Monday, January 5, 2015

[Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell]

"Frozen Charlotte"
Author: Alex Bell
Series: None (though it is part of the Red Eye Imprint)
Pages: 343
Genre: YA, Horror
Date Published: January 5th, 2015
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Format Read: ARC provided by publisher for honest review


We're waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind...Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there's her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn't be there. The girl that died.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Frozen Charlotte,

I do not like dolls and you have backed up that dislike. I enjoyed the fact that you were actually a genuinely freaky, YA, horror story. So many YA horror books try to be freaky, but in the end they just end up being dull. You however made me want to sleep with the lights on and that's amazing. It possibly has to do with my now solidified distrust of porcelain dolls, but I want to commend you on it anyway.

-The White Unicorn

Frozen Charlotte is made up of the same stuff as my nightmares. Some would say that that's a bad thing, but in this case, it was pretty wonderful. The book is rooted in a lot of things. Frozen Charlotte is an actual American folk tale, the dolls themselves actually exist and Bell used all of this to her advantage. Nothing makes a horror novel more creepy than when it is based on things that actually exist. As you can see I was intrigued enough to do some research, so I could stay as far away from any Charlotte dolls I might encounter in my life.

The only issue I had with the whole book was that we never found out why the dolls were haunted to begin with. We get all this wonderful, historic history behind the dolls, but the reason why they all had demons (or whatever) inside of them was left to me to figure out. I guess it's not that big of a deal, in the scheme of things, but I just wanted to say that it bugged me a bit.

I really enjoyed the cast of characters. They all had their own quirks that added to the creepy factor of the story. Everyone knows something is going on, but no one takes the time to make sure that everyone knows, which keeps the "what's going to happen" vibe going, but also makes some of the characters seem like they need to speak up. It's a horror novel trope, but I feel like it actually worked in this book.

I enjoyed the fact that Bell used the demon dolls as a catalyst to look into the turning point of good and evil in her cast of characters. It's possible that the book wouldn't have been as creepy if the outcome had been different. The dolls affect Sophie, Lilias, Cameron, Piper and Rebecca in different ways, and that's almost as creepy as the dolls themselves. 

I wish I could say more, but it would give things away and I loved not knowing what was going to happen as I read the pages, so if you're curious, give this book a try!

4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!

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