Monday, 18 August 2014

DNF: Black Ice - Becca Fitzpatrick

Published: October 7th 2014, Simon & Schuster
Pages: 392 pages, paperback
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads)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? 


My (sort-of) review: As always, I call this a 'sort of' review because I didn't finish reading Black Ice, I got to page 81 before giving up so do remember that this opinion is based on that portion of the book, as I didn't like this enough to continue.

To be blunt, I really disliked Black Ice and it was not my thing at all. I didn't have any intention of reading it but when a copy popped through my letterbox and the publisher encouraged me to try it I thought I might as well delve in. Plus, I always get tempted to see what the fuss is about when I read a string of negative reviews - morbid curiosity, I guess!

Often I like books that a lot of people dislike but this time I 100% agree with the negative comments Black Ice is attracting. The protagonist - oh, wow, she is something else... I've seen a couple of reviews say that she gets better later on and it's easier to ignore her awful personality once the book gets going but I couldn't carry on with this. The awful characters, coupled with the dull story and uninspiring writing meant I was turning the pages purely to try and get through it and wasn't enjoying anything at all.

Our protagonist, Britt, is a selfish, spoiled, bitchy student who is on Spring Break with her equally dislikable best friend, Korbie. Instead of heading to Hawaii with their other friends they're heading to Korbie's cabin in the mountains to spend the time hiking the trails etc etc. There's a snow storm, their car gets buried, they hike through the woods and find a mysterious cabin in the woods, where they promptly shack up with the two guys inside. Sensible? NO, OF COURSE NOT. 

Britt is a pretty vapid, spoiled piece of work, as outlined by a few quotes I've pulled from the first 80 pages:

'I wondered if I'd gained any weight since he'd last seen me. I didn't think so. If anything, the running and weight lifting I'd done to prepare for our backpacking expedition had sculpted my legs. I tried to cling to the idea of sexy legs, but it wasn't making me feel any better.'

'"Daddy!" I hollered...and put on my best little girl pout. "I need money for gas, Daddy."'

'"Since you started pilfering Slurpee and pretending you can't operate the gas pump so I have to come out and fill your tank for you. Every time you pull in, I want to kick myself."
I wrinkled my nose. "I don't want my hands smelling like gas. And you are particularly good at pumping gas, Willie." I added with a flattering smile...
... I padded barefoot through the aisles looking for Twizzlers and Cheez-Its, thinking that if Willie didn't like pumping my gas he really should get another job.'

The next part is too long to type out but she runs into her ex-boyfriend and proceeds to lie and pretend she has a new boyfriend, pointing to the first guy who walks into the shop and pretending he's her new boyfriend. Seriously? This is a book about young adults, not children, right? After making up a fake boyfriend to spite her ex, she walks into the car park, sees his car and does the following:

'Climbing through the passenger door, I knocked his rearview mirror out of alignment, dribbled Slurpee on the floor mats, and stole his vintage CD collection from the glove box.'

All of the above happens in the first 27 pages, so you get the gist.

She also admits to reading her best friend's diary and starts flirting with one of the strangers in the cabin to try (the one her best friend likes) to try and prove a point. Yeah, a character I dislike that much cannot sustain my interest for almost 400 pages.

Oh, and my personal favourite, from page 69:

'I tapped my cup to his, grateful to have found Shaun, because for a minute there, I'd thought I was going to have to save myself. Instead, I'd wandered into the protective care of a sexy older man.
I dared any of my friends to return from spring break with a better story.'

REALLY?! 

I don't want my negative thoughts about Black Ice to deter anybody from reading it, as we all love different books and while this has had a lot of negative attention (particularly among UK book bloggers, which is interesting) it has also had lots of positive reviews on Goodreads, so swings and roundabouts. I do think this will be a polarising book so if you fancy reading it I'd probably download the Kindle sample before purchasing the whole thing, because if you're going to be turned off of this one it will probably happen within the first chapters.

6 comments:

  1. Bwahahah this is pretty much my exact reaction to the book! That last quote you picked is one I used to! My god I wanted to slap her silly when I read that!!!

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  2. That last quote! Lmao! Also 'my best little girl pout?' Save me!!

    However, I now can't wait to read this and see what I make of it. I don't think I have ever witness such across-the-board hatred for a character as there seems to be for this one. That Twitter convo yesterday certainly was interesting. I'll let you know what I think! x

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  3. Wow. I will definitely not be reading this now because those quotes are SO cringey and I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it in the first place. Thank you for saving me the trouble, Carly!

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  4. I've seen so many DNF's for this book! Those quotes are pretty awful. I wasn't a fan of the Hush, Hush series but was willing to give this one a go after receiving it unsolicited for review but now I'm not so sure!

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  5. Oh dear! I'd not seen any reviews before this one but those quotes. Oh god. I'll still give it a go but I can't see me getting much further than you!

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  6. Ugh. Reading some of the quotes you picked out made me remember how much I hated this book.

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Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.