Frost by Marianna Baer

FrostTitle: Frost

Author: Marianna Baer

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 400

Rating: 3/5

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?
From debut author Marianna Baer, Frost is a stunning and surprising tale of suspense that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

This seemed like an interesting book when I read the premise – haunted houses and boarding school drama, much like Nancy Holder’s similarly themed Possessions series. Since I had just finished reading the last book in the series when I started this book, I inevitably kept comparing the two. Unfortunately, while the Possessions books kept me entertained and terrified at the same time, Frost barely kept my attention and had me wishing it were over, or would at least deliver on the haunted house and creepiness that I thought I had been promised.

My main problem with this book is that there seemed to be little about a haunted house. Sure, there would be ‘unexplained’ things happening in their house, but it mostly seemed like it was about Leena’s many, many issues, as well as dealing with Celeste. By the end, I wasn’t sure if the house really was haunted or if Leena just had extreme mental issues. Even if that was the cause, though, I had trouble even feeling sorry for her because she was such an irritating character. I didn’t care what happened to her, and found myself annoyed at her constantly. It was hard to believe her previous relationships, like with her friends and an administrator, which she had before the book began. By the time the book begins, though, the relationships almost immediately begin to crumble, mostly because of Leena, so I had trouble simply relying on Leena’s narrative reassurance that the relationships were once stable and normal.

Because I didn’t care about Leena or her many ‘issues,’ I had trouble caring about the rest of the story, especially since there seemed to be little focus on an actual haunted house. If there had been more about the house and its history, maybe I would have been more interested in it. The fact that there was so little about the house itself left me confused, expecting to learn more but still reading about Leena’s boring life.

Overall, this book disappointed me, mostly because it wasn’t what I expected. Perhaps if I had come into this expecting a story about a possibly-mentally-ill girl whose life is quickly falling apart I would have been more interested or at least enjoyed it, but in this case I was just unhappy.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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