I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Where do I begin?
Well I can tell you that the synopsis does not do this story justice. It is beyond beautiful and brilliant. It’s moving, emotional, and absolutely heartfelt. If you think you can understand the meaning of this story just from the synopsis, you’re wrong. Absolutely wrong. This book is to be lived. To experience.
“I want one sweet moment, one moment in my memory to hold on to when my soul leaves this earth.”
As the synopsis indicates twenty one year old Parker doesn’t live life. She simply exists. Left physically scarred by her past she cannot remember, she simply chooses to watch life go on as an outsider. A text message from an unknown number forever changes her life. Enter Everett, a man in all black who simply wants to live. The opposite of Parker. Yet he is drawn to her. He wants her to feel as she has numbed herself to everything. Parker finds solace, life, and feeling in Everett. Oh. And he’s dying.
“He’d made me feel. With only words and the touch of his skin, he’d made me feel.”
So it sounds crazy right? A girl meets a guy all because of a text message to the wrong number. It’s not crazy once you meet Parker. Besides being scarred physically, she is scarred mentally as well. All because a night that occurred years ago that she cannot remember. You feel her pain. The way she coasts through life, existing, not living. She pushes everyone away. She simply does not want to feel. So meeting a stranger? Out of the norm, yes. For Parker? It was the spark she needed.
“You harden yourself to experiences. You don’t say nice things. You inflict pain with your words. You do these things to push people away. You’re cold. Ten below zero cold.”
But Everett? He’s the opposite. His beautiful soul craves life. He wants to play a role in his own life rather than be an outsider. He wants to be remembered most for living, not for dying. How can two broken individuals with tragic experiences look at love differently, and manage to fall in love? How can Everett’s soul crave someone as dark as Parker’s? Because love seeks out darkness. Everett’s love found Parker even through the darkness and despair. His love trumps all.
“I didn't love myself. And wasn’t loving someone also loving yourself, the parts that saw the beauty in other people? I didn’t have that part. And I didn’t want it.”
At first, I really didn’t like Parker. How can someone be so cold? So unfeeling? So numb? And as Everett peels away her walls, she became one of the most beautiful characters I have ever read. That’s the thing about love. The heart recognizes who it belongs to. Always. Everett saw the beauty in Parker from the moment they met.
“I see you, Parker. You’re broken. Not all broken things can be fixed...It was your brokenness that drew me to you, because I saw 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.”
Ten Below Zero is not your average new adult story. It is such a refreshing read. It reminds you of your love for reading. It reminds you that there are authors out there that push and challenge any notion that we have about love and relationships. This is what reading is about. THIS BOOK. This author just goes there. Ten Below Zero is so much more than a story of two broken people. It goes beyond that. Parker and Everett embark on a life journey that few of us will ever experience. They have a love so deep that many will never know. This story, it’s characters, everything will stay with me for a long time to come.