Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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?
I read Frost around the time I moved into a new apartment with my friends so it was very befitting and reading what was happening to Leena and Celeste got me a little paranoid and freaked about my new room. Basically, it's about Leena's first semester in Frost House (a dorm at the girls' boarding school that can accommodate just four students plus the house councelor) and the freaky things that happened to her and the girl she shared a room with, Celeste. Throughout the book, the big question was whether all the freaky stuff that was happening were somehow in the girls' head or if Frost House was haunted.
Early on I was convinced it was one and not the other because of the little hints and the kinds of mysterious things that were happening. But then as I got to know the main character, Leena, I started to question whether there was going to be a twist in the end that will make it not what I first thought. Leena was a very interesting girl. She looks like your average senior on the outside: she's involved at school, she has great best friends, she has a friendly relationship with the dean of students, she cooks and she does DIY projects. It almost seemed like she was too perfect. Then, we learn that her parents are divorced and though it was amicable, she took it pretty hard and had been to counseling. After her parents split, she decided to attend Barcroft Academy instead of choosing to live with one of her parents. The school becomes her security blanket and she's nervous about leaving it for college. She gets anxiety attacks and when her prescribed meds ran out, she developed this habit of "collecting" psychoactive drugs, stealing a couple of pills from people whenever the opportunity presents itself. You find out more things that were a little odd about Leena and you start to wonder whether she might be a little... unbalanced.
The other secondary characters were okay but I felt they were not as well-developed as Leena. Celeste was this brash and eccentric character in the beginning and had lots of potential but she faded in the middle. The love interest, David, seemed too perfect to be true and I didn't really feel the chemistry between him and Leena. As for Viv and Abby, Leena's best friends, it was interesting how the three girls' relationship changed because of what happened but I felt I there could have been more about them, especially with Viv and the emphasis of her family's new-age and psychic fascination in the beginning.
Plot-wise Frost ended up being a quick read--I was engrossed in the story for the most part and the spooky factor was definitely there. It was written well and I really liked that the author played with the reader so that one is not one hundred percent sure whether it's psychological or paranormal. Even though I had some problems with the characters, Frost it was a captivating read and I really liked it overall. I highly recommend you add it to your Halloween reading list. 4 out of 5 stars
(Edited 9/1: I added more to the review. This post went live before it was ready.)