Verdict: If you can get into it, you won’t want to put it down.
Seventeen-year-old Anastasia Lockhart has never led an easy life, but when she starts getting into serious trouble, she’s sent to live with her grandparents in Cedar Falls. The small, picturesque town hasn’t changed since she visited four years ago, with one exception – the presence of a handsome, mysterious boy named Frost. Despite warnings from her grandparents and friends to stay away from Frost, Anastasia can’t deny their attraction, and the more time they spend together, the deeper in love they fall. Unfortunately, Frost has a secret that is beyond Anastasia’s wildest imagination, and she soon finds herself in the midst of a supernatural legend that has haunted Cedar Falls for years.
Can Anastasia and Frost’s love really overcome anything, or are their fates much darker?
The Rating Breakdown
Enjoyment: 3 Lots of brilliant sections. Uneven pace.
Writing Style: 3 Exposition, passive voice etc.
Plot: 4 Excellent twists, but could shuffle things around to improve pace and flow.
World & Concepts: 5 Clear, well-defined.
Characters: 5 A good mix, well-defined, relatable.
Finish: 5 Beautiful cover. No typos.
Strengths: Excellent climax.
Weakness: Writing style tells more than shows.
Anastasia is a good mix of relatable, strong, and likeable, with a slight rude streak but mostly a kind heart. Frost fulfils the typical mysterious, angry, protective love interest. They’re drawn to each other, but their love is forbidden... I think we both know what book this resembles.
It was the writing style that really got to me. Lots of exposition, and yet lots of missing details. So much of it could be improved just by showing rather than telling.
For example, the book starts by explaining why Anastasia's life is out of hand and she must live with her grandparents. It would have been so easy to start the book with Anastasia arrested for reckless behaviour, followed by an argument with her mother that results in sending her away. Readers would then get to see the Anastasia from beforehand, as well as actually meet the mother we hear so much about. Instead, we’re told it happened, and it’s just not the same.
I thought this a few times throughout the book, which is why I ended up reading it very s-l-o-w-l-y. I was enjoying it, yet I kept putting it down.
But I did keep picking it back up. What exactly was Frost up to? Why does Kate dislike him so much? How can Anastasia stop the villagers? It took me a while to get through the whole book, yet I couldn’t put it aside forever. I had to know what was going on.
Around three quarters of the way through, Anastasia and Frost run away together, and the book really kicks off. Countless twists, actions scenes, and emotionally fuelled revelations. The story grabbed me in its clutches where it previously had not.
It’s quite clear that this is book one of a series. There’s a slight hook at the end, but don’t worry, no cliff hanger. I’m not sure if I’ll read book 2, but book 1 was an enjoyable read overall.
Source: From author for a buddy read scheme.