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review 2017-06-01 00:03
It could have been better
Frost - Marianna Baer

Love the cover of this! Certainly has an appeal to it and is eye catching. This book had all the potential to be a suspenseful creepy novel. It certainly had it’s moments because it kept you guessing, was this something supernatural? Or something else entirely? So it had that going for the novel, but it falls pretty short. The plot itself just seemed long winded and long. A little too long to get the ball rolling. As a result, it got boring and anticlimactic. By the time you got to the ending you were barely interested in the book and just wanted it to end. Which is unfortunate considering the book had some potential. The character themselves were alright but had nothing special going. Celeste really bothered me as a character. She was pushy, erratic, and a complete drama queen. Overall annoying in the novel. Leena herself wasn’t so bad to read although she’s a people pleaser, yet at the same time alienates them and in the end, well, she sort of had it coming didn’t she? I wasn’t too happy with the way Abby and Viv treated Leena but you did have to understand where they were coming from. So in a way, their behavior towards Leena made sense. I wish this book was much better. It had all the characteristics of a good novel but fell really short. I don’t regret giving it a try but it’s just not what I hoped for. Not really worth the read.

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review 2016-12-24 05:36
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn - Marianna Baer

Quinn Cutler is sixteen and pregnant. But she has no recollection of ever having sex. Before she can figure things out, her story becomes public. Rumours start flying, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics begin gathering at their home, believing Quinn is pregnant with the next messiah. In Quinn's search for the truth, she uncovers strange family secrets that have her wondering if she really is a virgin.

 

The book started off good with strong writing, the way lots of great YA books are written. But overall it was boring. Not much happens, some parts were repetitious, and I didn't care for the ending. My need to know how the mystery unravelled kept me turning the pages but ultimately left me disappointed. There were lots of things I liked about the book - the main character, her childhood, her grandmother's past, the setting, why she thinks she's a pregnant virgin but the whole thing just didn't come together for me.

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review 2015-05-01 15:40
Frost - Marianna Baer

I read the book almost 3 years ago, I know that back then it also struck me as being an odd book. There are some stuff about mental illnesses, there are supposedly ghosts and a whole lot of drama going on. I decided to re-read it, see if I still like it, if I still thought the same. And I hoped that it has been long enough since the previous read that I didn't know the ending or some stuff. And I was right. I still had suspicions and I had the feeling I knew the ending, but I could read the book mostly without knowing the exact details. :)

Let me start with Leena. Ah, Leena. At times I liked her, at other times I just wanted to have her admitted to a mental hospital. This due to various things. Things I will put under a spoiler tag, I will continue talking about Leena's other things (that aren't spoiler), later. I first need to rant.
(view spoiler)
Leena had some good sides. She cares about people, tries to help out people. She is awesome with fixing stuff (be it cars or stuff in the house), and she is apparently smart enough to be at the school. I liked her at times, but sometimes she just was too much.

Next up is Celeste. I didn't like her at all. Her attitude was weird. At times she would be kind, but the next moment she would bitch. One moment she would want David and Leena to be together, but the next she would be rude and mean about it. Acting like Leena was only flirting with David because she needed a fuckbuddy. It was disgusting. And even with the ending and what happened there, I just couldn't and never will like Celeste. She was horrendous. And I hope she will get help, as she will need it.

David. David, David. I am not even sure what to think about the guy. He was an enormous siscon (a term often used in Japanese manga/anime, where the brother is overly obsessing about his sister), and I hated him for a big part of the book. I felt like he was only using Leena. To get information about his sister. He was just creepily overprotective, I wouldn't call it normal behaviour. Not at all.

Then we have Abby and Viv. I did like them, but at times I found them overly dramatic and overreacting to everything. Yes, things happened. Yes, she spend quite a time with her ROOMMATE, and yes, that must hurt your dear feelings, but to act so bitchy about it? No, just no. I also didn't like how they treated her after she accidentally spilled the beans about things and something big happened. Yes, it meant someone was punished, yes it meant that person had to leave. But sorry, he already had something going on, and he knew that going on that trip could mean him having to leave. Maybe now it was Leena, but they could also just have been busted, or someone else would have spilled their guts.

