“Thanks,” I said. “And thanks for holding my hand when the lights went out.” He gave me a sharp look. “I didn’t hold your hand.” A prickly feeling started to creep over my skin. “Yes, you did.”
**Trigger Warning** violence/gore/unsettling situations involving children and dolls
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 Lillias 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.
It was coming from the doll cabinet behind me. A frantic scratch, scratch, scratch, as if hundreds of tiny fingers were scrabbling and scraping over glass.
Frozen Charlotte was a type of china doll made during the Victorian era. Often she was baked into treats for fun and loved by many girls. You can read more about the history of the Frozen Charlotte dolls here. Today, collectors seek to get their hands on the remaining dolls. After reading Frozen Charlotte, I will not be adding one to my bookish collection.
Sophie, the main character, meets her best friend and they play with an Ouija board app. As any horror reader or watcher knows, this is not a good way to start off any story. This leads to the death of her friend, and Sophie questioning exactly what she saw that day. After the death of her best friend, Sophie goes to spend some time with her cousins, seeking answers. It was an interesting yet rough start, but the story flows after the first few chapters.
Sophie’s cousins live in a house that once was a school for girls. It closed after a series of tragic accidents and deaths. Like the house they live in, her cousins Cameron, Piper, and Lillias have secrets of their own. Cameron a burned hand, Piper is perfect, and Lillias is afraid of bones (including her own.) As time passes, Sophie digs deeper into the secrets held within the family. The more she uncovers, the more active the Frozen Charlotte dolls become. What seem like just whispers in the nights, turn to movements, then a full blown evil influence that cannot be stopped. Everything comes at a price, including the answers Sophie seeks.
Bell explores the creepiness of old dolls we all sense and weaves that fear with a dark and twisted cast of characters. You won’t soon forget Frozen Charlotte. By dark, I mean sibling violence, potential self harm, etc. Frozen Charlotte was a fun unsettling read. I enjoyed the unique twist and turns I likely will not find in another YA horror. Frozen Charlotte is not free of flaws, but still makes for a good book to pick up in the spooky season.
Should You Read Frozen Charlotte?
I enjoyed this dark YA horror. If you are looking for a YA horror, look no further than Frozen Charlotte. I would not recommend to the everyday reader.