Britt's ex-boyfriend Calvin is the bad psychopath of the piece and it's supposed to be the huge twist of the book. I saw it coming from miles away. His reasons for killing the girls were misogynistic and horrible, but the narrative seems to confirm his misogyny rather than dispelling it.

I read to the end because I love a good train wreck, but I won't bother to read another Becca Fitzpatrick novel. She seems only to be able to write about toxic friendships, abusive love interests, and vapid, shallow characters, which I am wholly uninterested in.

My rating: 1/5 fishmuffins

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