I didn't like the dean at all. I found her behaviour weird. At times she was overly friendly with Leena, acting more like a friend than a dean, but at other times she was a total general and barked at everything. Expected that Leena would come to her like a little puppy and spill the beans. Sorry, this is not how it should work.
Also the overreacting on that advice Leena gave to a girl who was new to the whole boarding school? Why is it that bad. The girl will have to be in that school, on campus for years, only going home occasionally. I don't see what is so bad about the advice to see your dorms as your home, and your parents house as that, your parents house. I don't see why the big fuss, it is a fantastic advice.

There was a lot of drama in the book, at times just too much and too distracting. But, there were also enough creepy times, times that gave me goosebumps. And those times are also a reason why I gave the book a higher rating. Without the creepiness and the feeling that something is haunting them, I would have rated the book quite a bit lower.

I did like the setting and how everything is described. I could just imagine the campus, the school and Frost House.

The ending was decent, but it left me unsatisfied. I felt like it was over too soon and without much of an explanation. I wish it was explained more, or if there had been a big scene (yes, there was a big scene, but I meant more that things were exposed. That we would truly find out what happened in the house).

All in all, I would still recommend the book. It was a good book, and I had fun reading it.

Review first posted at http://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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review 2014-07-30 00:00
Frost
Frost - Marianna Baer

tl;dr |✭✭✩✩✩| I wasn't impressed by this book. I didn't find it scary, nor did i find it suspenseful. The haunted element was very under-done, and overall it was just... blah. 


Description Leena goes to boarding school, and one day in her Junior year she stumbles across Frost house and instantly feels a connection. She talks her principal into turning it into a girl's dorm (instead of a boys dorm), and her senior year she ends up as a member of frost house with her two best friends... and one unexpected dorm mate. Leena isn't thrilled Celeste will be staying with them, especially in Leena's room, but when she's assured it will only be for the semester she decides to make the best of it. As classes begin, strange things start happening in Frost house, especially around Celeste. These strange happenings start sparking resentment between Celeste and her housemates, and while Leena tries to resolve things peacefully more and more odd occurrences continue to happen. Is it Celeste's attention craving efforts, or is it something more? 


I love horror movies. And maybe I've just watched so many that I've got a high scare tolerance. This book wasn't scary. Nothing blatantly scary happens ever. It wasn't even creepy. Sometimes, I'll read something that isn't scary but it does have a creepy feel and a nice tension and anxiety about it. But unfortunately, this book had none of those things for me. 


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So the character development wasn't really there. There's Leena and Celeste, and Celeste's brother... but then the other two girls - Leena's best friends, they are completely forgettable. Why are they best friends? Where is the friendship that makes them want to live together in this old house to begin with? It hardly seems like its there at all, it wasn't really fleshed out. So when the friendships started falling apart (as they do in the horror genre), I didn't really get any sense of despair or loss. 


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I also felt the romance between Celeste's brother and Leena was... forgettable. I don't know. I get Leena's reasoning for not wanting a relationship (totally in that boat right now myself), but when she finally does cave and end up starting a relationship with him it was kind of lackluster. It wasn't memorable. I mean, I can't remember any moments where I thought "awww!" And as for the haunting thing. Nothing really happens. Celeste has trouble sleeping, and her stuff gets kinda thrown around (except Leena never sees it get thrown except once, its just found strewn across the room), then she gets mysterious bruises. And Leena is hypnotized by the closet. And thats about it.


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There really wasn't any tension or budding anxiety ever. No suspense. It was just weird, then all the sudden the big finale happens and then thats about it. Reasonable explanations are found and thats about it. I was rather let down and hoped for better, but sadly it just wasn't scary and the story wasn't good enough to make up for that fact. 

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review 2013-08-04 00:00
Frost - Marianna Baer Pros:* Gothic style novel* Boarding schools* Who's the real crazyCons:* I don't really have any...The writing in this debut novel is eloquent, the plot twists are tight, and everything comes to light in the end, or does it?I kept thinking about [b:The Turn of the Screw|12948|The Turn of the Screw|Henry James|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327909344s/12948.jpg|990886] while reading this, which makes sense as it is the quintessential gothic horror novel. I also love that even though Leena is the narrator, she becomes increasingly unreliable throughout the novelIt's so hard to talk about this book without giving it away, but at the same time it's the kind of novel you want all your friends to read so you can discuss plot points and theories. For example, at first I was a little disappointed that the answer was carbon monoxide poisoning, but then the author set up the counterbalance that maybe the poisoning was the houses way of keeping Leena.
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