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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 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.

396 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2011

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Marianna Baer

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 359 reviews
Profile Image for Rebecca.
Author 13 books20 followers
October 13, 2011
I have no idea how to rate this. 2 and a half stars might be fair. It is well written, Baer has a lovely style, but the story just didn't work for me.

Leena is a Senior at an exclusive boarding school. She's pretty, has a lot of friends and is involved in everything: sports, counseling, getting ready for college. A lot of this is to try and make up for her parent's divorce which caused her to reject her family and bond to her school environment. And now, for Senior year, Leena's swung a great deal, getting her and her friends and exclusive house to board in.

Things start going wrong with Leena is assigned a last minute room mate. Celeste is a brilliant artist with all the requisite emotional problems. Instead of the cozy living environment Lenna envisioned she's playing peacemaker to her bickering room mates and Celeste's overly involved brother, David.

It's at this point the book gets coy. It's a ghost story! No, it's a psychological thriller! Maybe it's a treatise on mental illness with shades of teen romance gone bad.

Whatever it is, it's a mess and left me ultimately unsatisfied. I liked the ending (spoiler alert) but it was flawed. Leena gets hospitalized for several days with severe flu like symptoms. Later this is blamed on a carbon monoxide leak but the thing with CO is that you feel better when you leave the house. Leena and Celeste's headaches and problems seem to follow them wherever they go. If they were truly dealing with CO poisoning, they'd want to get out of Frost house because doing so would instantly make them feel better. Instead both girls become obsessed with staying in their dorm rooms or, in Leena's case a closet. Also, Frost house has a den mother but we rarely see her. When Leena collapses, vomiting and sick, it's her roommates who get her to the infirmary. The den mother never even stops by to visit.

I'd like to see what this author puts out in the future but "Frost" was a disappointment.
Profile Image for Sarah Mac.
1,078 reviews
April 30, 2015
Important safety tip: If one is going to write a novel about a haunted house, it helps to include the haunted bits -- as opposed to whiny teenage girls with whiny teenage problems that I, a semi-adult reader, don't give two shits about reading.

I'll admit that I finished it. It wasn't difficult, & the writing (sort of?) sucked me in; from start to finish was a mere 3 hours of reading time. But though I kept hoping something would kick the story into a higher gear, it never happened. Everything just plodded along with long stretches of boring teenage dramaz while the narrator got more obnoxious with each passing chapter -- and don't get me started on the "source" of the haunting or the really obvious disappearing adult syndrome to keep the story progressing. (Seriously, it was ridiculous. The plot practically tied itself in knots to avoid involving anyone over 20 years old.)

2.5 stars, but I can't make myself round up. The haunting was barely a haunting, the narrator was annoying, & the teenage woes made me cringe. (Oh noes, you didn't get to choose your perfect roommate for one semester! *gasp* Life is really hard sometimes, ennit?)
Profile Image for Suzanne.
635 reviews29 followers
June 4, 2011
A haunted house story for teens that keeps the pages turning. Not of the Goosebumps variety, more in the spirit of Lisa McMann's WAKE or even the old gothic classics. There's a ghost or something like it in Frost House, a tiny dorm converted from an old home at a boarding school called Barcroft. Leena Thomas and her best friends are finally seniors, and Leena has talked the dean into letting girls have the house instead of the boys who have been rooming there for decades. Leena is planning a semester having a room to herself until the fourth in their group comes back from studying abroad, but all that changes when another girl's broken leg requires a sudden change to a first floor room. Even worse is Celeste's eccentric, artsy-fartsy reputation. Will Leena and her friends be able to make room for this girl with mental "issues" in her family tree? Celeste becomes convinced that Leena's friends are vandalizing her stuff to get her out of Frost House. Is this a cry for attention on Celeste's part? Does she really need help? Or maybe weird things really are starting to happen in Frost. What attempts to repel Celeste lures Leena closer and closer, centering on a closet with an odd smell, but not odd to Leena, who finds it a sanctuary from the problems of senior year, even a place to get away from the good things, such as a burgeoning romance with Celeste's brother David. A mostly harmless predilection for prescription drugs seems to be worsening for Leena as she fights the smothering of Frost House less and less. The world outside that one small room and its smaller closet may be too much for her: Who needs best friends that drop her when things go wrong, or college interviews, or anything really as long as she needs the house and it needs her?

Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews709 followers
October 5, 2011
It’s creepy on a couple of levels… surprisingly, I’m disappointed in how things turned out. Frost is a psychological thriller that didn’t get me going. I was never really very scared. And the points that had me creeped out,I don’t think were supposed to creep me out.I read on hoping things would pick up.

When Leena and her friends decide to room with each other, things could have not been better for her. She’s basically independent anyway, and her friends were her family. When Celeste is thrown into the mix, things got interesting. The girls could be catty…and territorial. Perfectly understandable, yet, I could find nothing remarkable in them. I was almost tempted to not finish FROST because nothing happened in the beginning but slowly (excruciatingly so,) strange things would take place around Celeste. And this is what had the Leena wondering, was roommate right in the head or was there something more sinister going on. And I still didn’t care. The whole reason I was still reading was to see how things would play out in strange trio that had resulted in Leena, Celeste and Celeste’s brother, David.

