Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.
Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realises she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.
I read Frozen Charlotte way back in 2015 and I really enjoyed it. It was a whole level of creepy that took me back to the days of point horror and goosebumps. I’ve had its prequel, Charlotte Says on my tbr pile since I was sent a proof copy back in 2017. Unfortunately its taken me such a long time to read it because I never found the right time. This halloween month though I wanted to read creepy books so this was the first I picked up from my shelves.
It really was creepy. I got to the point where I read it during the day because I started dreaming about those hideous dolls. I found them getting under my skin, making me so angry for what they were making the kids in the book do.
Charlotte Says took place in the same setting as the first in the series, on the Isle of Skye. I loved the setting in its historical period. The schoolhouse seemed so desolate and remote that it allowed for the headmistress to be the wicked woman she was. And the background of Jemima’s character was perfect to understand why she could feel the impact of the dolls so much.
There’s a lot of horrible stuff that happens in this book – death and destruction. I think my hardest scene was that of the cat, or when one of the girls removed her own fingernails. Its really not for the faint hearted and with that in mind I probably would recommend it for the older YA audience. However saying that I loved this kind of book at 13 so some teens might not find it as difficult to read as others!
The book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, which I suppose set up the Frozen Charlotte events. But I feel like there could be so much more in this universe so I’m surprised that there hasnt been more by Alex Bell. She has written a fair few other horrors and adventure stories though and is an author I will pick up time and time again.
Charlotte Says was published in 2017 by Stripes Publishing. My copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.
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