Frost

Frost

4.2 21
by Marianna Baer
     
 

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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

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Overview

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 a stunning and surprising tale of suspense from debut author Marianna Baer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two private-school seniors are forced to become roommates in Baer's YA debut, which is chilly in more ways than one. Leena is a pill-popping, college-focused, peer counselor who dislikes arty, erratic Celeste. Leena's plan to room with her best friends in the tiny dorm, Frost House, is spoiled when one friend goes abroad, and Celeste is placed in the first-floor spot with Leena because of a broken leg. Celeste's gorgeous brother David is some compensation, but the "drama" that has always trailed Celeste continues. Weird noises, errant breezes, and a closet that Celeste abhors and Leena finds strangely attractive are the starting point, but it's not long before events spiral out of control. It's meant to be horrifying, but although Baer is a competent writer, the problem is lack of feeling. Leena is more interested in explaining (and numbing) her emotions than in experiencing them, and because it's a first-person narrative, visceral characters like Celeste get little stage time. The haunted "history" of Frost House is hinted at with little detail, and the ending wraps up the plot with an unsatisfying third-hand report. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
ALA Booklist
“This nuanced blend of psychological suspense and boarding-school drama will tingle the spines of plenty of readers.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Baer deftly plays the gray areas between psychological and supernatural thriller…. Give this inexorable thriller to fans of Griffin’s TIGHTER.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Baer deftly plays the gray areas between psychological and supernatural thriller…. Give this inexorable thriller to fans of Griffin’s TIGHTER.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Baer deftly plays the gray areas between psychological and supernatural thriller…. Give this inexorable thriller to fans of Griffin’s TIGHTER."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Baer deftly plays the gray areas between psychological and supernatural thriller…. Give this inexorable thriller to fans of Griffin’s TIGHTER.”
VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Leena, a senior at Barcroft Academy, is delighted to be moving into tiny Frost House, an old cottage she discovered in the campus woods, with her two best friends, Abby and Viv. Her excitement is only a little diminished when she learns that she must share her room with disagreeable Celeste, a quirky art major with a broken leg. The girls agree to get along, a pact destroyed almost immediately when Celeste finds her skirt ripped, her vase of flowers broken, and her art projects tossed around. Celeste blames Abby, while Abby blames Leena for Celeste's presence. Meanwhile, Celeste's sexy brother, David, also a senior, often visits to check on his sister. Leena and David quickly discover an attraction that becomes a rocky romance. Leena, a secret pill popper, is strangely attracted to her closet and makes it her special haven. As events unfold, both Celeste and Leena are overwhelmed by something or somone in Frost House that very nearly destroys them. Written with an authentic voice, Frost is a first novel by a children's book illustrator and art history major who lived in a "Frost House" dorm during her boarding school years. While the novel lacks action, the psychological tension and drama between Leena and her friends keep the reader interested. Teen and preteen girls will probably enjoy it most, especially the budding romance between Leena and David. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This suspenseful modern gothic revolves around a haunting presence in Frost House, a Victorian-era single-family house on the campus of Barcroft, a boarding school that has become a surrogate home for Leena Thomas. She is so taken with the place that she begs the Dean of Students to allow her and her friends to share it senior year. However, when campus oddball Celeste breaks her leg, she becomes Leena's not entirely welcome roommate, and problems soon abound. Creepy events start to happen in their room-but only to Celeste, whose family history of mental illness makes Leena wonder whether the drama is a ploy for attention or even an outright breakdown. The same bizarre presence that seems to want to cast out Celeste embraces Leena, luring her to nest in a closet, where she can communicate with her childhood security object, a hollow owl named Cubby in which she stores a variety of pilfered prescription drugs. Even as Leena begins to date Celeste's brother, she turns more and more to the closet and to the drugs to compensate for alienating her dearest friends in the conflict that ensues when Celeste no longer believes that her housemates are tormenting her but that the house itself wants her gone. When cocooned in the closet rumored to have been a sort of cell for the woman who lived there many years before, Leena doesn't need college interviews or boyfriends—just the house. She could stay there forever. That's what it wants. Readers may want a touch more cohesion for the narrative, maybe another layer or two for some characters, but many will gladly turn the pages to soak up its eerie atmosphere.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Kirkus Reviews

Boarding school turns from magical to deadly in this debut.

After discovering Frost House, the shabby-chic Victorian hidden on the edge of campus, and convincing the dean to let her and her best friends room in it, Leena returns to start senior year of Barcroft (a quintessential New England prep school) with an unexpected roommate, eccentric Celeste. When not photographing dead beetles, Celeste tries to cover up unexplained events at Frost, from a closet that smells like death to bruises all over her body. Instead of the idyllic year Leena planned, she begins hiding out in her own closet when she sinks into anxiety and experiences her own strange occurrences. After Leena dates Celeste's older brother, David, who took a year off to care for their father, who suffers from schizoaffective disorder, the roommates, both vying for David's attention, initiate cat-and-mouse games. It's up to readers to figure out who—or what—is causing all the mental instability in Frost House among the plot twists and turns. Baer has a knack for dialogue and creating creepy situations that will intrigue teens. But because the story line is rather repetitive and drawn out, the surprise ending makes more of a whimper than a bang.

For those fans of Gail Giles and Nancy Werlin who don't mind thrillers with a slower pace. (Thriller. 13 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062093318
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/13/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
426,218
File size:
10 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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