And David! Oh boy… talk about creepy, he’s protective. And in the end it’s his schemes that revealed just how protective he could be. It’s his part of the story that had me swinging from “ummm” to “eeegh?!” But Leena’s no better. She’s just too good to be true with her wanting everyone around her to be happy. The problem was she had problems of her own. And her theories of why Celeste was the way she was… well those applied to her as well.

And there’s no good way to say this, so I’ll just say it: the ending sucked.

Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 3 books716 followers
August 16, 2011
Moving into Frost House for senior year wasn’t just a curiosity it was more like a compulsion for Leena Thomas.

The fact that Leena would be among the first female residents of the previously all-boys dorm meant little to her. Frost House, from the moment she saw it, drew her in. It was home. A safe haven.

It was an old house. There were bound to be quirks. A cold breeze, a musty scent, the feeling that someone was watching – all were explainable phenomenon. As were the broken vase, torn skirt and the erratic knocking. Anyway, why should she believe her roommate, Celeste, that it was something more? Celeste was the eccentric one, it was probably just her imagination.

And just because everything in Leena’s life was beginning to fall apart didn’t mean it was the house’s fault. Frost House was the only thing that made her feel safe, reminding her of a time in her childhood when things were okay.

When she was curled in the corner of her closet, breathing in the comforting scent that wafted through the grating, permeating her senses, there was nowhere she’d rather be. She could think much clearer when she was tucked away in its depths. And the voice she heard was just her own subconscious, even though it didn’t always sound like her.

She just had to be patient. Things looked bad now but everything would be all right in the end. And no matter what anyone said she would not leave Frost House. She would not leave her home. No matter what the cost.


Frost is the thrilling, ominous and definitely spooky, nail-biting debut novel from author Marianna Baer. Right from the start, readers know that there is something not quite right about Frost House, but just what is wrong is left until the very end to be revealed.

The author drops in bits of information, building the mystery, suspense and sense of foreboding, while at the same time slowly breaking apart the main character’s life. And as Leena’s life begins to fracture, readers will be left wondering what the real cause is – the house? Celeste? David, Celeste’s overprotective brother? Is it all just a prank to get Celeste to move out? Or is it Leena?

On first glance, Leena appears to be confident, a leader and a good student with an active role in school activities. She is hard-working and seeks to help better the school and herself by forming a peer counseling group. She decided to put a moratorium on dating and focus on her schoolwork until she is assured of a place at a college of her choosing.

And for her senior year she thought it would be great for her and her friends to move into Frost House. But when she gets the surprise news that she’ll be rooming with Celeste Lazar, a more than slightly eccentric and potentially unstable girl, her perfectly envisioned senior year is destroyed.

From the very start things begin to fall apart. And as Leena tries to keep the peace between her housemates she only seems to make matters worse. She soon finds herself isolated from the people she had called her friends since her first year at Barcroft Academy, with only Celeste and David to keep her company. But she’s not sure just how much she can trust either of them.

As Leena fights desperately to keep everything together, she doesn’t know what to believe, as secrets about Celeste and David’s family history come to light and a rumor surfaces about something dark that happened in Frost House a long time ago.

Frost will keep readers in suspense as to what is really happening until the last moment. And with each dark turn in the story, as more pieces of the puzzle are revealed, the more there is to question.

Author Marianna Baer does a fantastic job of setting the dark tone of this story, which makes itself known from the very first words – Before I lived there, before any of this happened, I imagined Frost House as a sanctuary.

And as it progresses, the darkness grows and completely envelops the story and the main character. Frost is eerie without being frightening and mysterious without being confusing. It will keep readers glued to the story as the events unfold, always wondering what will happen next and when the final blow will hit.

As a standalone novel, Frost really delivers, leaving no loose ends. It is a definite recommended read for fans of stories about haunted or possessed houses, ghost stories or paranormal mysteries with a psychological component.

On a personal note:

I wanted to read Frost ever since I saw the cover and so I had to request it for review. I absolutely loved reading this book and I could not put it down. Just knowing right from the beginning that things were going to go terribly wrong had me completely hooked.

I was immediately pulled into the story by the dark and foreboding feeling the author created. And she kept that feeling going throughout the story as things just kept getting worse and worse for her main character.

Even though, as a huge horror fan, I’ve read a ton of books about mental breakdowns, ghosts and possessed or haunted houses, I was completely entertained by this book. I didn’t have that “yeah, yeah, this again” attitude I so often have when reading these types of stories.

I am always one to blame ghosts, rather than any of the more rational explanations, but this wasn’t quite so clear-cut and even at the story’s end I still wasn’t completely sure what to believe. Which for me is a really, really good thing.

While there is a lot left to the imagination, especially Leena’s backstory and the history of Frost House itself, enough was revealed to keep me intrigued and make me want to keep guessing.

I’m not sure how much I liked Leena, but I don’t believe she was supposed to be completely likable. Half the time I sympathized with her and the rest of the time I either thought she was completely blind to what was going on or was maybe just a little bit crazy.

I really loved Celeste. I thought she was a unique and very interesting character and really kept this story off-balance, which is a must for me.

I would have loved it if the book had ended prior to the last two chapters, but then again I don’t mind an ending which leaves everything a mystery in these types of books. I can’t say too much or it will completely spoil the story, so you’ll just have to read it for yourself and see if you feel the same way.

It didn’t take away from the story for me, at all. I will definitely re-read this one day, and plan on adding the finished copy to my collection, but there were some ideas about one of the characters that were brought into the story at the end that felt just a bit out-of-character for them.

