I received this book for free from Stripes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell
Published by Stripes on January 5th 2015
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 Lillias 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.
Review: I was really intrigued when I heard that Stripes were going to be publishing YA and not just YA but creepy horror YA in the style of the old Point Horrors under ‘Red Eye’. I love horror movies (not so much the gory ones) and at the same time hate them because I always get five minutes into a film and remember I actually have an overactive imagination and will get a bit freaked out.
Frozen Charlotte involves an old boarding school and creepy dolls and the scares start early with a very creepy oujia board scene (always a subplot that will scare me). Sophie is a strong narrator dealing with the death of her best friend and the weight of the possibility of their oujia experience having a significant part in that death after calling on her dead cousin. She goes to spend time with her uncle and cousins while her parents are away, but her troubles are only just starting.
Aspects of this book are fairly predictable if you know your horror rules, however this did not impact my overall enjoyment of the book and a few moments did keep me guessing. The ending is action-packed and dramatic. I thought that the plot progressed well and there are some striking images, plus the dolls really are quite scary and Bell hasn’t shied from depicting the creepiness of antique dolls.
Frozen Charlotte also feels very British and the Isle of Skye is a highly atmospheric backdrop. It’s great to see more horror in UKYA too.
Fans of horror films, Juno Dawson and of course the old Point horror series should find a lot to enjoy in Frozen Charlotte. I will definitely be keeping an eye on what the author and Stripes/ Red Eye bring out next.