review: frost by marianna baer

Author: Marianna Baer
Publication Date: 09/13/2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 402
Source: ARC

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?

A ball led astray was all it took for Leena Thomas to come across Frost House (a beautiful Victorian house tucked into the woods), and as soon as she set her eyes on it she knew she had to live there for her senior year. Having been sent to Barcroft Academy after her parents divorced right before freshman year, Leena sees Barcroft as her home, her friends as her family, and Frost House their private sanctuary. So when Celeste Lazar is assigned to room with Leena in her first floor room due to her injured leg there's bound to be a period of adjustment - until Leena discovers that's merely the beginning.

I know I scare easily, so it really wasn't any surprise that I had a hard time falling asleep after reading this one late at night. Take it from my experience and read it with a snuggable animal along or during the day. That said,  Frost was a crazy psychological journey that I had a difficult time putting down. I hadn't any clue where the story was going while I was reading it; I just knew that something had to come to a head or I might have had to fully hide under the covers. From the first time Leena steps into her new room at Frost House she was drawn to it. Airy and spacious surrounded on one end by windows and a sole closet that smelled slightly like her old attic.

While I really enjoyed the story part of the book, the characters sort of lost their vividness along the way for me. I want to preface that statement by saying that in part due to the storyline it makes a lot of sense for the characters to seem sort of faded. However, I had a hard time staying along with them at times and was more curious about the progression of what was going on in Frost House rather than the people everything was happening to. The relationship between Leena and David - Celeste's brother - didn't entirely win me over. They had a lot of cute moments near the beginning and in the middle, but there was one near the end that completely didn't work in any way for me, and after that I would have preferred that they not see each other.

The ending of the book was a real trip and it's very safe to say that I didn't at all expect how it ended and thought the big reveal to be quite clever and well-done. What progressed with Leena in the end, though, wasn't okay for me. I don't want to give anything away, but I felt that more needed to be done to address the problem at hand and that she needed more assistance than she was given. Yes, this is vague, but when you read it you'll know what I mean.

All in all I enjoyed Frost and think that if you're in need of a fast-paced thriller then you should give this book a try. The writing is lovely and matches the nervous feeling of the book. Just.. don't read it at night.

4 comments on "review: frost by marianna baer"

Brooke wrote: Wed Sep 07, 07:55:00 PM

This sounds like a great thriller! I love when I don't know where the book is going because then I am especially suprised at the ending.


Rebecca V wrote: Wed Sep 07, 10:24:00 PM

This sounds pretty unique. I enjoy reading adult thrillers now and again but a YA thriller sounds perfect to me.


Christy @TheReaderBee wrote: Thu Sep 08, 08:25:00 AM

Frost definitely kept me guessing! I didn't know what was going on with that house. Glad you enjoyed the book!


Dawn wrote: Thu Sep 08, 07:37:00 PM

The cover is really eye-catching. And I love psychological horror.


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