Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Frost by Marianna Baer

Release date: 9/13/11
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher
Overall: 5/5 Stars

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?(Summary from Amazon)

Fall and Winter of 2011 seem to be chocked full of eery ghost stories, and Frost by Marianna Baer is definitely one of my favorites. Baer starts off the book by introducing you to Leena's rambunctious group of friends and one very attractive David Lazar. Towards the beginning, I thought it was going to be your typical ghost story with a little romance thrown in, but it was so much more. As the characters deal with the stress of (possibly) having an angry ghost in their house, Marianna Baer introduces sensitive topics such as substance abuse, family relationships, and self-abuse (is that what it's called?)

Baer does a wonderful job of creating some complicated and interesting character relationships. Not only does she write a budding romance between Leena and David, but she also creates some interesting family and friend relationships. I really enjoyed the complicated brother-sister relationship between David and Celeste. It kind of felt like a scaled down version of the brother-sister relationship in Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick.

Along with character building, Marianna Baer also did a wonderful job of world building. I could see why Leena was so drawn to Frost House and had such strong feelings towards her school because Baer's writing made it feel comforting and homey. Her combination of interesting characters, a likable setting, and complicated plot twists made for an interesting new take on a ghost story and a book that is soon to become one of your new favorites. Marianna Baer has definitely got me interested in ghost stories and I can't wait to read more from her.

Characters: 5/5

Writing: 4/5

Plot: 5/5

Ending: 5/5

Love always,


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