bell_frozen-charlotte This is one of a series of books published under the ‘Red Eye’ banner from Little Tiger/Stripes Publishing and aimed at young adults. I picked this one up for my amazing niece (youngest of the two by 12 minutes) while I was visiting her in Sydney. It’s a mixture of Gothic mystery and horror, but also a contemporary story that greatly appealed to her. As she has a lot more experience than I do in this genre, I have asked her to review this for Fedora. So, now, it’s over to Frozencharlotte12, for her first ever blog post.

After reading this, don’t forget tomorrow to check out the other reviews posted as part of Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.

Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted to 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 Lilias with her fear of bones, and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true.

And then there’s the other girl.

The girl with the room full of antique dolls.
The girl that shouldn’t be there.
The girl that died.

And that is the blurb of the chilling, creepy, murderous book that rattled the insides of me. This is an excellent book that I highly recommend to any reader. Well, by any reader, I mean anyone willing to read a book that will leave you with nightmares for at least a week. By ‘any reader’ I mean someone over fourteen years of age. Which, unfortunately for me, I am two years below this age restriction that I set for later readers of this book. Sigh.

I loved this book for its attention to detail of every ounce of pain, sorrow and helplessness, and how it emphasises the feelings of all the characters. The book gives you thoughts like, ‘Would Piper really do that?’ or ‘How did all of the families’ minds become so twisted and horrible?”

This book puts a perfect image in my head for every scene I read, and I truly believe I am with Sophie in the horrible world of the Craig family and its disasters. It really puts you in the shoes of our characters, and for that I admire Alex Bell.

A fantastic read that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I would definitely recommend this to all readers looking for a good scare and a murder mystery! Five out of five stars!

For more about the author, visit her home page at For more details about this and other books in the Red Eye series, and Bell’s follow-up, The Haunting, visit the publisher’s homepage at:


***** (5 fedora tips out of 5)

This entry was posted in Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gothic, Scotland and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to FROZEN CHARLOTTE by Alex Bell

  1. frozencharlotte12 says:

    thanks for the mention sergio!! hope everyone that reads the review is encouraged to give the book a try…. its truly amazing!! have fun bloggers!!

  2. Margot Kinberg says:

    What a great review! And it certainly sounds like a terrific keep-you-up-reading sort of book. Glad you enjoyed it so well.

  3. Colin says:

    It’s great to see a new generation of Fedora stepping up to the plate and drawing attention to material many will be unaware of. I also like to see enthusiasm for this type of YA fiction as, although it’s obviously not aimed at the likes of me, it shows a healthy market and therefore interest in reading, and in particular reading mysteries, among young people.

    • I’ve really not tried the YA market much so was really glad to hear what she had to say on it – and really glad she liked it too! Next week her sister will be reviewing a bit of classic Agatha Christie …

      • Colin says:

        Excellent! Your influence is clearly having a positive effect.
        On the YA stuff, I do feel it’s very important that reading and enjoying fiction stays healthy and strong among young people. Whatever encourages that, and the book sounds like the kind of gripping page turner I would have been drawn to myself at a similar age, is well worth highlighting.

        • I am fascinated by how many readers of my age are reading books from that genre – I reckon it all started with age-specific edition of Harry Potter, but HUNGER GAMES may be more of an influence (I just thought it was a bit too much like Logan’s Run to be honest …).

          • Colin says:

            Yes, I’ve seen this too. It’s not something I’ve done myself – my to read pile (like its friend and rival the to watch pile) is too formidable as it stands. Again, I don’t think it matters as long as people are reading.

          • Yes, I agree, whatever gets you the bug, all that matters when you’re starting. My nieces get through books at a truly formidable speed though!

  4. realthog says:

    I trust that frozencharlotte12 will remain a permanent feature here . . .

  5. Great review! This is def on my list now!
    Its so funny that this is your first post back, as I have a 12 year old step sister who is getting into reading crime and was thinking of asking her to write up a review of the ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ series by Robin Stevens which she is just starting. That’s a YA crime series with some great plots and locked rooms. I recommend it to FrozenCharlotte2!

  6. Sergio, your niece writes well — this is such a fine review! I’m tempted to read this book too. I’ll never be too old to read YA.

  7. tracybham says:

    Your niece wrote a great review, Sergio, and she is braver than I to read such a scary book. I look forward to more from frozencharlotte12.

  8. Oh, dear. There goes my carefully constructed reading list. Now I need to read this because of your review. But only during the daytime. It’s obviously not a book to be read after dark.

  9. Paula Carr says:

    I loved these types of books when I was a young adult, and this review definitely made me want to read this one. Good job, Frozencharlotte12!

  10. 5 fedora tips out of 5 means I’ll track down a copy of Alex Bell’s FROZEN CHAROLOTTE and read it soon. Thanks for the heads up!

  11. First, welcome back. When you go walkabout, there’s a hill in the blog schedule.

    Fine review by your niece, well written and rounded, making the book sound most intriguing. If I were a horror reader, I’d certainly want to try it. Thanks very much.

  12. Welcome back from me as well, Sergio. 🙂 Terrific review – maybe your niece is a future blogger or novelist? Time will tell. This book sounds like a good frightening read. Occasionally I get in the mood for that, so I’m adding the title to my TBR list.

  13. Jerry House says:

    Alas, neither FROZEN CHARLOTTE nor anything by Alex Bell is available from my library. I’ll be looking for it elsewhere because of this great review.

    Helpful hint for frozencharlotte12: My wife used to read the real scary books in the bathtub (fully clothed) because then nothing could sneak up behind her. She felt it was safer.

    • Jerry, I felt the same way! The truly horrifying YA books really get to me, and i keep thinking something or someONE is going to creep up on me and kill me or something! One time i got scared of my own reflection in the mirror… I made my twin sleep in my room for a few nights! hope the next readers of this book don’t feel as scared as i did….. D:

    • I wonder if this works on the shower.. I’ll let you know 😀

  14. Matt Paust says:

    You come up with the most unusual books, Sergio. I’m scared not just from reading your review!

  15. neer says:

    Rather late in the day but welcome back Sergio. I loved this review by your niece. The book seems very interesting.

  16. Great review, but the book sounds terrifying. This young woman is very brave, taking this book on for the rest of us. There’s a real place called Dunvegan – I once went on holiday there, I didn’t know how dangerous it was!
    Excellent move, Sergio – getting in some young talent with an eye to the future.

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