Title: Kiss of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Publication Date: Dec 2011
Classification: YA Novel
Challenge: Outdo Yourself
Summary from Goodreads:
I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Academy, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive the rest of the semester. One day, I’m getting schooled in swordplay by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gorgeous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invisible archer in the Library of Antiquities decides to use me for target practice. And now, I find out that someone at the academy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword…
After greatly enjoying the first book, Touch of Frost, I knew I had to read the second book. Luckily for me it was already sitting on my review pile waiting for me. So obviously I grabbed it as soon as I was done with Touch of Frost, because how could you not want to know more after the way the first one ended. So I was very glad that I got to spend time with characters that I had already grown to care about in book one. Gwen, with her unusual but rare powers, Logan with his smoldering eyes and unique fighting ability (Plus he is hot, bonus!), Daphne who is an great best friend to Gwen even though she has an obsession with pink, and of course the secondary cast of male characters, Carson, Oliver and Kenzie.
As great as the characters are, as much as I love them all, I would have to say what really held me was the storyline this time around. The story was a little weak and repetitive in the first book but I feel Estep greatly improved that in this installment. The storyline was great fun, from the winter carnival to the Reaper who is trying to kill Gwen. What I especially loved and appreciated about this story was that even though it was a teen story, it was done so differently than all the other teen books out there. Lately, teen stories are becoming boring because they are all just imprints or molds of one another but this is where Kiss of Frost rises above the rest. I loved that Estep knows her characters are teenagers but that she makes them work for everything they get in the novel. Happy times do not float by every two seconds and the romance is actually based on time spent around one another. Seriously, if you are skeptic about this series you have to get over that because it is so above and beyond those cookie cutter teen stories that are all the same.
Another favorite aspect of mine that goes right along with the storyline is the fact that Gwen does not have it easy. She has Reapers constantly on her case and while she is trying to figure out who would want her dead she also has to navigate a crush on Spartan Logan Quinn, who is one hot male character, if I do say so myself. Honestly, how could you not love Logan, he has a hard exterior but deep down he has a heart of gold, his feelings for Gwen are sweet and ring true. Trust me folks there is no instant love here, Gwen and Logan are fighting for everything they have, they are working on being together. I LOVE THIS!! Most teen books are part of a series yet authors feel they have to make the couple have instant love even though those same characters will be around for another 3ish more books. I loved Kiss of Frost because the instant love didn’t happen, they are crushing on each other and trying for a relationship, which is just how real life is! Seriously, if I ever meet Estep at a signing or something like that I would probably hug this woman, she is a genius and has brought back life to a genre that is getting boring and way too similar for my taste.
Overall, I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that the only thing I was unhappy about with this book is that I have to wait several months for the third book to be released. Gwen really is kick-ass, and I can’t wait for her to rock it out in another book. Logan is melting my heart with each page of this series, he is a new favorite male character of mine from YA. He is right up there with Jay from The Body Finder, Alex from Perfect Chemistry and Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, that is how serious I am about this guy! At this point I think you know my rating is 5 hearts, go pick up this series if you have somehow not read this one.