Welcome to Forgotten Fridays. This mission of this feature is, twice a month, to review books that are more than a year old. And we review them TOGETHER! Most reviews have minor spoilers because it is hard to block them out in a back and forth dialogue about a book. So keep that in mind when reading, though we do try to not mention anything that would ruin a book for anyone.
There are actually some minor spoilers in the post as we felt it was imperative to discuss specific elements of the book, particularly the ending. So if you still intend to read this, keep it in mind. While we don’t spoil it outright, there may be enough clues for you to figure it out.
This week Lyn and Bekka tackle Frostbite by Richelle Mead.
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 hand-to-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...
Lyn: MADE IT
Bekka: I had to rush home from IHOP (pumpkin pancakessss!) I had an idiot waitress who took fifteen minutes just to give us our check. BUT I’M HERE.
Lyn: It gave me extra time to finish the book (I seriously started this thing on Tuesday. I am bad bad bad).
Bekka: So what did you think? Better than the first book?
Lyn: YES! SO MUCH BETTER! And I didn’t even strongly dislike the first one! I just thought it could have been more.
Bekka: I knew I wanted to keep reading the series when I finished VA, but Frostbite really amped it up for me. I’ve only been waiting to continue on because I didn’t want to get the books mixed up during our chats.
Lyn: So are we finishing the series for FF? That would be kinda funny.
Bekka: We don’t have to, but if you want, I definitely wouldn’t object.
Lyn: We might have to do that. I am collecting the entire UK cover set, and I am just two away from completing the set. So I (almost) have all of them.
I’m getting off track. Okay! The book! Well, I saw a HUGE improvement in every department for the series in Frostbite. I liked Rose quite a bit more, and I found that Lissa works better as a concept character. Also, I finally just give up and totally admit my crush for Dmitri. WHOA.
Bekka: Yes! I loved Dimitri in VA, and I still love him in Frostbite, even though he is MADDENING with his back-and-forth feelings for Rose.
Lyn: You know, it worked for me. I love a guy character that has to be won over. The brooding, behind-a-wall attitude is really my cup of cocoa when it comes to male protagonist. I am all for the hard-to-get guys. I love them. That is why I found him even more appealing in this book. I loved how he held back everything, just to see tiny little moments crop up. So damn sexy.
Bekka: Definitely agree. It was the best kind of maddening. Half of my shipping always happens during the will-they-won’t-they stage. And speaking of awesome male characters, we can’t ignore Adrian.
Lyn: There is quite a bit of heat that gets handed out to triangles, but I like them, when they have a nice execution. I think that this one is going to work out. I was really disappointed about the entire Mason-Rose-Dimitri triangle, since it seemed so formulaic, but this one adds a little more appeal, since the two guys are not out-and-out polar opposites. I am really looking forward to this little trio of trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Mason, and I like that Rose was giving another guy a shot….Well, okay, I take it back. I did like triangle even in this one. I like that it felt more realistic than other triangles. I could see this one actually happening in real life.
Bekka: While I agree that the situation would totally happen in real life (you know, minus the vampires) I wasn’t really a fan of Mason as a romantic partner. Mostly because Rose was clearly not into and it felt like she was forcing herself to like him and to even make out with him. It make me vaguely uncomfortable and I’d rather have her pining over Dimitri than making herself do something she didn’t want to do. I am a fan of triangles though, even if everyone else hates them, and I hoping for a little of that back and forth with Adrian.
Lyn: I can see where you are coming from. I could see how it was working. She is young and learning about relationships, and I think she was just very lonely. I like that there are just a whole lot of mistakes happening, and it makes this series very enthralling. It was uncomfortable with the forced feelings, but Rose did care for him, and I like that she still had feelings for Mason, just not romantic feelings. It was just beautiful. So many times, a love triangle ends with someone getting burned and pushed away, but I like that Mead wrote a female character that has something deeper than friendship for the third wheel. It was very refreshing.
LOL – are we going to talk about the romance for the entire conversation? Hell, you could write an entire book about the romantic relationships in the novels.
Bekka: Hahaha, I have a lot of feelings about these ships! But moving on, another thing I liked about Frostbite was how it humanized the other characters, especially Mia. Before, Mia was kind of a caricature of a mean girl, but not a real character. Now that we really get to know her, we get to see the lonely, broken side of her. She develops into a real person and not just a faceless enemy. I don’t particularly like her, still, but she was kind of kickass at the end there.
Lyn: Oh, what happened with Mia was just WONDERFUL! Thank you, THANK YOU for a writer who actually gives some meat to the “arch enemy.” It made the story just raise up to a whole new level. Also, fleshing out Christian was a wonderful advancement, and I actually found myself growing very fond of him. It was nice to see Rose’s mom make an entrance as well. I don’t know how 328 pages gave more life to a large range of secondary characters, but it did. I feel that this is the proper way to treat your sophomore novel in a series. It should focus on the dynamics of everyone around the main character.
Bekka: Yes! This relatively short book packed in a ton of detail about the characters, even introducing new ones, and all without sacrificing the plot, too. I loved getting to see a clearer picture of the Strigoi and actually watch Rose in action (even if it ended… disastrously.) That ending seriously threw me. I wasn’t expecting it and I cried like a baby.
Lyn: I guessed most of the ending due to the verbiage used before the climax, but it didn’t make it any easier. When Rose goes through her ceremony, I honestly teared up and I got very misty. The rawness of the final chapters really impressed me, then depressed me. It was amazing, emotional, and it was one of the most bittersweet moments in a book that I have ever read. Really, watching some of those teachers and guardians accept and surround Rose after the action made me weepy. It was so dramatic, in a good way.
Bekka: It was a really moving scene. One of my favorite things about this series so far is that it focuses on the different types of love. Of course, there was the romance, but there is also the bond between Lissa and Rose, Moroi and Guardian; the camaraderie of the guardians together, and the friendship between the novices; AND Rose navigating her relationship with her mother.
Lyn: It was lovely. You also hit the nail on the head. This book is about the different bonds and relationships between different people. You all don’t have to like one another, but you should be civil towards each other. The message in the book was astounding.