Thursday, October 18, 2012

Frost by Marianna Baer

Frost by Marianna Baer
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 live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate—eccentric Celeste Lazar.

As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House: frames falling off walls, doors locking themselves, furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they want to scare her into leaving. And although Leena strives to be the peacekeeper, soon the eerie happenings in the dorm, an intense romance between Leena and Celeste’s brother, 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?

I’d heard from many that this is a great YA psychological thriller, and while I still have a few questions and thoughts to whether the elements in the book actually were entirely psychological, I agree that it definitely was a thriller indeed.

Boarding schools seem to be a popular setting among YA books, but I commend Baer for actually presenting Barcroft Academy as... well, a real boarding school; I feel like so many of these books that take place at a boarding school only do so for the sake of absent parents or lack of adult supervision, but not here. There are curfews, dorm rules, and of course, the dreaded roommate situation.

I think finding out you have to share the same room, aka live 3 feet away from a person you’d rather not is something most of us can relate to, if not sympathize with. (And if you can’t, just wait till college.) But Leena, our MC, remains optimistic and positive in surviving the school semester with her roommate Celeste, who is introduced as pretty much a weirdo. And/or slightly unstable.

Interesting. And convenient, right? Now the gears in your brain start working and you’re automatically like, OF COURSE! IT’S THE ROOMMATE I KNOW IT! But sorry, no. As entertaining as that storyline often is, Marianna Baer refreshingly gives us something a little more sinister and a little more mysterious. Throughout the course of the book you’ll start to not only get incredibly creeped by Frost House itself, but Leena as well. While she starts off as a perfectly normal teenage girl, as the story progresses, her actions will certainly have you doubting her reliability as a narrator and even have you questioning how Celeste could really be considered crazy in comparison.

Which is great since we all know how much I love out-of-the-ordinary, unreliable characters.

The only gripe I have with this book, keeping it from a four-star rating is its ending. There was so much build-up, giving readers major antsy-pantsy anticipation for how things were going to play out, but the delivery fell short, and felt very anti-climatic. Instead of resolve, I was left with more questions and I still don’t know whether this book was all psych business, or if paranormal shenanigans did go down.

However, if all you’re looking for is a book to give you a scare, don’t worry - this is the perfect read for those who are looking for creepy without the blood and guts.


  1. I started this book a few months ago but didn't get very far before it had to go back to the library. I've always wanted to get it out again and finish. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it for the most part, too bad about the ending though!

  2. Ooh, this sounds really good! I've been meaning to read something in the YA thriller genre, and this books sounds like a great contender. I just love reading books about boarding schools because, like most people, I've never attended one, and I'll be happy to read a book where there's actually rules for the students like you said there are. Thanks for the review!(:

  3. Thanks for the review! This sounds like a pretty decent book so it's time to get out my library card. :) Thank you!

  4. I love getting a good scare. I have been curious about this book since I heard about it but I haven't really heard much about it. So, anti-climatic endings, very abrupt endings, they drive me buts. NUTS, I say. I think I will check this one out one day. The cover calls to me, man! But I think I will see if there will be a book 2 first. I like questions that need to be answered, to be answered. Otherwise, it drives me crazy for quite some time.

  5. Awesome! I love creepy books. I'm definitely going to have to get this one when it comes out. Thanks for the review!


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