Ten Below Zero – Review

I don’t have the slightest idea where to start with this book. It’s one of the greats that stole my words and left me with the most beautiful mess of emotions. When I pick up a novel, I read for experience, understanding, and emotion. Occasionally, I read to escape or venture to a different location. Ten Below Zero ticked every possible box for me on my quest for an appealing read. Many thanks to Talon at Under the Cover Book Blog for recommending this book to me, and tirelessly pimping out the works of amazing Indie authors. I feel indebted to her after reading Ten Below Zero, along with many of her other recommendations over the past couple of years. Many have become my favorite reads.

The characters in this story were beautifully broken in the most relatable way. I saw myself in Parker – her attitude toward life and her need to keep every person at arm’s length was like looking in a mirror. Everett’s struggles and self-blame were endearing and heartbreaking. In some ways, he reminded me of my husband’s ability to pull me out of my shell through the years, allowing me to view myself in a more healthy way. Not to mention the road trip we took after our wedding in Las Vegas, our sight-seeing at the Grand Canyon and standing in Four Corners. Experiencing these moments with the characters was a perfect walk down my own memory lane.

“I see you,” he said. I shook my head back and forth, disbelieving. “I see you, Parker. You’re broken. Not all broken things can be fixed. And that’s okay, don’t you know that? It was your brokenness that drew me to you, because I saw in you the same things I saw in me. It was our brokenness that connected us. So I can’t wish away those broken pieces in me, because without them I wouldn’t have seen you.”

The writing reeled me in from the first page. I couldn’t stop reading and dreaded having to put this book down. It was woven with honesty and wisdom that could only come from understanding through experience. I’m simultaneously grateful and saddened for whatever allowed Whitney Barbetti to pen such a moving story. Not since In This Life by Christine Brae have I had to read through blurry, tear-filled eyes, or had to stop reading to gather myself before continuing on. Books that are able to elicit this reaction from me are instant favorites. It takes a uniquely talented writer to turn simple, fictional black and white words into emotions that I physically feel and experience. Even halfway through this novel, I knew it was going to rank as a favorite, leaving me a Whitney Barbetti fan for life.

“Love, the emotion that should elicit healing, was in fact the most painful emotion of them all. It crept in when you didn’t want it. Made itself at home, terrorizing your hormones with confusion. It made you more susceptible to pain, it weakened your resolve while simultaneously making you frantic with need. And it hurt. Not just mentally, but physically.”

When I made it to the end of this novel, I thought I could put it aside and recover a bit from the emotional road trip I was taken on. Then I read the author’s note….
If Whitney’s words to her readers didn’t completely rip me to shreds once again. She clearly writes for the right reasons, and I can’t wait to binge on every book in her collection. And believe me, binge-reading is only reserved for my absolute favorites. Please pick up this book if you haven’t already. I’m not above begging. 😉

Purchase on Amazon!


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