First Frost by Liz DeJesus
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (274 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia
Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.
For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”
Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.
She’s about to find out how wrong she is.
Bianca is about to find out just how much magic has already changed her life.
I’m a big fan of the original fairytales, so when I read the blurb for First Frost, I knew I had to read this book. Once I started reading, I was immediately swept up into Ms. DeJesus’ world of magic. I especially love the concept of the magical world existing alongside the contemporary world. The references to current events really anchor the story in reality and make the magical aspects of this tale feel realistic.
Bianca is a very realistic character who came to life in my mind almost immediately. I could clearly picture Bianca struggling with the vacuum cleaner and longing for a life outside the family business. Bianca’s world is turned upside down when she learns that not only is magic real, but she just might have some in her blood. I do think that Bianca accepted the idea of magic and fairytales too easily. One minute she is certain that nothing in her mother’s museum is real. The next minute, she’s completely willing to cast aside her previous convictions and embrace a strange new world. I would have expected Bianca to be more skeptical before finally accepting the truth of it all. However, I will concede that the pacing of the story doesn’t allow Bianca much time to adjust. Before she knows it, Bianca and her best friend Ming are swept up in a quest battling a witch with a devious agenda.
I really enjoyed watching Bianca’s relationship with Terrance blossom. When they first meet each other in the magical world of Everafter, the attraction between them is immediately apparent. Terrance is hesitant to become involved with Bianca not just because they come from two different worlds, but also because he has something in his family history that he’s deeply ashamed of. When Bianca learns Terrance’s secret, will her feelings for him change?
Terrance’s best friend, Prince Ferdinand, is definitely the most amusing character in First Frost. Although the prince is the stereotypical self-absorbed royal, he injects some much needed humor into a very serious story. I found myself smiling and laughing nearly every time he opened his mouth.
I’m very intrigued with the ending of First Frost. Nearly all the loose ends were wrapped up when Ms. DeJesus threw in a wonderful twist at the last minute that had me thinking about Bianca long after I finished reading. I’m hoping that Ms. DeJesus writes a sequel to First Frost because I’d love to read more about Bianca and her adventures.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to read First Frost. Ms. DeJesus has taken classic fairytales and given them a modern feel while remaining true to the original stories. Anyone longing for a little magic and adventure should definitely pick up a copy of First Frost today.