Tween Review: Touch Of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Gwen Frost is an outsider at Mythos Academy, a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword. Gwen is an outsider both to the students of the Academy and the rest of the world. But when her gift of psychometry – the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it reveals dark undercurrents and danger afoot, she has no choice but to get involved.
TOUCH OF FROST begins with a fascinating scene between the heroine and one of the beautiful “mean girls” at her new private boarding school. As the scene unfolds we discover that Gwen has a very special talent that enables her to know things about people or events simply by touching an object. As it happens, that ability hasn’t made her any friends at her new school. In fact, she is better known as the freak gypsy girl living among the elite offspring of mythological gods, warriors and other things of folklore. Regardless of her freak status, Gwen finds ways to use her talent to her benefit by hiring herself out to the rich kids to find things that they have lost. Sometimes the items were stolen and sometimes she discovers more about a person or event than she bargained for…
Gwen is one of those really easy to relate to characters. She isn’t necessarily the most beautiful or talented of all the girls. She is quite normal except for her unique ability. I like that. I mean, aren’t we all fairly normal but different in our own ways? Gwen is an individual who is somewhat geeky with her Comic book obsessions and doesn’t strive to be the fashionista…she is who she is and that is respectable.
Of course it wouldn’t be a teen read without a swoon worthy hunk and Jennifer Estep provides the perfect badboy that I couldn’t help but love….and want more of.
The mystery that is underneath all of the teenage angst and drama is really two part. First is the whodunnit factor of the murder on campus and why. That was pretty interesting even if it was a little easy to see where everything was going by the middle of the book, the way it was told through plot and character driven storylines kept me turning pages. The second mystery is really about Gwen and her heritage and some of this was uncovered through Gwen’s effort to find out about the murder and some told via flashbacks.
I really liked Gwen’s back story and though it isn’t fully flushed out, it answers many questions and leaves room for the imagination. There are also a lot of extras in the back of the book that are fun and entertaining like an author’s note on where the inspiration for The Mythos Academy came from and character notes.
All and all, I enjoyed TOUCH OF FROST. It has many of the things that I find fascinating and was certainly page-turning. My only complaint is that I am not sure how memorable the book is for me. With all the supernatural elements it is easy to compare the book to other popular YA series like House Of Night, Percy Jackson and even Darkness Becomes Her. As I write this it has been a few weeks since I read the book and I feel like the main heroine, Gwen Frost, is very memorable–but her adventures and the details of them not so much. So, the jury is still out for me on how awesome this book is. Time will tell and I look forward to finding out!