Monday, 11 July 2011

The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne

Celia Frost is a freak. At least that’s what everyone thinks. Her life is ruled by a rare disorder that means she could bleed to death from the slightest cut, confining her to a gloomy bubble of safety. No friends. No fun. No life. But when a knife attack on Celia has unexpected consequences, her mum reacts strangely. Suddenly they’re on the run. Why is her mum so scared? Someone out there knows and when they find Celia, she’s going to wish the truth was a lie... A buried secret; a gripping manhunt; a dangerous deceit: what is the truth about Celia Frost? A page-turning thriller that’s impossible to put down.

Another debut novel, and another book I managed to read in one sitting.  This is a book aimed at young adults, and, it does make a unique and intriguing read.  It was certainly nice to read a YA book which didn’t have any vampires, werewolves or wizards anywhere in sight.  The characters are well portrayed and their interactions are dealt with extremely well.
Just as I was wondering whether this book was going to be completely different and not involve some sort of love interest – BANG! Meet Sol.  There is clearly some sort of tension between Celia and Sol, but throughout the book they do remain best friends.  This was a refreshing change, and I really liked Sol and his family. 
The storyline kept me wondering for a while, and it is intriguing but it became clear to me the moment the character appeared in the book who it was who was searching for Celia.  However, I have to say, at no point did I guess the reason for the search and so I was kept guessing until the moment it was revealed.
The book also faces up to some serious ethical issues, which are really quite thought-provoking.  For me, it brought back memories of studying ethics at school and in particular of Utilitarianism (i.e. that the right thing to do is the thing that brings about the greater good and benefits society as opposed to the individual, no matter what that thing is).  It also touches on the delicate subject of a daughter’s relationship with her mother, (and in this case, it is one which is particularly strained), as well as dealing with the gangs and violence which come as part of the grim Bluebell Estate that Celia moves to.
Paula is one of the winners of the Undiscovered Voice of 2010 competition, and seems to be set to become a bright star in the young adult fiction genre.  For me, it was an easy and enjoyable read, but I wasn’t as gripped as I imagine slightly younger readers would be! Saying that, I’ll certainly keep an eye out for Paula’s future works to see what else is on the horizon.
** A thank you goes to Usborne Publishing's Twitter Page for sending out this book for review **

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