Ice by Sarah Beth Durst...
I fell in love with this cover. Isn't it amazing? It's one of my all-time favourites. In real life it's all shimmery and has pretty silver and pink parts all over the jacket, with little snowflakes. It's gorgeous. And when I found out what it was about I knew I had to read it.
I'd read a few less-than-favourable reviews on Goodreads, but often reading bad reviews makes me want to read something more just to see if I really think it's bad, or whether the reviewer just has different opinions than me**
So I read it.
And... holy crap.
Out of all the books I've read this year, I think this has been my favourite.
Kick-ass female character? Check. Incredible setting I just wanted to sink right into? Check. Engrossing, believable, beautiful romance? Double-check.
This book has it all. I often have problems with romances, finding the majority of YA romance to be shallow and pointless, but this one was perfect. Bear is totally swoonworthy (even though he is a polar bear... okay I'm not even going to think about how weird this makes me sound!). He's hot in the way that Aslan is kind of hot. Know what I mean? No?
The description of the setting actually made me want to move up to a remote Arctic research centre, that's how good it was. And I was really, really stoked on the fact that most of this book takes place in the Canadian Arctic, which is a really beautiful and fragile place we all need to care more about (also, Go Canada!) (If you haven't guessed, I'm a little bit CANADIAN).
But yeah. Beautiful, amazing book. Totally transported me to another world. At times I was so caught up, so involved, that when something bad happened to the characters I'd have to put it down and let it sit for a while before I could read what happened next. It was really emotional and gorgeous and... and... I'll shut up now.
**or is crazy.