Friday, March 28, 2014


Rose Hathaway is trying to move on. The events of the last few months were draining and Rose is trying to get on track, move forward with her training, and forget about Dmitri, who has obviously moved on. A high profile and uncommonly bold strigoi attack has everyone on edge and guardians flood St. Vladimir's, including Rose's mother. The school isn't taking any chances and makes the skiing trip to Idaho mandatory to keep the students together while allowing their parents to come visit them. Lissa is very busy with her new boyfriend and Dmitri is also busy with Tasha, so Rose decides to have some fun and ignore them. After yet another strigoi attack happens that directly affects one of the students, leading three of Rose's classmates going on a crusade after the strigoi. Feeling responsible because she told them the location, Rose follows them to get them to come home. Hopefully Rose will get there before they've gotten themselves into bigger trouble than they can handle.

Frostbite is steeped in a lot of teen drama, but Rose rises above it and develops so much since the first book. Instead of stupidly running to fight a whole gang of Strigoi, she's the voice of reason, trying to get her foolish friends to wake up and come home. After her up close and personal experience with a Strigoi, it has put her abilities and skills into perspective. Just because they are exceptional for guardian students doesn't mean they are any match for superpowered evil vampires. Rose is less of a daredevil, but her personality is as fiery as ever. She's the same Rose with a little more sense and caution. Rose tries to move on and forget about Dmitri because their relationship goes against both of their goals as guardians. She tries to make it work with Mason, which is nice, but ultimately unsatisfying. She deals with a lot of stresses: jealousy over Dmitri and Tasha, jealousy over Lissa and Christian, and anger at her mom. Although there are some missteps, Rose deals with all of these impressively.

The relationship between Rose and Lissa is strong, but changing. Lissa has a new boyfriend and platonic relationships change and adjust to accommodate in the face of new love. I experienced this as a teen and it can be hard, so Rose's feelings rang true to me. My friendship at the time didn't survive that change, but I'm glad Rose and Lissa's did. Rose gives the lovebirds some space and tries to amuse herself, but it's difficult when strong emotions can cause her to see through Lissa's eyes. Awkward! Unfortunately, to distract herself she befriends drunkard and playboy Adrian, making others judge her harshly as slutty or stupid. Of course Adrian isn't judged as harshly and his behavior is expected for a rich Moroi young man. Frostbite only marginally explores the sexist double standards in vampire society, but I'm glad it continued at all.

Frostbite is awesome. It develops the characters and relationships while amping up the volume on the suspense and horror. The ending is heartbreaking and extremely memorable. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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