I am so glad that I asked for a copy for review. I was very happily surprised by this book. I knew from the description it would be a story I’d enjoy but I didn’t expect to get as caught up in it as I did. And it’s nice to read a standalone supernatural book every once in a while.

And I can’t wait to see what Marianna Baer’s sophomore effort will be.
Profile Image for Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile.
2,029 reviews587 followers
August 17, 2016
3.5 stars. Story-wise, this was a great debut novel. Mysterious, spooky, and confusing, yet it was slightly frustrating and unrealistic. There were also a few loose ends that never got explained. I knocked off half a star due to the main character being a huge, thieving pillhead. This dangerous habit found its way into the story several times per chapter, and was in no way relevant or conducive to the actual plot. It really bothered me that the author felt the need to include it so frequently and on such a casual note, ESPECIALLY for a YA book.
Profile Image for Jessica Woodbury.
1,602 reviews2,043 followers
November 1, 2018
A solid combination of Contemporary YA with horror, the way the horror elements blend with a traditional Contemporary plot (school drama! friend drama! love interest drama!) was really organic and well done. Quick and easy read, not too scary, addresses issues of mental health and substance abuse.
Profile Image for KWinks  .
1,204 reviews16 followers
September 3, 2011
I love crazy, quirky books. Sometimes I find a jewel of a nutty read and some of the images stick with me forever.

This is one of those books.

Perfect for Fall, Frost drops us back to school (a boarding school) and in a house on the property that is a dorm for four students and a totally absent house mother.

Leena, studious and nerd-girl cool, is rooming with her two besties. Forced on them is Celeste, the school's crazy girl and the reader thinks
"Oh, great, another book about friendship dynamics and how they change in senior year".

Oh, hell to the no.
This is a flat-out horror story complete with a gothic setting, unreliable characters, false leads, and red herrings. It is a strange (in a good way) read. Yet another book I wanted to put down and call everyone who was reading it and say, "Hey, did you just read that? Did that really just happen?"

I needed a break from the end of the world, shapeshifters, and zombies and Frost House provided a much needed escape. Not that I would spend the night there, but still.....
Profile Image for Allison.
712 reviews411 followers
October 4, 2011
Frost by Marianna Baer has an extremely intriguing synopsis. Take a boarding school, add in a mixture of haunting and psychological thriller, and you’ve got me hooked! Unfortunately – once the story got going, it became way too overpoweringly bizarre and weird for me…to the point that I stopped even being interested. Still, that being said, it had things going for it that might make others like it more than I did.

Leena becomes entranced by the Frost House boarding home on her high school campus – it is an old Victorian house that only holds four students so she thinks it’ll be the perfect retreat for her and her friends. Unfortunately, at the last minute, they get roped into hosting an extra roommate. Celeste, known school-wide for being weird and extremely difficult to deal with, has a broken leg so special accommodations had to be made. This does turn out something positive for Leena at least – Celeste’s brother David, who she quickly develops a relationship with.

There wasn’t a ton of development, but Leena and David didn’t have insta-love either. I thought it was a pretty typical high school relationship, so I was satisfied there. What really freaked me out was that, once Leena started suffering from the weirds, she kept making all these references to some kind of incestuous thing between David and Celeste. And truth be told, he was a little too into taking care of Celeste. The whole thing was just bizarre though, because it didn’t really go anywhere. Leena kept turning it over in her mind and noticing what she felt were weird interactions between the siblings but nothing came of it. So what was the point? It didn’t really add anything to the story except turning me off of the characters BIG TIME.

Also, Leena ends up alienating her friends and making everyone (except David) basically hate her. That was never really resolved that well either. In fact – absolutely nothing was resolved. The mystery of whether there was some kind of weird haunting or if Leena had a legit mental problem was never fully answered – but I actually did like that being left sorta up in the air. I don’t think the plot as a whole was developed that well though – it all remained more odd and confusing than anything else.

So, even though I thought the book sounded awesome, I ended up pretty disappointed. Neither the characterization or the plot were handled with much skill – I feel mean saying it, but I kinda wish a different author had handled it. I think someone else might have been able to immerse the story in an atmospheric haunting vibe better.
Profile Image for Cas | casreadz.
140 reviews48 followers
March 25, 2022
Frost is a deeply chilling and psychologically thrilling read that will suck readers in and turn their world upside down. Leena Thomas seems like the typical American teenager. She has her group of friends and her extracurriculars, she's independent and friendly and ready to start her senior year. However, as the novel progresses, the cracks begin to show. Subtly at first, but increasingly insistent. Her mistakes seem innocent and humanizing, but they are slowly tearing her life apart.

Leena's friends are an eclectic group, and not always the most likable people. I would have liked their friendship to play a larger role in the story -- but at the same time, it's important for the plot that Leena becomes increasingly distant. Nothing is as it should be in Frost House, and nothing is as it seems. Surprisingly, Leena begins to develop a relationship with her unwelcome new roommate Celeste and her brother David. Celeste is beguiling, Leena's opposite in almost every way. She's artsy and eccentric, oblivious to social niceties and pretty self-involved. Yet, it's impossible to hate her when no one can quite understand her. She's an intriguing enigma, and readers will vascillate between frustration, fascination and pity for her haunting and inscrutable character.

