Title: The Truth About Celia Frost
Author: Paula Rawsthorne
Publication date: August 1, 2011
Length: 342 pages
Genre: Contemporary / Thriller
Age group: Young Adult
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Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository
Celia Frost is a freak. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. Her life is ruled by a rare disorder that means she could bleed to death from the slightest cut, confining her to a gloomy bubble of ‘safety’. No friends. No fun. No life.
But when a knife attack on Celia has unexpected consequences, her mum reacts strangely – and suddenly they’re on the run. Why is her mum so scared? Someone out there knows. And when they find Celia, she’s going to wish the truth was a lie. A buried secret, a gripping manhunt, a dangerous deceit… What is the truth about Celia Frost?
The Truth About Celia Frost is without a doubt one of those books that grabbed my attention even after reading the synopsis. I don’t know why but I seem to like books where the main character has some sort of an illness – whether it’s a contemporary novel with a more emotional approach or a paranormal/thriller one with an element of mystery. Celia Frost belongs to the latter category. I had high expectations for this one and although it didn’t let me down, for me something was still missing.
What I liked about this book the most was the whole concept – I know I’m not the only one who’s getting fed up with all the zombie/vampire books out there. There are so many similar books nowadays that sometimes when I pick up a YA book, it’s almost as if I already read it before. Concept-wise, Celia Frost is nothing like that. I’ve never read anything like this before and even though I’ve heard about this illness before, I haven’t actually read any books about it. Rawsthorne certainly did a great job with the main idea: it’s unique, very clever and well-researched.
On the plot level, the book has everything you need for a gripping young adult novel: a cute male protagonist, tension within the family, action, great friendship, danger, you name it. I love the fact that it’s not one of those sappy, over the top stories where the cute guy falls in love with the cute girl and even though they go through a lot, they live happily ever after. Sol, the male protagonist is everything but over the top. He really is a nice guy and I would be really happy if he was my friend. I just love their friendship, the way he looks after Celia and tries to help her live a normal life. Reading about the time they spent together was definitely one of the best parts of the story.
As much as I wanted to love this book, there were still a few things I didn’t really like. As for the plot itself, even though I enjoyed it most of the time, for me it was a little bit predictable. You know that feeling when you’re watching an action-packed film where the good guy gets into trouble but you still know s/he will win in the end? Or when you’re watching a horror film and someone’s heading towards an alley on a deserted street (in the dark) and you already know what’s coming. That’s what happened to me a lot of times while I was reading this book. I don’t know whether it has something to do with the fact that it was written for a younger audience or not but most of the time I had an idea about what would happen next and it did. I loved the concept and the twist (i.e. the story behind Celia’s illness), it just didn’t WOW me as much as I think it would.
However, it definitely was a fast-paced story and all in all, I quite liked it. If you’re looking for something you’ve never read before, something with a twist then The Truth About Celia Frost is your best choice.