Frostbite by Richelle Mead
327 pages, paperback
Published on April 10, 2008
Summary: Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…
It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if handto- hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks….This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.
But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…
Okay, so I know I keep changing the format on my reviews, but bear with me. I'm not going to do the whole overview, character, plot, writing style paragraphs anymore, but just a straight review. I might go back, but that format just wasn't working recently. Tell me if you think I should go back or if you like the new style. Oh, and also, the ratings are not an average of all the scores. Sometimes its higher/lower/the same, but the overall is just what I would've given the book.
My thoughts: After Vampire Academy, which I enjoyed but didn't love, my expectations weren't too terribly high for Frostbite. Rose seemed too immature, Dimitri seemed too mature, and Lissa didn't seem to really appreciate Rose's sacrifices for her. But in Frostbite a lot of the characters grew, in my opinion. Rose was still childish, but she seemed more focused and less easily distracted. I liked how Dimitri called her out on her childishness, even thought it kind of bugged me how he took it back later because he felt bad. Dimitri is still hands-down my favorite character, mostly because of his maturity and how wise he really is. And, okay, because of his smoking Russian accent. Confession time: I briefly rooted for team Adrian after his entrance. I suppose I just have a thing for boys with bad reps. But anyways, I like how the love stories played out, even though Rose having so many pursuers made me briefly hate her. I mean, jeez, she's got a mouth on her, and they still come running. But anyways, I didn't really like Lissa any more, since it still seems to me she takes for granted that Rose will take care of her. But she seemed more privy to Rose's feelings in this book, which I hope with develop farther. Christian was snarky as usual, and I ate it up again. Like I said, I like boys with attitude.
Okay, this paragraph's gonna have a spoiler, so skip to the next one if you haven't read Frostbite or Vampire Academy yet. I really loved Mason since book one, and it made me really sad to see him gone. I know Rose didn't love him back, but I thought it was an interesting twist on the whole romance angle, and I'm disappointed it didn't really go to far. But at least Rose hadn't broken his heart before he died.
The story really took a lot of twists and turns in this installment. Unlike Vampire Academy, most of them surprised me a lot, and I read this book in one night because it was so intense and action-packed. And oh, my God, the romance was knee-buckling again. I love Dimitri and Rose's tumultuous relationship, even though they both get a little carried away sometimes. Rose's writing gets more than a little dramatic sometimes, which sometimes made me laugh and sometimes made me roll my eyes. But I have a new appreciation for Rose's lack of tact. I complain a lot that protagonists keep quiet and don't speak their mind when they should. Rose Hathaway is definitely not quiet, and I kind of loved her for that. No matter what's happening, she throws in her two cents, and that's a great quality, especially in a novel like this.
The Strigoi still don't freak me out too much, since they seem to be so easily dispatched. But Frostbite made them a little creepier and I was scared for all of the characters' (well, except Rose; she is the protagonist of the whole series) lives a whole lot during this novel. That was probably the best asset: since I'm still not totally engrossed in the series, making everything so suspenseful helped me connect with the characters more. I also really like the whole magic thing. Mia had her bright spot and I hope she doesn't become Rose's enemy again; I really actually like her character now. Also, I loved Rose and her mom's whole dilemma. At first I totally saw through Rose's eyes and hated her, but she quickly became human and I felt bad for her. Mead does a good job of making her characters three-dimensional, that's for sure.
Okay, so even though this series still isn't at the top of my TBR pile, I'm really starting to get into it. I can't honestly see how Frostbite could have been better, except for maybe the annoying repetition Mead sometimes falls into. It annoyed me just a bit how she would show and then tell the same thing. But other than that, the writing was good and felt like a teenage girl, er, Dhampir, with a lot on her plate. The characters rounded out and the story was fast, action-filled, and exciting. I'm not going to rave about it, but I applaud Mead for making vampire books look slightly less dull. She certainly has brought diversity to a way over-done subject matter.
Cover: 5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Overall: 5 stars