Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: FROST by Marianna Baer

Marianna Baer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Expected publication: September 2011
Hardcover, 400pp.
Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher:

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 good 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 mys-teriously 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 measures to feel safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind . . . or in Frost House itself?

Frost is an amazing debut from author Marianna Baer. It is darkly creepy without resorting to cheap gory thrills. Right until the end (and even after!), the reader is left wondering what exactly is going on in the house, which seems to have a personality of its own. The author subtly adds details which make the house seem more and more menacing, but at the same time places doubt of the sanity of its residents and the people around them.

About halfway through reading this book, I woke up to find my 5-month old puppy enjoying the book just as much as I had been, but in a completely different manner (see picture below of the destruction). I wrote to the author, Marianna, and was pleased to hear back from her very quickly. Being a dog-lover herself, she went out of her way to scan in the last few pages of her own copy to replace the ones eaten by the oh-so-mischievous Oliver.

And I was very happy to be able to finish reading the book. I would have been upset if I had to wait until when the book comes out in September to read the last five pages! This book was fast-paced, well-written, and entertaining. I would have liked to have seen the romance better developed; the chemistry was clearly there, I just wanted more of it. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book.

The destruction of Ollie.

Book: 4/5  Cover 4.5/5

*Note: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

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