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Monday, 27 June 2011

Irena's Review: The Truth about Celia Frost

Author: Paul Rawthorne
Release date: 1st August 2011
Genre: Thriller
Target audience: 12+
UK Publisher: Usborne

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. 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 alie. A buried secret; a gripping manhunt; a dangerous deceit: what is the truth about Celia Frost?

Irena's Review:
The Truth about Celia Frost is an intriguing and gripping thriller that explores ethical questions and makes one wonder if, in order to achieve something good, bad things can be excused and forgotten.

Celia Frost, a fourteen-year-old girl with striking red hair, has spent her entire life worrying about not cutting herself on anything sharp. She has a disorder that may cause her to bleed to death because of a tiny cut. She feels imprisoned and her mom makes them move to a different place every few months. After fourteen years of moving around and staying isolated from people, Celia just wants to be normal and not seen as a freak. She wants to wear friends and not worry about bleeding to death. But one day, when she receives her first cut and does not die, Celia is shocked, but also begins to think. She wants to know the truth and she wants to know why her mom won't answer any of her logical questions. As Celia begins her quest to discover the truth about her condition, someone else is determined to find her. After all the hiding and safety precautions, Celia suddenly finds herself in the middle of danger.

This was a very suspenseful and thrilling read. Discovering the truth about Celia was definitely an exciting, as well as a shocking journey that made me think about certain ethical issues. Reading about the person trying to find Celia was very intense. The author definitely created a proper atmosphere for a thriller. There is a shocking mystery, and a very intense atmosphere. Celia is a great heroine for such a novel. She is young and inexperienced, yearning to be normal. When she gets her chance at normalcy and begins to break free, evenfinding her very first best friend in a boy named Sol, her life begins to fall apart. In many ways, Celia is a normal teenager with typical teenage problems: she can't see eye to eye with her mom. But in many ways, Celia is extraordinary. Celia and her mother don't fight about normal family things.Celia is not a normal teenager; she is very special and who she is makes her both very vulnerable and dangerous.

I love the way this novel is organized. It begins with an intense eventthat is a shocker. Then, the reader gets the chance to see Celia evolve, experience her first happy moments with a friend and learning some things for the first time, like swimming. But in the background, there is always the reminder that Celia is a wanted girl and someone is going at great lengths to find her. A chapter describing Celia having fun with Sol is followed by a chapter describing her pursuer finding clues and coming closer to her. Then, the climax happens and the tension persists until almost the last page. I loved that.

The characters are enjoyable, although some are stock characters. But what I truly enjoyed was the issue of ethics. I cannot say anything specific about it, but the book definitely puts to mind the way scientists behave in a god-like manner nowadays, doing things that cannot be excused. At the heart of the novel is the question: can bad things be overlooked for the sake of a greater good? I think this issue was really well explored. So, this novel does not only provide the reader with entertainment; it also tackles a serious issue and makes one think.

I liked the ending, but I still had a question or two at the end of the book, so perhaps the ending could do with a bit more work. However, I loved theway everything fell into place.

This is a highly enjoyable thriller that offers both excitement and foodfor thought. Definitely recommended for lovers of thrillers, and for readers who like a good drama that makes them question things.

Becky says: What an engaging review, Irena. Even without you revealing the nature of the ethical dilemma explored, I can see that this is a book which makes you question values and choices. In my mind that is what all great books do: they make you think and have a dialogue with the story unfolding before you. Glad you enjoyed it.
Both our thanks go to Usborne for sending the book to review.


Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Ooh I like the sound of this.

Fiona said...

I have just finished reading this and frankly found it a little predictable and simplistic. It started out well but oh I don't know didn't quite make it for me.

Pepca said...

I guess this book raises some intriguing issues. Sounds good for when you want to think. Great review!

Bookworm1858 said...

Sounds really good; I'm already on the edge of my seat just from the description. Can't wait to find out who's seeking Celia Frost.

Phanee said...

Ethical issues? Scientists? Rare disorder that can lead to death from a slightest cut? (Which sounds like haemophilia to me) I have to say I am intrigued. I want to know the truth about Celia Frost!

Great review Irena! I always love your analyses! :)