by Alex Bell
‘ “I hear them in there” Lilias had said, “scratching at the glass, trying to get out…” ‘ Loc 1069
Title: Frozen Charlotte
Author: Alex Bell
Published by: Stripes Publishing
Genre: (older)YA, Mystery, Horror, Ghost story
Rating: 5 Voodoos
We’re waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.
When I was younger, I had two china dolls that sat on my shelf in my bedroom. They had delicate features and gorgeous clothing and I thought they were the most beautiful things I had ever seen. But one day my mum bought a third doll for me to make. I had to put the stuffing in the body and attach the legs, arms and head. But for some reason this doll always scared me. Maybe it was the fact that she had no clothes and I could see that she wasn’t complete, or maybe it was that her limbs weren’t at quite the right angle or that they hung loosely at her sides rather than being stiff like the other two (because I was only 10 when I made her and didn’t know how to correct this). Whatever the reason, I didn’t finish her and she ended up in a box on top of my wardrobe and I always felt a little uneasy knowing she was there. That’s why this book scared the hell out of me!
This book was such a surprise. I don’t know why but I didn’t expect it to be as creepy as it was! As a book aimed at young adults, I expected it to be predictable and basically toned down, but it wasn’t. I think the fact that it starts with a very realistic, modern and everyday scene at a coffee shop with two teenagers messing around with a Ouija board app on their phone, made it seem more real. It was something I could laugh at and say, well that’s just a silly app and then when her best friend dies, I started to feel that chill, that ‘is it all just coincidental or is this for real’ feeling you get when watching a good horror movie. It reminded me of The Woman in Black (the Daniel Radcliffe film). It was so detailed and hauntingly beautiful, that I had goosebumps all over and I was jumping at every little noise…… especially when the wind started banging at my window!
After her friends death, Sophie (the main character) goes to stay with her relatives on the island of Skye in the hopes of finding answers as she believes his death is related to the death of her cousin, Rebecca. It is here that we met the Frozen Charlottes, the creepy little porcelain dolls that whisper in the night and torture the innocent.
‘ “…I agree with you, I think Rebecca’s Frozen Charlotte dolls are creepy too… What is it that you don’t like about them?”…
“I don’t like it when they move around at night” ‘ 29%
I loved every minute of Frozen Charlotte, it was well paced and gripping and had some brilliant twists! It’s going to be a while before I can look out a window while it’s dark outside, just in case I see little white doll hands scratching to get in!