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You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open

Erin reviews Mary Casanova's Frozen and tries not to yawn her way through it.

You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open

BOOK REPORT for Frozen by Mary Casanova

Cover Story: Meh
BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 1
Talky Talk: Bob Ross
Bonus Factor: The Roaring 20s
Relationship Status: In the Game of Loons, Nobody Wins

Cover Story: Meh

I can't even bestir myself to care about these sorts of things anymore, you know?  Here is a book.  Its cover is ugly.  And boring and inefficient.  Honestly, why even slap a cover on a book if it's not going to help sell the book?  Just give it a nice, clean look!  People who enjoy reading books for reading's sake will still pick it up, I think.

The Deal:

16 year old Sadie Rose has been mute for ten years, ever since she was found huddled in the Minnesota snow next to her dead mother.  She was fostered by a wealthy and influential couple, a state senator and his wife, and although she never felt loved, she did feel safe.

But when Sadie happens upon a photo of a woman posed provacatively, she remembers the painful truth - her mother was a prostitute, a red-skirted girl, and her death was no accident. When Sadie's memories come flooding back so does her voice, and she leaves the only home she's known to discover the truth about her mother's death.

BFF Charm: Meh

I never felt like I really connected to Sadie Rose, and I am pretty sure that I wouldn't like her even if I had.  She was just sort of dull and lifeless, which is unforgivable in a protagonist who's departing on her own hero quest.  I feel like if there'd been a bit more care involved in her characterization or if I felt she was ever in any actual danger on her journey to the truth (which was only a journey around town, after all), then I might have connected with her more urgently.  As it is . . . meh.

Swoonworthy Scale: 1

Sadie Rose has a crush on Owen, the young boy in town working to earn enough to go to school.  And, what luck!  He has a crush on her!  And that's . . . about as complex as their relationship gets.  Although I really liked Owen (he works at the creamery and always has butter, so, yum), their relationship felt tacked on at the last minute.  It didn't really serve to make either Owen or Sadie more interesting or complex, and so I didn't really understand the purpose of it.  And it certainly didn't provide hot swoony action, because, like, it's the 1920s.

Talky Talk: Bob Ross

It's obvious that Casanova loves the lakes of Minnesota; its beauty is echoed in the pages of this book.  But it's a quiet, soothing type of beauty, a Bob Ross-coma for the senses.  I need passion and life and mean, angry trees, not lovely, happy trees, you know?

Bonus Factor: The Roaring 20s

I liked seeing how the 1920s, a time of such change and upheaval, affected even small and quiet hamlets in the Midwest.  It's easy to think of the Twenties as all gin joints and gladtime rags, but just as much change was happening in the kitchens and the bedrooms of the boring married people.

Casting Call:

Shailene Woodley as Sadie Rose

I know it's wrong of me, but when I think of boring, I think of Shailene.

Relationship Status: In the Game of Loons, Nobody Wins

It's probably my fault, after all.  I've been dating so many exciting books lately - the GoT series and our March book club pick, The Raven Boys, among others - that I just don't remember what it's like to go on a date with someone a little gentler and kinder and, well, old-fashioned.  But even though I may be a thrill-seeker these days, I'm pretty sure that it's this book that's lacking that extra somethin', not its reader.  I just needed a little more action, a little more adventure, and a lot more character development in order to whet my whistle.  Sorry, book.  It's not me.  It's you.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from The University of Minnesota Press.  I received neither money nor cocktails for this review.  Frozen is available in stores now. 

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.
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