The relationship between Leena and David is incredibly well-developed. Instead of meaningless conversation or mere flirtatious banter, the two teens bond over their personal demons -- David's institutionalized father, and Leena's broken home. They have a mutual understanding that connect them on a deeper level than just physical attraction. Yet, as with all other aspects of the novel, something's not quite right. The bizarre bond between David and his sister is disconcerting, and readers are never quite sure what it means. Marianna Baer invites readers to speculate on its true nature, entertaining a whole host of unnerving possibilities.

Baer is a master of the power of suggestion. Even when nothing is happening, readers are on edge and ill-at-ease. Everything just feels off. The reader is left unsettled almost from page one, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's impossible to pinpoint exactly when everything begins to unravel, or to tell the difference between real and imagined. The pacing of this novel is crucial, and pitch perfect. The slow downward spiral is so subtle, readers may not even notice it at first -- but it's there, a slow, steady march toward the abyss. By the time they realize what is happening, it's already too late.
Profile Image for Lectus.
1,029 reviews32 followers
March 19, 2013
Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/03/...

Finally the torture is over. I was going mad with the slow pace of this ridiculous story. The characters are hollow, undeveloped, plain and ridiculous. I'm giving it one star because there aren't negative stars to give.

The entire review is hidden because of spoilers so read at your own risk.

As you know from the summary, Leena and friends move into this cozy Victorian house at boarding school and an unexpected roommate, Celeste, is assigned to them. Fine.

Celeste: Little creepy things start happening: a photo falls from the wall, Celeste's skirt is ripped on the floor and she thinks Leena did it, Celeste opens the cold faucet and hot water comes out instead, she hears some taping on the wall, she wakes up with some bruises on her arms... and that's it.

Leena: every time she feels scared, sad, threaten or whatever she takes some medication. What kind medication and what for? I don't know, the book didn't say but obviously she suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, depression or something. She also takes into hiding in a closet where she feels safe (no further explanation here).

Because all this, Celeste thinks the house is haunted but Leena thinks Celeste has mental problems.

One day the house gets on fire while Leena is passed out in the closet. Obviously Leena is rescued and finds out that the house had been leaking carbon monoxide for while. As per page 388, the Carbon Monoxide was making Celeste sick (insomnia, delusion, weird physical sensations) which along with her vivid imagination made her believe the house was haunted.

In the last three pages, Leena and Celeste sit down to talk and they come to the conclusion that the house in deed was haunted and wanted Celeste to leave but Leena to stay... forever.

The book itself was slow; it tried to be a mystery but it turned out to be a tedious read of insignificant characters and petty events that didn't amount to anything. The characters were idiots too.

For instance, when Celeste burned herself in the bathroom, Leena applies antibiotic and COVERS THE BURN WITH A BANDAGE! Seriously, not even I am that stupid. Her friends also dropped Leena and are planning to move out of the house because Leena prefers Celeste over them. Seriously, were they in first grade?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
June 26, 2016
This book was pretty bad.

Rating: Probably more of a 2 star read but I'm cranky right now.

I don't know if I'm just getting old or this heat is making me super cranky. Both?

At first I was indifferent to the characters for the most part, and then it just got trying because I found them all so boring or just too try-hard.

I love subtle gothics, but they actually have suspense, build up of tension, and eerie/spooky feelings. I was bored.

This tried to be a modern gothic but it failed for me.

Profile Image for Stefanie.
1,351 reviews20 followers
September 26, 2015

This was weird and good at the same time. I enjoyed it but I think I I wanted more paranormal events but it did a good job on the psychological. I hate horror movies though but I love stories that involve boarding schools, creepy houses and anything really anything Gothic.
For me it took a bit to really get into the story and I feel like I could have used more at the ending.
Oh and I hated David's character so much. I'll just leave it on that note.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,230 reviews1,650 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
October 21, 2017
Pages read: 69

As with Inconceivable Life, I'm impressed with Baer's prose, but I'm still not invested in the characters or the plot. Again, I'm just not really into haunted houses or horror really.
Profile Image for Ruby.
299 reviews57 followers
September 26, 2011
This review was first posted on http://www.rubysreads.com.

