Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: October 7
Genre: young adult, thriller, mystery
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?
Britt’s trained hard in the past year for her backpacking trip the Teton Range in Wyoming. She knows how to survive the weather, the mountains, and exhaustion. But she’s not prepared to be taken hostage. Britt is positive that one of these men is responsible for the murders of intelligent, beautiful girls whose bodies were discovered in these very mountains. In an effort to save her friend, Britt agrees to help two young men off the mountain during a terrible snow storm — all the while hoping her ex-boyfriend will find her before she becomes the killer’s next target.
I read this thriller in a day and loved every minute of it. It was fresh and exciting. I loved reading about a physically and mentally strong, independent female character who doesn’t have superpowers to get her through tough situations. She’s still very much a heartbroken girl after her ex, Calvin (who is also her best friend’s older brother), unexpectedly ended things with her several months prior to this trip, and I think that’s what drew me to her. The female protagonist doesn’t need to be cold-hearted to be strong and independent. She acknowledges she’s spent her life depending on the men who surround her, and this trip would be a message for them and to herself that she can go out on her own and literally survive. Loved it.
While I was able to piece together the real killer and the connections everyone had to other characters in the story about 75% of the way through, I was still incredibly curious as to the killer’s motives — and that alone was spine-chilling. It’s that charm and hidden misogynistic hatred that all girls fear in men, and it felt so incredibly real. It’s a message to men, as well. I hope boys read this book. It’s the perfect peek into a self-sufficient girl’s mind, and her ongoing calculations about men who are kind as well as severe. It gives the reader an idea of what it’s like to walk in a girl’s shoes, only heightened by the immediacy of a kidnapping.
I’m not sure what else to say other than it’s a great thriller! It’s perfect for YA, too. I’d imagine that, if this book were geared for adults, more suspenseful passages would have been written to heighten the tension. This YA is fast, and I will not be surprised if it’s one day turned into a movie. It really has that cinematic feel to it. Oh, love it!
Thank you, Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster, for providing the digital and BEA print copy for review! And thank you/shout out to my grad pub friends, Hannah and Morgan, for standing in line at BEA to get this!