Note: This book is the first instant of the “swearing” warning. I’m not referring to the words you hear in almost every TV show nowadays; I’m referring to the swear words that made The King’s Speech rated R.
Frost is Marianna Baer’s first novel. It was published in 2011 by Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins). Baer’s website can be found here. I apologize for not having any quotes from this book; this was one of the first reviews I wrote and I have since returned the book to the library without realizing that I hadn’t fully completed the review.
Genre: Supernatural/Mystery/Tough Read
“Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school starts with a cruel shock: Frost House, the cozy Victorian dorm where she and her best friends chose to live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate—confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar.
What Celeste lacks in social grace, however, her brother, David, a recent transfer student, makes up for in goods looks and charm. But while he and Leena hit it off immediately, Leena finds herself struggling to balance her growing attraction with her fear of getting hurt.
As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House—frames mysteriously falling off walls, doors locking by themselves, furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they want to scare her into leaving. And while Leena tries to play peacekeeper between her best friends and new roommate, soon the mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and David, and the reawakening of childhood fears all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measure to feel safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind…or in Frost House itself?”
~From the inside flap
Warnings: Swearing, underage drinking, use of fake IDs, mentions of suicide and suicidal thoughts, a few detailed descriptions of kissing/more than kissing, psychological disorders, abuse of medication, and general intense inner thoughts and feelings/angst (this is why I call it a “tough read”).
Recommended Age Range: 16+
What I Liked:
I’m not overly fond of the supernatural genre, but this book did it in the way I like it: the blending of the supernatural and the natural. Slight spoiler: Everything (well, mostly everything) in the book can be explained by physical means, but there is also a supernatural element that heightens the suspense (end spoiler). Leena is a believable, intriguing, sympathetic main character, which needs to happen if it’s first-person (which it is). The mystery and suspense were well drawn out, not too much or too little, but enough to keep the reader guessing as to the cause. There wasn’t much of a twist, but a good plot doesn’t necessarily need a twist or any of the other gimmicks to be a good plot. It was well-written and succeeded in making me want to read more from the author.
What I Didn’t Like:
While well-written, it wasn’t very memorable. Once I finished, I put it down and didn’t think about it again. Leena’s love interest, David, is a bit too perfect for my tastes. Also, the supernatural aspect of the novel I felt needed to be expanded a bit more; it felt a little rushed and simply thrown into the novel. The swearing was also a bit much for my tastes.
The book was solid and intriguing and if you generally like any or all of the genres I placed it under then you will most likely enjoy this book as well. As a debut novel, it’s very good. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody under the age of sixteen because of the content.
Coming up Next:
A weekend special! Tune in tomorrow and Sunday for a two-part discussion of Make It Or Break It, a TV show that I love to hate and hate to love, which ended last week. I’ll be discussing what it got wrong(Saturday) and what it did right (Sunday).
Then it’s back to the regular schedule on Tuesday, where I’ll be reviewing Eon by Alison Goodman.