Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, NetGalley
A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH. It’s all part of his sick game. A game he’s been planning for an entire decade. Now everything is perfect: One woman and one man have been selected. They used to be a couple—and they can no longer stand one another. They are the perfect victims. He doesn’t intend for the game to be easy. He wants to push them to the brink of insanity, to make his hunt real. . .
A DESIRE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. . . The couple has been captured and dumped into a massive wooded area. There’s only one rule in this fatal game: They will have 72 hours to find a way out before the sadistic serial killer begins his hunt . . .But what he never could have expected was the explosive passion that ignites between the two ex-lovers—one that makes them strong. Fierce. And determined to do whatever it takes to escape—and to survive. . .
I grabbed 72 hours because the premise sounded like a short story my students read at the beginning of their freshman year called “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. Its about a big game hunter who falls of a ship and swims to a near by island. The island is inhabited by a former hunter who wants to hunt the man. My students love the story because its so bizarre and crazy.
There is also an episode of Criminal Minds where these two hillbilly’s capture people and then let them run around the wilderness is Idaho (maybe? I could be wrong about the locale) and hunt them down. Creepy.
And, let me not forget to point out the most obvious parallel, The Hunger Games. Whenever my students read The Most Dangerous Game they first say “Hey, this guy ripped this off of The Hunger Games!” until I point out it was written in the 20’s. Then they are kind of pissed at Suzanne Collins. But, the stories have a lot in common: fighting for survival, someone who finds joy in watching others fight to the death, etc.
So, I was intrigued by the premise of 72 hours right away. And, Bella Jewel is a new to me author, and I am all about finding more of those! Here is a peek into my thoughts as I read:
- Oh gosh….what happened to her Nanna is sad and I could totally see how that would have affected her.
- Noah is kind of a dick. Lara is kind of an wimp though. I get that she changed after what happened, but I think because how she was ‘before Nanna’ is only referenced or seen in small flashbacks, its hard to really understand it
- Who is Marc and why was Noah so pissed?
- Who the eff is this psycho? Is it related to Nanna? Why Noah and Lara? They broke up 3 months ago…
- Ugh….the ‘miscommunication’ trope….I hate that.
- Diabolical…. seriously.
- Ok, this really appeals to the true crime addict in me!
So, my struggles with the book center mostly around Lara. First, the miscommunication trope is so annoying to me because its very immature. Continuing that theme, Lara was really immature. If I were Noah, there were a few times I would have slapped some sense into her, for real.
But, the beautiful thing about this story is the ‘after’. Like I mentioned above, this has a real ‘true crime’ feel to it. Certainly, this is something that could have happened and the events are terrifying and believable and so is the was Lara and Noah respond. The PTSD, the media, etc is all very well written and powerful. Jewel managed to really capture the anguish and emotional destruction a victim feels. This part of the book was impactful! Its not often in modern, contemporary romance I see examples of such deep and meaningful themes like those present in the end of 72 hours. Its more than love conquers all or other shallow, typically romance themes. Its about real pain in life and about the effects trauma and pain have on the human psyche. The idea that painful events can change who we are at our very core is difficult to really imagine if you have never experienced it. Jewel does a great job giving us that visual, even though it made Lara a difficult character to like for awhile!
If you like heart pounding drama, bossy alpha males, truly psychotic antagonists, and real emotions, 72 hours is a great read. You will be pulled in almost from the start. Even as I sit here writing my review, I know this won’t be a story I forget anytime soon.
- POV: 1st (mostly Lara)
- Tears: no
- Trope: mortal peril, secret identity
- Triggers: View Spoiler »Ok, well there is the obvious kidnapping, psycho killer thing. And there are murders… « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes with a very satisfying epilogue « Hide Spoiler
Ok, well I mentioned several, but seriously, check out The Most Dangerous Game if you want to see the ‘original’ human hunters! Its a great story! Also, if you like Virtue Falls by Christine Dodd or The Obsession by Nora Roberts, you will enjoy 72 hours!