I have so many issues with this book it's not even funny. I'm also really struggling with a way to start this review. It's not that I thought Frost was a bad book so much as I really, really disliked the narrator. The whole thing is meant to be an examination into psychosis as well as the supernatural, but I was completely distracted by the heroine and her many, many issues.
The basic story is that Leena and her friends have scored Frost House for their senior year of high school. Leena has masterminded the whole arrangement; it's particularly important to her because, ever since her parents' divorce, school has been her home. Unfortunately, Leena's idyllic senior year is disrupted by the fact that she's going to have an unexpected roommate. Worse--one that she considers unstable. Moving in together doesn't improve the impression, and soon Leena's home situation is untenable--to say the least. And when bizarre stuff starts happening, Leena starts to think that Celeste isn't just unstable--she might just be psychotic.
I never warmed to Leena, which was a problem because she narrated the story. There's an incident in the book that basically symbolizes my feelings for her, so I'll tell you about it: One of the bizarre things that happens in Frost House is that Celeste gets a burn on her back when the water coming out of the bathroom faucet turns boiling hot. Leena tends to Celeste's wound by applying antibiotic ointment and putting a bandage on it. Now, maybe it's because I just took a CPR/First Aid class for work, but this part really bothered me. You're not supposed to put anything on that kind of burn--just run cool water over it.
This is one of many signs that Leena, while well-intentioned, is acting without important knowledge. The more I learned about her, the more amazed I became that anyone let her be a peer counselor. I think the readers are supposed to think this, but I don't think it was meant to keep readers from liking/relating to Leena. For me, it did. She came across as that girl who insists that she knows better than you, and that she's right and you're wrong. I wanted to hit her.
While there was room in my stone-cold heart to feel for Leena--her parents are neglectful idiots, I fail to understand Dean Shepard's appeal, and her friends drop her cold despite three years of closeness--I mostly just wanted to tell her to stop trying to counsel people. You know the saying--therapy begins at home. Though I suppose fixing others is easier than fixing yourself. If this had been the message of the novel, I think I would have liked Leena more. And I would have been more understanding about her mental health issues. As it was, the end was kind of anti-climactic and the paranormal element took away from the more serious problems of Leena's self-prescribing, the fact that she tried to kill herself when she was thirteen and hasn't, apparently, seen a counselor since, and her isolation from her peers.
I would also like to point out that I considered, at several times throughout the novel, that Leena was exhibiting classic warning signs for a depressed/suicidal teen. With her history, it flabbergasted me that no one ever expressed concern in that respect. I suppose it's possible that Leena's friends don't know her history, but I would expect Dean Shepard to.
All in all, a flawed book. Too flawed for me to enjoy.
Profile Image for Orchid.
222 reviews69 followers
September 2, 2011
Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia.

Sadly I was kind of disappointed with Frost. When I picked it up I was expecting a bone chilling psychological thriller that would leave me unable to sleep at night, what I wound up with instead was a book that just fell flat and that didn't quite live up to my expectations.
I will try my hardest to explain just why this book did not work for me and what I did and didn't like about it.

While it may not have been my cup o' tea Frost isn't a bad book and Ms. Baer's writing is really good. It just had a few elements that kept me from enjoying it as much as I thought I would have.

One of the things that disappointed me the most in this book was the main character, Leena, I just did not like her and could not bring myself to feel anything more then pity for her.
The main reason I didn't like her was that she didn't seem to have much self-respect for herself and that her character was maybe just a little too emotionally scared, cold, damaged whatever you want to call it. She just had too many issues to make for a believable character.

My other complaint about Frost would have to be the instant luv factor between Leena and David. Sure they don't get together till pretty much the middle of the book, but the fact that she thought she loved him from pretty much the first time they met was kinda of irksome because how can you love someone that you don't even know, the answer is you can't.

I found that Frost was a bit slow when it came to getting to the actual plot line, because it felt like over the half the book had come and gone before any of the characters (Leena and Celeste) seemed to even consider that some of the happenings at Frost House weren't exactly normal. I think if things had picked up a little quicker that I could have easily been pulled into the story, but most likely my opinion of Leena would not have been any better.

The one thing I did really enjoy about Frost was Ms. Baer's writing. Her writing was my absolute favorite thing about this book because she did an excellent job of adding a sense of paranoia to the book. If I hadn't enjoyed her writing as much as I did, in all likelihood I would not have finished reading Frost.
I (with probably no surprise to you the reader) liked the fact that when Leena screwed up, and boy did she on multiple accounts, that she didn't just get a slap on the wrist for what she did.

Content (will contain spoilers): Leena and David fooling around (no sex, but still being a bit inappropriate), talk of suicide (one by overdosing on pills, the other by cutting *I think*), addiction to prescription pills/stealing others prescription pills. There is also some swearing, mostly mild swear words though.

Final Verdict: Frost unfortunately the story just didn't work for me. Although I did enjoy Ms. Baer's writing style and will definitely try another book by her.

Frost earns 3 out of 5 pineapples.
Profile Image for Rachael.
611 reviews46 followers
July 25, 2011
Senior year at Barcroft Academy is not turning out the way Leena Thomas planned it. She and her best friends Abby and Viv were supposed to have Frost House all to themselves, their very own private corner of campus. But all because of a broken leg, their sanctuary has been invaded by Celeste Lazar, an eccentric girl Leena is now forced to call roommate. Leena is willing to get over what she sees as an unfair intrusion and make nice with Celeste, but keeping the peace becomes more difficult with all the strange things starting to happen around Frost House. At first, Leena is fine writing off the fallen picture frames, toppled furniture, and locked doors as just strange, but Celeste is convinced that there’s something sinister inhabiting the house. As the year progresses, the stress of class and personal insecurities cause Leena to withdraw further into Frost House and become more entangled in its mystery until she no longer knows if the mystery is all in her head—or if there’s something actually seriously wrong with the one place she feels totally safe in.

Frost is one of those novels that walks the line between the psychological and the fantastical. I am always intrigued by stories like these, because there is something so alluring about the possibilities in each of these explanations, but often I end up disappointed. I am happy to say that debut author Baer’s novel was not disappointing in the least. I was so impressed by Baer’s ability to get inside the sometimes confusion mind of protagonist Leena. In addition, her fluid writing and attention to detail combined with a well paced and intriguing plot made Frost so enthralling to read. However, the real reason why Baer succeeded in my mind where other writers failed is because of the ending of her book. This is one of those stories fueled by ambiguity, but I am the type of reader who is irritated when ambiguity is all that remains at the end, as in Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. Baer doesn’t necessarily give an absolute explanation for the mysterious events that transpire in her story, but she gives enough to work with so that readers can pick one of the explanations, psychological or fantastical, and feel secure that there is enough evidence within the story to back their opinions. This is what made Frost so much more satisfying to me than other stories like it. I applaud Baer for a lovely and wonderfully written novel and the beginning of a very promising writing career.

