Author: Jennifer Estep
Source: I bought it myself
From Goodreads: "My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died..."
My Opinion: Have you ever bought a book that sounded SO good and that everyone was totally loving on but for some reason didn't get around to reading it right away, and then when you finally did you can't figure out why you waited so long because you absolutely LOVED it? (Does that make any sense?) Well that's what happened with Touch of Frost! I have no idea why I haven't read it before now because I've been really psyched about it since I read the first promo for it - mythology, magic, and monsters? I was hooked from the beginning, but I kept getting books I had to read for review and as I'm sure you reviewers out there know, the books you want to read just for you can get pushed to the back of the bus. I finally just made myself take the time to read it and you know what? It only took me a day and a half because I couldn't put it down!! I loved it, loved it, loved it! Jennifer Estep is a goddess herself to me because of her ability to write in such a way that you fly through the book without realizing that you've totally lost a day or so in your life, and you don't mind at all because the book was totally worth it!
Gwen Frost loses her mother and her normal life at the same time. Her mother is killed by a drunk driver and she is taken out of her routine and plopped down in Mythos Academy, a place where the students and teachers actually believe that the gods and goddesses in the myths are real, and that the God of Chaos, Loki, is trying to escape from his prison to wreak havoc on the world that we live in. Nuts, no? Sure, Gwen has a gift, but it's a Gypsy gift, psychometry, which Gwen describes as the ability to touch an object and immediately know, see and feel its history, but in a school that is filled with Spartans, Valkyries and Amazons, she doesn't really stand out at all. Nor does she fit in at all. She has no friends because all the other students are rich, beautiful, powerful and pretty much full of themselves. They've also been trained to be warriors their whole lives, and Gwen can't figure out what the heck she's even doing there. No one will give her any answers either, they just keep telling her it will become clear in time. Extremely frustrating for a teenager!
One of my favorite things about this book is the world building. I've always loved mythology and reading about the gods and goddesses and such, and Jennifer Estep puts such a fun twist on it all. She really brings it to life for you, the reader, so much so that I really, really want to go to school there myself! The characters, other than Gwen, start out kind of two dimensional but are quickly fleshed out and come into their own personalities. There is definite character growth through the course of the book, especially with regard to Gwen, but some of the secondary characters really change a lot too. The pacing is excellent and the book is very easy to read. As noted above, I finished it in a day and a half, and with a hyperactive 6 year old at home who wants all of my attention, that's really saying something! I was constantly trying to find things for him to do just so I could pick up the book and read a few more pages! That hasn't happened to me with a book in a while, and I've really missed it! That NEED to read a book, because you've been so drawn into the story that you HAVE to find out what is going to happen next! I already have a copy of book 2 on my shelf waiting for me, and I'm going to start it as soon as I finish typing this - and spending some time with my poor, neglected son of course:)
I give this book a very enthusiastic 5 stars and since I've heard that book 2 is even better than book 1, I can't wait to get reading! I highly recommend this to all fans of YA fantasy, especially mythology related fantasy :D