When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.
As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.
Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.
It’s difficult for me to read novels with characters that I don’t like or characters that make stunningly stupid decisions, so when Mira decided to hop in a car with four absolute strangers in the middle of a blizzard, that was almost it for me. She was on the flight with one of these girls, so I have no idea why she ever assumed the rest of the group even knew each other. But she did—and promptly got in the car with them. Awesome decision, that.
There are bad decisions everywhere in this novel, but Mira keeps ignoring all the glaring signs. Again, I find it hard to sympathize with characters who make stupid decisions. Especially repeated ones. And I knew there would be a twist in there somewhere, so the reveal wasn’t much of a surprise. Solid writing and description—the setting comes to frigid, miserable life—but in the end, this was just a step above “okay.”
Natalie D. Richards is from Ohio. Five Total Strangers is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.)