Frost will be enjoyed by fans of Tighter by Adele Griffin, Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Wendy Lohr.
Author 19 books34 followers
December 16, 2011
I'm not exactly sure where to begin with this book. I have some mixed feelings about it. The writing flow was really good and kept me wanting to read just a little bit further...then a little more. The plot was intriguing and there were a couple of side plots going on that kept things interesting. The romance was good: not too mushy, not too hot (for YA) and I actually really liked David. The fact that there was a strong male character that wasn't a bad boy and actually loved and cared deeply for his family and his friends was a nice change. Believe me, bad boys are hot in their own way, but sometimes it's nice to take a break from them.

Anyway, I think maybe the problem was that I didn't feel as though Leena's character was fully developed so I couldn't get quite sucked into the psychological thriller that was evolving. In fact, it didn't really completely draw me in until the last few chapters, from a psychological standpoint. Only then did I really start to question everything that was happening and wondering was it ghosts or mental disorders or something else completely.

And my uncertainty about this book probably also stems from the fact that things felt unfinished at the end. Like questions were never fully answered. But, I think I remember reading from another review of this book that maybe the ending was exactly how the author intended it; more questions than answers. A result in which can leave a reader feeling a little frustrated. But, if that's what the author intended, then she did a good job by this reader.

Still, I did like the book and am glad I read it. The "scientific" explanation at the end is probably still the one I'm leaning towards agreeing with (you'll just have to read the book to understand what I'm talking about). But I'll always wonder...
Profile Image for Rayne.
862 reviews287 followers
October 23, 2013
Frost is not a book for everybody. That's the first thing that should be said about it. It is undeniably engrossing and well-written, but it builds up slowly and delivers its creepiness in a careful, measured manner that will probably not appeal to a lot of readers. That is not to say that the overall atmosphere of the novel is not chilling, but the point of this book is more about the psychological degeneration of a mind than actual scaring. This is also not a book that wraps up nicely with all its corners tucked in. The whole point of this book is to question the power of the mind and the extent one goes when driven by absolute denial and obsession. The reader is infected by this feeling right along the characters, and like most things about psychology, there are not answers for everything, which is something I appreciated from this novel. You get to form your own conclusions, though the book does give a hint towards the end enough to sway you in a particular direction.

This is not a terribly psychological book, though: no complicated mind-games, mind-boggling twists and turns or thoroughly disturbing scenes of horror. But it is a nice examination of a couple of disturbed teenage minds and how it corrupts daily life to its core.

I really liked most things about this book, from the writing to the characters, the setting and the mystery. I did not like the romance much and thought it was a bit of insta-love, but I understood its purpose in the novel. This novel is not exactly groundbreaking or something you need to rush to read, but it is enjoyable and well worth the read.
Profile Image for Jenni.
32 reviews6 followers
September 30, 2011
I picked up Frost because a review described the book as a "suspenseful modern gothic" and used the phrase "eerie atmosphere"-- which really appealed to me, and were entirely accurate. The author builds some great suspense-- what motivations do the characters have? Does Whip's story about the house have any bearing on the strange events Celeste and Leena are experiencing? What exactly is going on with Celeste? Does mental illness play into the story-- and for WHOM?

However, I never really did like the main character. I couldn't figure out why her friends so completely abandoned her (after all, they were also to blame for the rule infringements!), and her relationship with David seemed a bit strange when presented from her perspective. I couldn't quite make things "ring true"-- and the ending didn't leave me with a comfortable explanation for her (or Celeste's, or David's) behavior. There may have been TOO MANY explanations for the strange events and reactions to them, which is why the ending fell flat for me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jessica.
165 reviews127 followers
October 4, 2011
I'm not sure where things went wrong for this novel. Mostly because the characters were engaging, and I was interested to figure out why the main character was so attracted to the Frost House.

However, once I was reading it--things didn't seem to match up.

For example, I'm not sure how the ending has ANYTHING to do with the mystery throughout the rest of the novel. It seemed so anticlimactic after all of the build up. In addition, the love story ended somewhat lackluster-ly and the main character's severed friendships never truely were healed.

I suppose I wanted more wrap up than there really was--it felt like the author was trying to meet her deadline and hurried the ending.

Like I said, I'm not sure where this novel went wrong, because the idea is great...but it just didn't come to fruition.

If you are going to use a somewhat "haunted" house, give us more than you did. It mostly seemed like a bunch of unfortunate happenings surrounded by a chemical leak.
Profile Image for Megan Ward.
35 reviews30 followers
April 3, 2019
It was trip, too put it lightly. (in a good way) the maine character was amazing and then the conclusion was just so trippy! and it saves all the 'answers' for right at the end, if you could call them answers, almost wish there was a sequel.
Profile Image for E. C. McRoy.
163 reviews17 followers
July 8, 2018
Not enough ghost 👻 in this ghost story.

Unreliable narrator, crazy roach obsessed surprise roommate and her incestuously toi interested in his sister brother who is supposed to be the love interest???

