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Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell

“The girls were playing with the Frozen Charlotte dolls again. 

The schoolmistress had given them some scraps of fabric and ribbon from the sewing room to take out to the garden. They were to practice their embroidery skills by making little dresses and bonnets for the naked porcelain dolls. “They’ll catch their death of cold otherwise,” the teacher had said.”

When Sophie and her friend try out an ouija board she expects nothing to come of it, but calling out the spirit of her dead cousin brings along questions she never thought she’d have. Now her best friend is dead and she’s off to spend two weeks in her uncles’ converted school house with cousins she barely knows and strange going-ons she doesn’t want to think about. With her youngest cousin, Lilas, asking about the girl she brought with her and her eldest cousin, Cameron, giving off a distinct feeling of dislike and Piper, the same age as her, seeming too good to be true, Sophie isn’t sure that being there is a good idea, especially when she steps into her fourth cousin, Rebecca’s, room to find a glass cabinet full of porcelain dolls that Lilas claims speak to her. 

***

This book was beyond creepy, it was bloody terrifying and I think thats why I took as long as I did reading it. I kept having to stop and start again in daytime because honestly, it was too weird. That’s not to say I didn’t love Frozen Charlotte though, I bloody loved it; but I will be checking each and every gift bought for my soon-to-be-daughter in case someone tries to buy her a Frozen Charlotte doll!

The book starts off scary with weird things happening when Sophie and her best friend Jay try out an ouija board. It trips the electrics in the cafe they are in and a waitress gets badly burnt. Then on the way home Jay falls into a canal and dies. Sophie called the spirit of her dead cousin but doesn’t believe that it actually happened until she gets to the house and hehr youngest cousin comments on the girl she brought with her. Stranger things happen and eventually things turn from scary to dangerous with Cameron warning her she shouldn’t be there and her finding out more about the cousins she barely knows.

All this happens on the Isle of Skye, off the coast of Scotland, which is a fairly remote island, making it all even creepier. Sophie’s Uncles house is miles out of the town and is right on the cliff sides. The author, Alex Bell, did an incredible job of the setting and the descriptions of the weather because even in the daytime if felt like the house was shrouded in misery and gloom.

The story was fantastic and the writing made it even creepier, making you feel like you were there alongside Sophie throughout the entire thing. The characters all seemed to be a little strange and for a while I wasn’t sure who to trust and if Sophie herself could even be trusted.

There was a lot to love about this book and honestly I did love it. It was refreshing to actually be terrified whilst reading a YA horror, it gripped me and I really found myself on the edge of my seat. The only thing I didn’t like was the romance undercurrent that I picked up between Sophie and her cousin Cameron. They weren’t blood cousins, with her mum and Uncle were actually step siblings rather than full siblings, and I think that was done to allow for the romance undercurrent. I didn’t like it and tried to ignore it but it got worse towards the end. It might have been me reading into things but I think it would have been an even better read for me had that not been there.

This was the first book published under Stripes Publishing’s Red Eye YA Horror imprint and it has gotten me really excited for the rest of the books in the series. I love that there is finally a horror publishing imprint following on from Point Horror and if the series continues with books as good as Frozen Charlotte it will be a Point Horror for a new generation.

Frozen Charlotte was published by Stripes Publishing on January 5th 2015. My copy was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit:
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author website
  • Maia Moore

    I loved this book too! It was so creepy, I finished it and wouldn’t leave the room until my boyfriend came home!
    Have to say I didn’t really pick up on any romance stuff much, until the end when they were meeting in the cafe. I was racing through it though so I may have been a bit oblivious.