Review – Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell
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.
Publisher – Stripes Publishing
Date Published – 5th January 2015
Pages – 352 pages
Format – Ebook / Kindle Edition
Category – UK YA / YA Horror
I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful publishers, Stripes Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way. Thank you both for sending me this book to read and review.
** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**
Frozen Charlotte is one of two books released this new year in January as part of the new YA Horror Red Eye Series by Stripes Publishing with three more titles to come in 2015. I have read and reviewed some others in the series – Flesh & Blood – here and Bad Bones – here. I have also been lucky enough to have some fab guest posts from Alex Bell, author of Frozen Charlotte – here and Simon Cheshire, author of Flesh & Blood – here and a Q&A with Dark Room author Tom Becker here
I love a creepy and scary read and Frozen Charlotte was really spine chillingly creepy. As some of you may already know I used to love the 90’s Point Horror series when I was a teenager as well as being a huge fan of James Dawson and I am excited about the whole premise of a new UK YA Horror series with a contemporary makeover that will leave me wanting to collect and read the rest in the series. For me, Frozen Charlotte did exactly that.
You can find the original press release and more information on the fantastic Red Eye series here.
You can see the creepy Red Eye Series book trailer below….if you dare!
Frozen Charlotte is set in a creepy old school house on a cliff on an isolated windy island where Sophie, our main character, finds hunting for answers about her cousin Rebecca’s death a dangerous, creepy affair! What’s more before Rebecca died she used to play with some small dolls she found in the house called Frozen Charlotte dolls and as well as looking creepy they may just be alive!
The start of this book gives us a chilling prologue set in the past many years before Rebecca’s death and gives us a short but spine chilling insight into what the reader should expect from this book and reading this late at night sent a shiver down my spine.
Sophie’s story begins in a café in her hometown where her best friend Jay play with a Ouija board with a difference – on a mobile phone app. Sophie decides to suggest contacting her dead cousin Rebecca Craig who died in a mysterious accident at Sophie’s Uncles house in Scotland. Sophie finds the whole thing rather funny. Even the messages on the Ouija App like Black Sand, Daddy Says Never Leave The Gate Open and Charlotte Is Cold do little to convince her of a ghostly presence answering their questions. That is until a scary moment happens in the café which changes Sophie’s life forever and leads her to go and stay with her Uncle in Scotland to find out the truth.
Upon arriving on the island we get to meet Sophie’s Uncle and cousins. There’s mysterious musician Cameron, beautiful bubbly, Piper with her own unique way of making lemonade and sad cartilogenophobe (scared of bones) younger cousin Lilias who say the dolls talk to her! Sophie, our main character, is a strong and brave main character who reminded me a little of Neve Campbell in the Scream movies. I also want her sheep pyjamas and unicorn onesie as they just sound all kinds of fabulous!
As well as the main characters there are Frozen Charlotte Dolls….lots of them…and yes they are very creepy! There is also a African Grey Parrot who gave me as a reader a little light relief mainly due to his inappropriate timing of saying things like “There’s Blood Under The Rug” which along with mysterious icy hands and mysterious laughing in the house made me wish I had not started this book in a quiet house at night!
There are some classic horror movie scenes in this book and I could easily see this book being made into a film. For me the best most scary scene which I could actually picture myself hiding behind a cushion watching was where one of the characters hears something and goes to investigate! In the Dark! With only a camera flash to light her way illuminating the horror unfolding before her! I was terrified!
Now I have to admit I have never heard of a Frozen Charlotte doll. I recognised the description, but never knew that that is what they were called. Whilst reading this book I looked up a description of them. Why oh why did I do this? Finding the description, the pictures and finding out that the story Alex Bell tells about the actual Frozen Charlotte is a real folk ballad and the story behind it is exactly as described by Alex in the book terrified the life out of me. But remember I like to be scared! *Cries for Mommy….I mean pfffttt me not scared never!*
Find out more about Frozen Charlotte Dolls here or about the cautionary tale concerning a young girl called Charlotte who refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride to a New Years Eve Ball, but upon arriving at the ball, her fiancé discovers that she has frozen to death during the journey called the Fair Charlotte Ballad here.
I really liked this book and one thing I loved about this book was all of the chapters begin with a short rhyming poem that tell the story of the actual Frozen Charlotte through the Fair Charlotte Ballad. Along with the descriptions of the stick needles in your eyes Frozen Charlotte dolls throughout the book it really sets the tone and it was really creepy. The climatic ending got my heart racing and had a Point Horror style twist that was perfect.
Alex Bell has done such a fantastic job with this book. I honestly will be telling everyone to give it a try and I will be reading the next books in the Red Eye Series. Its not that scary…just quite creepy with a real horror movie vibe and I really would recommend it to any YA Horror fans alike or any one looking for something different to read. Even if your too scared for horror….give it a go…you don’t want the Frozen Charlotte Dolls after you do you?
Also check out my creepy interview with a twist with a Frozen Charlotte Doll here!
I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!
You can buy a copy of Frozen Charlotte here
Or why not checkout the other titles in the Red Eye Series here
Check out a creepy Q&A with Alex Bell here
A Twilight Zone related guest post by Alex Bell here
Or a Guest post about Point Horror and Haunted Houses here
Have you read this book or any of the other books in the Red Eye Series? What did you think? Are you a fan of YA Horror? Do you think you will give this book a go after reading this review? I would love to hear from you – please leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or why not tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!
Happy Creepy Reading