What. The. Heck.

This was more a psychological, slow-would-be-thriller. But I found it boring, the characters unlikable, and the "threat" or whatever you'd like to call it unterrifying to say the least. And to top it all off, the ending sucked.

I will say the writing was good and the story had potential, which is wht it gets 2.3 stars, but the story never reached said potential and just left me feeling annoyed that I wasted my time with this book.

I would recommend this for fans of psychological thrillers ONLY and I would do so tentatively. Not for fans of horror, at least not if you expect more paranormal stuff going on.
Profile Image for CheyAnn✨.
47 reviews27 followers
April 7, 2022
This book was just so strange. I don't even know how to review this book. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I thought I was going to like this book. All the characters I disliked. The ending was just terrible, this book was supposed to be a ghost story but the author clearly forgot she was writing a ghost story. The only reason I didn't dnf this book is because I really thought the ending was going to have a great ending and explain what happened in the book. But I was wrong the ending lacked a great ending.
Profile Image for Angela.
558 reviews62 followers
February 6, 2013
Where do I begin? First, I will say I dove head first into this novel. I was so excited to start reading it, expectations I usually have before starting a book completely disappeared. I read the first sentence wanting nothing more but for it to be a good, thrilling adventure of fun. I like fun.

Frost is about a girl named Leena who, after much convincing, moves into Frost house for her senior year at Barcroft, a boarding school she had been attending since first year (grade 9, I'm assuming). The house is everything she had hoped for, except for Celeste Lazar, a girl she wasn't so thrilled about sharing a room with. Despite Celeste, Leena is drawn to her brother. Leena is also drawn to her enemies closet where she spends much time thinking and feeling at 'home'. Weird things start to happen, though. Vases get broken, pictures are thrown across rooms, hell, poor Celeste wakes up with bruises covering her entire body, head- to- toe. Something weird is happening at Frost house, however poor Leena just doesn't want to believe any of it. Period.

This was a creepy, thrilling and one of the better ghost stories I've read in a while. Well, I haven't read any recent ghost stories. Ah, but this was a good one. We don't ever know for sure if a ghost is involved with all the strange happenings, however, this is what makes this book so mysterious and creepy. It's unbelievably spine chilling. I brought this book everywhere with me, in case I could sneak some reading time.

This book was told in the POV of Leena, the one who had been so drawn to Frost house. I find POV novels to be bothersome, especially when you dislike the main character- *cough* Zoey *cough*. Leena was the better of the POV varieties. I found her easy to relate to. She was like any other teenager. Trying to get through school, apply to colleges, worry about boys, and have family troubles. If you couldn't relate to her in one way you were certain to relate to her in another. She wasn't weak, but strong and independent, she wasn't irrational, but rational and thoughtful. She put a lot of thought into her actions, which was probably why I continued on. You can't enjoy a book without loving the character telling you the story, now can you?

The creativeness of this novel and originality was thrilling and adventurous. Drawing me in just like Leena had been drawn into the closet. Once I was in, there was know going back. I felt so a part of this book. It's words were hypnotizing. Truly, the writing was great. The plot was crafted in a way so that there were sharp turns of surprises that had me gasping and shivering.

One note on characters: They were all great. I already talked about Leena's character, so I will continue on to Celeste, the broken-leg in a cast, weird collecting- roach girl. She is, like I said, weird. But I liked her. She was different and had no care for what people thought of her. From time to time she would piss me off, but in a sisterly way. I'd quickly love her again. David, Celeste's brother, is the boy Leena, obviously, likes. He was great. Different, actually. I can't say I've read a book that featured a boy who was so protective of his sister. They were both weird, but lovable. Leena's friends, Abby and Viv, were just that, friends. They all get into a fight, don't speak to each other, one kind of forgives the other and life goes on. Girl drama, what do you expect?

This review does not do this book justice. I haven't been so drawn into a book for some time now. Is it me, or does whatever roam the halls and walls of Frost house roam the pages of that book? I wonder...
Profile Image for Michelle (Undeniably Book Nerdy).
1,153 reviews68 followers
September 1, 2011
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.
Profile Image for kristin (paper reader).
202 reviews13 followers
September 8, 2011
This is not one I should have read at night, I scare too easy for that. Otherwise it was a pretty engaging book that kept me on my toes, but it almost felt like there was something missing that would have brought it to the next level for me.
A ball led astray was all it took for Leena Thomas to come across Frost House (a beautiful Victorian house tucked into the woods), and as soon as she set her eyes on it she knew she had to live there for her senior year. Having been sent to Barcroft Academy after her parents divorced right before freshman year, Leena sees Barcroft as her home, her friends as her family, and Frost House their private sanctuary. So when Celeste Lazar is assigned to room with Leena in her first floor room due to her injured leg there's bound to be a period of adjustment - until Leena discovers that's merely the beginning.

I know I scare easily, so it really wasn't any surprise that I had a hard time falling asleep after reading this one late at night. Take it from my experience and read it with a snuggable animal along or during the day. That said, Frost was a crazy psychological journey that I had a difficult time putting down. I hadn't any clue where the story was going while I was reading it; I just knew that something had to come to a head or I might have had to fully hide under the covers. From the first time Leena steps into her new room at Frost House she was drawn to it. Airy and spacious surrounded on one end by windows and a sole closet that smelled slightly like her old attic.

