Frost

Frost - Marianna Baer Frost is an exceptionally well written gripping novel that tells the story of a "haunting." The question of whether it's of a demonic nature or more of a psychological one, is what the reader's are faced with. It's a bit of a mystery, as the audience is plunged deeper into the depths, with each turn of the page. Baer has created a unique way of exploring the paranormal, with Frost. Right away, the cover of this debut novel itself, tells the reader that it's going to be a story that possesses a creepy vibe. First you notice the model's face, then in the distant background you start to see what appears to be an old house that looks as if it might possess some secets and mystery of its own, and then finally you notice that it's shrouded in fog and the tree's are pretty barren of leaves - void of life. That was all I needed to capture my attention, enough to know that Frost was a novel that I would not only enjoy, but would want to read in attempt to solve the mysteries contained within. Everyone has their own personal demons that they live with, ones that they wrestle with constantly and try to overcome at some point. It's when those personal demons start taking on certain paranormal elements, the whole story starts to change and somehow shift into something else entirely. It almost reminds me of those old gothic classics, in a way. That's what Frost is, that's the story that this novel has to tell and Bare does a marvelous job at telling it. I wouldn't say that Frost is your average paranormal haunting, but I will say that it's one of the most different and unqiue, of all the paranormal novels that I've read before dealing with hauntings. This one felt a bit more personal, a bit more real and close to home. I'm not exactly sure that it had to do with the psychological aspect of it, but it was surely enough to keep me up at night for a good while, wondering what was going to happen next and jumping at every little sound I heard. Baer does a fantastic job of giving the reader's characters that are not only unique, but are interesting as well. Leena, the main protagonist, seems to be wrestling with her own set of demons holding her back. It seems like this is the affect Frost House appears to have on some, while Celeste comes off as a bit neurotic or paranoid to a degree , in accusinng everyone else of vandalising her stuff, while carrying on an almost "too close" tumultuous relationship with her brother David (who has developed a growing attraction to Lena). Trying to keep up with Leena's confused mind-set is a little hard at certain points, but Baer tackles it head on and manages to do a wonderful job delving into it and pulling it apart unraveling certain pieces along the way throughout Frost. I found it a bit weird or almost awkward, in a way, to see how attached Leena was to Frost House when it seemed like it was doing more harm than good (as far as all of the incidents, the creepy noises, and the strange happenings) that were going on. There was just so much confusion going on with this novel, that sometimes it was hard to tell what was really happening. This can be both a good and a bad thing, in this case I think it's a little bit of both. Almost all of the characters were relatable and likeable (give or take a couple of them), which is something that doesn't always happen. I found myself enjoying the many different quirks that they possessed. Another thing that I found myself enjoying as far as characters go, is the fact that Frost House was just as much a key character in the novel, as the rest of the physical characters were. In a way, it was the equivalent of a supportive character, and yet so much of the novel surrounded it. It gave it an intensely eerie feeling to the book. Perhaps, you could go so far as to say that Frost House was the main character in a way, and Leena was the supporting protagonist. Baer's attention to detail, the plot itself, and all of the explanations for the strange things that take place in Frost House, is flawless. She gives enough to keep the audience hooked, as well as to interpret the ending as they felt it was. Sometimes, there just simply aren't resonable enough explanations for why certain things happen or when they do. It's not always that black and white, a fact that I'm personally glad to see Baer unaffraid to tackle and do so in such a successful way. She writes with a style that is all her own, setting the tone of Frost almost immediately, drawing the reader in and dazzling them with her turn of phrase and psychological bordering on paranormal attributes, as subtle as they may have been. Frost is a beautifully written novel, that is fast paced, leaves the audience to ponder a few things on their own, that will not disappoint. This isn't your typical R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike, in YA literature. Although the paranormal aspect of it, may have been a bit subtle the fact that it plays on one's psychological nature makes it even better in my opinion, which is why I have no qualms about giving it four stars. The lack of the fifth one that I would have possibly given, lends itself in part to the confusion I felt while trying to figure out and understand Leena's mind and the rationale behind some of her actions. I realize that this may have been Baer's intention all along, but it was a small bone of contention for me personally. In short, this is a lovely blend of creepy, that as a reader you will not want to miss out on. Think The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer or perhaps Imaginary Girls, fans of those novels and other's similar to them will not be disappointed.