Almost exactly one year ago today, I wrote about working through a serious case of Winter Malaise by reading a few books about characters who had it far worse than me: a girl dealing with betrayal and lies in Antarctica; a group of teenagers snowed in at a rapidly cooling high school; a nonfiction picture book about a doomed Arctic expedition; a book that opens with a girl stranded on an iceberg.
This year, it’s been much sunnier—not counting Tuesday, when we got two feet of snow—so my annual Malaise hasn’t set in. BUT. The technique worked so well last year that I’ve already picked out a new stack of snowy stories, JUST IN CASE:
Black Ice, by Becca Fitzpatrick
A hiking trip to mend a broken heart, a blizzard, and MURDER. It sounds a whole lot like Wrong Turn, but set in Wyoming instead of West Virginia and with escaped convicts instead of cannibals. As I’m not big into angel romance—okay, I’ll make an exception for Castiel fanfic—I never did get around to Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series, but this one sounds like it’s heavier on the thrills than on the smooching.
Creed, by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie
It doesn’t sound like this one will win any literary awards, but sometimes something that requires no work is exactly what I’m looking for. Like Black Ice, Creed’s basic premise is straight out of a run-of-the-mill horror movie: A trio of teens runs out of gas AND gets stuck in a snowstorm in an isolated, cult-run town. Kirkus dinged it for an “over-the-top” villain, but what’s brain candy without a little scenery chewing?
Tempestuous, by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
A retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, about a group of teenage mall workers who get snowed in at work. It’s an up-all-night story in which an “it-girl” gets accidentally handcuffed to a snarky gamer, so I’m hoping it’ll read like William Shakespeare’s Empire Records. I’ve been meaning to read this one ever since I read Exposure, Askew and Helmes’ take on Hamlet.
These books have been on my To Be Read list for quite some time as well—I first stumbled across the trilogy last year, when I was putting together a list of YA titles with roots in Norse mythology. While it’s only the middle book, Frost, that really fits the (admittedly nebulous) criteria for this list—it’s a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen—there is absolutely no way that I could ever just read the MIDDLE book in a trilogy. That would be ANARCHY.
White Space, by Ilsa J. Bick
I have read SUCH mixed responses to this one, and I ALWAYS find that intriguing. Unreliable narrator, a mystery involving a dead horror author, and two girls trapped in a snowstorm with strangers. It’s been on my radar for ages, and suddenly I can’t help but hope for another snow day to happen SOON, so I can curl up with it.
Let me know if there are any others I should add!
If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or running the show at her local library, Leila Roy might be making stuff for her Etsy shop while rewatching Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Black Books or Twin Peaks. Well, that or she’s hanging out on Twitter. Or both.