by Whitney Barbetti
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Published by: Whitney Barbetti
Genre & Subject Matter: NA, Cancer, Female being Attacked
Rating: 5 Stars
My name is Parker. My body is marked with scars from an attack I don’t remember. I’m indifferent to everything, everyone. The only emotion I feel with any kind of depth is annoyance, and I feel it often.
A text message sent to the wrong number proves to be my undoing.
His name is Everett, but I call him rude. He’s pushy, he’s arrogant, he crowds my personal space, and worst of all: he makes me feel. He chooses to wear all black, all the time, as if he’s waiting to attend a funeral. Probably because he is.
Everett is dying. And he’s spending his final days living, truly living. In doing so, he’s forcing me to feel, to heal. To come face to face with the demons I suppressed in my memory.
He hurts me, he fulfills me, he completes me. And still, he's dying.
This is my new favorite author! I have no idea how I ran across this book on Amazon, but I'm SO GLAD I took a chance on it in spite of it's foreshadowed end. This is literally the only book that's ever made me cry, yet I can't sing its praises enough!
We've all read books with the "terminal illness" trope and/or the "broken people who overcome things" trope, and hopefully, we're all ready to read a fresh and uncharted version of those. That's what Ten Below Zero is. While those are strong themes in the story, they are by no means the reason that this story resonates. The realistic characters and the journey they embark on that shaped this book in a way that no other has for me.
Parker has blocked out the terrible incident that caused her scars. In order to maintain that wall, she's turned off all of her emotions and is simply surviving instead of living. I completely identify with her, and not just because I've had my own attack experience. The author made me identify with her character through her carefully chosen words and descriptions of Parker.
Everett has a terminal illness and is choosing to fully live until the end. He's in the exact opposite place than Parker, and after a wrong number on his part and an impulsive move on hers, he is determined to show her how to feel and how to live.
The two set off for a road trip, Everett's last hurrah. Will Parker thaw? Will Everett find what he's looking for? You'll have to read to see. I do not want to give away any spoilers as it is best to let the story unfold naturally for the reader.
Let me know if you've read this one!