While I really enjoyed the story part of the book, the characters sort of lost their vividness along the way for me. I want to preface that statement by saying that in part due to the storyline it makes a lot of sense for the characters to seem sort of faded. However, I had a hard time staying along with them at times and was more curious about the progression of what was going on in Frost House rather than the people everything was happening to. The relationship between Leena and David - Celeste's brother - didn't entirely win me over. They had a lot of cute moments near the beginning and in the middle, but there was one near the end that completely didn't work in any way for me, and after that I would have preferred that they not see each other.

The ending of the book was a real trip and it's very safe to say that I didn't at all expect how it ended and thought the big reveal to be quite clever and well-done. What progressed with Leena in the end, though, wasn't okay for me. I don't want to give anything away, but I felt that more needed to be done to address the problem at hand and that she needed more assistance than she was given. Yes, this is vague, but when you read it you'll know what I mean.

All in all I enjoyed Frost and think that if you're in need of a fast-paced thriller then you should give this book a try. The writing is lovely and matches the nervous feeling of the book. Just.. don't read it at night.
Profile Image for umad80.
6 reviews
September 21, 2011
Possibly more like 3.5 stars. I liked it, but it was a slow build up and it left you hanging as to what would happen next. There wasn't even an epilogue to wrap up everyone's lives considering there are no plans for a sequel. Did David and Leena ever get back together? Did Leena and Abby become friends again? Did Celeste and Leena ever figure out what had really gone on? Did they tell David? What happened with Frost house after everything? Did Leena get her life back on track? Too many questions that should have been answered.

However there are some great points with the book. The psychological thriller of it all. The intenseness of what was going on. Like, was it all psychological? Or was there more to it? The characters are good, even if sometimes you didn't understand why Abby and Viv would have some of the reactions they had. Leena and David's relationship was sweet and worth the build up. You rooted for them; you wanted them to be together. Reading Leena's life spiraling out of control was the most interesting part of the book; wondering what really was causing it. Celeste was probably the most intriguing character with her idiosyncrasies and sarcastic attitude. You also wanted to know if what was going on with her was in her head or truly happening. Was it psychological? Was she doing it to herself? Or was she right about what she thought was truly happening?

Parts I didn't like... I explained the first annoyance in the beginning paragraph. However there was other things: I didn't like Abby. From the moment you met her to her overreaction to everything. We're suppose to believe she was this best friend type, but she was willing to dump her friendship with Leena all over feeling like she didn't get enough attention from her. Viv was better, but I thought she had an overreaction as well (I won't say what as I don't want to give it away). She did however redeem herself later when life threatening events happened, she changed her attitude. I'd have liked to have known Kate too... again, something that could have been revealed in the epilogue. I also agree with a lot of people in saying that David and Celeste's relationship bordered on creepy at times. However I was able to forgive this knowing what lengths siblings will go to for each other, especially if they're close.

All in all, the book is worth the read, but I wouldn't have anyone expect it to be amazing. Nor would I have anyone expect it to be bad. It was good, just not great. It was interesting and often times intense, but not to the point where I was at the edge of my seat (although one or two chapters you did wonder what would happen next). It was different in a good way, but not to the point where it will be a book I recommend people buy in the bookstore. It's more of check out from the library and if you like it, buy it type book.
Profile Image for Jena.
496 reviews154 followers
August 19, 2011
Frost is an eerily written story that will have you questioning what you believe even after the story is over. Part romance, part struggle, part haunting, part friendship, part fun, and part crazy, Frost will keep you hanging on to every page making you wish you'd looked into your closet before you started.

Frost starts off with the beginning of Leena's senior year at Barcroft Academy. Having an "in" with the Dean Leena and her friends are granted an adorable Victorian style house dorm in which Leena feels drawn to. Unfortunately Leena get an unexpected roommate, Celeste Lazar, and the only benefit is that she has an attractive, caring brother named David. The more Leena connects to the Frost house, the more strange things start happening. As Leena and her roommate Celeste start spiraling downward, they hurry to figure out the causes before it's too late.

I love eerie, creepy stories. I'm not sure why because I hate scary movies hah! But, reading a thriller makes me turn the pages even quicker, I just love that feeling of suspense and Frost has that. Even after the book is over, you're still like 'Wait a second? Is that house.....' and that is a really interesting way to end a book! And as the description says 'Supernatural or Psychological?'... I'm totally going with Supernatural. But, don't let me sway you. Read it and decide for yourself...and I dare you to read it at night. I did... and I'm fine! ;)

I really liked Leena's character. Yes, I'm fully aware that she kind of has a downward spiral throughout the story, but that being said I think she is such a strong character. Leena has already dealt with so much in her past and she completely depends on herself (among other things). She has best friends, good grades, and a sexy love interest that keep her grounded. Plus she's blonde with glasses which totally reminds me of myself at the moment (since I'm not aloud to wear my contacts right now). Leena is also "Miss Fix-it" which is a strong, unique quality to have in a girl.

I mentioned a certain sexy love interest which would be... David. With his striking blue eyes, and his protective, caring manners you can't help but love him. I also loved the note in which this romance ends on. Because, all things are not fairytales and butterflies. Strong relationships need to be worked on and I loved how Marianna Baer did that with David and Leena.

Overall fantastic book. I really enjoyed it. Eerie, romantic, and full of surprises. Want chills?
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