Rave Reviews by River Road YA Readers

 Thank you to our YA Reviewers!  If you are interested in reviewing for River Road Books,  contact Stacie at 732-747-9455 or riverroadbooks@verizon.net.                                                                                                                        



 Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick                                


July 17, 2014

Dear Mrs. Potter,


Hello… Hello? Hello? Can anybody hear me? Hello… 9-1-1? Yes…Hi… I…need…help… Can…hear me? I…help…kidnapped………………

I have been assigned a horrific task, dear friend. I have tussled with hypothermia; I have been threatened; I have fought starvation; I have had to trust a killer. And now I face—Well, I can’t say. Why? Because I dare you to climb within these pages and await the last obstacle, maybe even the final obstacle you will ever have to encounter because I am telling you right now, your enemy has the advantage. I dare you to risk your own life. I dare you to see if you can figure out who the murderer is and actually live to tell the tale. I dare you not to die because I know you will.  Unless…you’re too much of a coward to even lift a finger on this book. If you are a weakling, then I can 100% guarantee you that you will survive.

But…where’s the fun in that?

In the newest novel by Becca Fitzpatrick, BLACK ICE is a bone-chilling romantic thriller that has left me awake at night and made me wonder if there is a body in my closet. Within these pages tells the story of a girl named Britt Pfeiffer who has arduously trained for backpacking the Teton Range with some of her best friends…and her ex. Britt wasn’t exactly prepared to find out that Calvin was tagging along (Heck. I was ready to punch that no good son of a _insert ___curse ___word ______here_____!), but before she can even begin to contemplate her feelings for her ex-boyfriend, an unexpected blizzard hits, causing her to seek shelter in an isolated cabin and accept the hospitality of its two attractive inhabitants. And no. They do not bond and snuggle up by the fire with some hot chocolate and good ghost stories. That’s just overrated. No. It turns out these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain, hoping that she stays alive long enough for Calvin to find her. Yet this assignment becomes more complicated as she and her companions stumble across the evidence of a serial killer, making Britt the next target.

As the journey moves along, Mason, one of her kidnappers, seems to be withholding some secrets that might explain why he is being so kind to her. Is he more of an ally than an enemy? Or is he just like the killer? Maybe he even is the killer… Of course, I am teasing you here, dear reader. Like I’d honestly tell you who the murderer is!

BLACK ICE is a novel I’d recommend for kids ages thirteen and up due to the horrifying images of a certain someone in a cocktail dress…without a pulse. The story truly sends shivers down your spine like a thousand serpents gliding along your skin. And though it may seem to be more of a girls’ read—especially the ladies who enjoyed Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series—what boy doesn’t also love a good murder? Yes, it contains romance. But so did THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner! So did Half Bad by Sally Green! Just because there is a splash of romance doesn’t mean boys should all shy away from it like the plague. I also believe anyone who loves a good story is worthy to read this. When I read the back and even when I was halfway through the galley, I kept questioning how she was going to end this, what more could she do, and how had this tale not gone to a dead-end yet. But Becca Fitzpatrick kept surprising me more and more with each turn of the page. This galley really has no limit on whose its audience is. If you like nature and survival skills, this is for you! If you love romance, this is for you! If you love a gruesome murder, this is for you! If you like a sick killer, this is for you! I know I’m putting this quite bluntly, but it’s the basic truth.

Furthermore, my friend, this galley has left me wide-eyed, questioning what would happen to me if I finally saw the danger when I was too deeply involved, when I was too late to be save—

Help me! Help! I’m at…just killed a man…hung…two fugitives…names are… Help—No! Nonononon—





Soon-to-be-dead girl,


Emma Rose Niro



Asylum By Madeleine Roux                                                    


Madeleine Roux’s aptly named novel takes place in decrepit, eerie asylum. Campers attending a college’s gifted program for the summer, find themselves housed in an old, unused dormitory and before long, main characters Dan, Abby and Jordan discover that this place has a sordid and horrific past and present.

Asylum does an exceptional job of keeping the reader’s attention.  There is rarely a dull moment.  The connections between Dan, Abby and Jordan are very realistic, capturing many of the nuances in real relationships.  Those interested in romance will find it between two of the main characters, but it is not the main focal point of the book.

Asylum is part horror, part thriller and part mystery.   Teens expecting a summer of high-level, pre-college classes are thrown into a race to discover the killer of a young boy.  Through this adventure, the book skips out on no creepy details.

If I had any quarrel with Asylum, it would be the predictable twists.  I was generally able to guess what was coming a couple pages before it occurred.  Even so, this book is a good, intriguing read and I highly recommend it.

By Alex Carter

Staff Pick Logo
Black Ice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442474260
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 7th, 2014

Staff Pick Logo
Asylum Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062220974
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - August 26th, 2014