Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti

“I so desperately wanted to be his gravity, to hold him on this earth and keep him from leaving me.”


What prompted me to read this book is the number of readers with like interests and genres loving this and being the stalkerish bish that I am, I decided to read it once and for all.

I started it.

I finished it.

That’s it.

I wish I’m not writing this review right now but I’m never one to beat around the bush so here goes.

The premise is intriguing and right up my alley. Broken souls, scarred humans ~ finding friendship and love in such an unlikely place and time. It’s supposedly made for readers to feel all the broken feels but to me, it just fell flat.

I found no love for Parker. I tried, I really tried to work around her character, see beyond her flaws but I just can’t connect with her. She’s rude and detached and it was only on the very last pages that I glimpsed warmth and emotions from her. Speaking of rude, the “rude thing” banter between the two of them was sort of cute at first but got old real fast. I’m not sure if it was meant to showcase more of Parker’s character and personality but there was one scene when she was acting as a decoy which felt unnecessary to me. 

On the other hand, I know Everett was supposed to be another tortured soul I should empathize with but with his POV lacking, I just can’t get into his head. I am like only half-heartedly with him. There were times when he starts to grow on me but no, not going there.

Despite my issues with the characters, there were also things about this book that I really liked. First, I love the message that it’s trying to convey – fighting for your happiness and fighting for your life. This book is basically is basically the voice of two numb souls who had their second chance at life and love. Second, I did enjoyed the twist, well not really a twist but a semblance of explanation to some questions I had along the way and also, that ending basically salvaged what I thought has been a weary read.

PLUS, you cannot ignore all the quotable quotes scattered all throughout the story. I lost count how many I have marked. 

Another thing I’d like to point out is that I felt like while reading, I was subconsciously comparing it to another book with quite a similar theme and premise – The Edge of Never, if you’re curious and just so you know, I loved the hell out of that book.

I’m not particularly sure how I felt about the writing – some parts were good, some felt a bit choppy. I didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would and had the urge to put it down a number of times. The ending was better than the entire story. The last few pages were so emotion filled and just raw and powerful. I wish that I felt just as strongly while reading the whole book. I know A LOT of people who loved this but maybe this is not the book for me. I did enjoy reading it but I was more of an audience looking in rather than being one and connecting to the story. 

Stars - 3

Review Headings -  Blurb

“In here,” he said, pushing on the skin above my heart, “you’re ten below zero. And you’re closer to death than I am.”

My name is Parker. My body is marked with scars from an attack I don’t remember. I don’t want to remember. I choose to live my life by observation, not through experience. While people are laughing and kissing and connecting, I’m in the corner. Watching them live. 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.



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