Thursday, 17 September 2015

GUEST POST: E. Latimer (+ review of 'Frost')

Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop on the 'Frost' blog tour. It's been over two months since I participated in the cover reveal for 'Frost' - oh how time flies! - so I'm more than excited to be hosting Erin Latimer (yep, that's what the 'E' stands for!) on my blog today. 

First things first, here's the synopsis of 'Frost', to jog your memories - then I'm going to write a little spoiler free review about it to tickle your taste buds...
Megan Walker's touch has turned to ice. She can't stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying.
When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fuelled by a mad queen's obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ragnarok, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she's not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her. 
Fire or frost. It's an impossible decision, but she'll have to act soon, because the storm is coming. 
The beginning of 'Frost' was extremely gripping, because it all played out very quickly - we see Megan's first kiss in the first chapter, then next thing she's upped and moved to Canada to escape from her past. Once attending her new school, she meets a group of girls who are convinced they're related and that they're all part of some government conspiracy against them. Megan knows she's being followed, so is extremely on edge - this is made worse when two men kidnap her in the middle of the night, one of them being her new English teacher. However, an attractive looking man frees her and tells her to go on the run with him, leaving her family behind and living out of hotel rooms - of course, she doesn't bat an eyelid and thinks this sounds like a brilliant idea.
You're probably thinking "hm, that seems like a lot of spoilers, do I really need to read this book now?". Well, yes. Because all of that happens just in the first quarter of the novel. The real events start unwinding after all of this, when Megan realises that she needs to be more careful about who she trusts and strikes out on her own into a world of hostile, unknown forces.
As you've probably guessed by the synopsis, 'Frost' is based on Norse mythology - the battle between frost and fire giants, Ragnarok. So I've decided to not give any information away about how Megan discovers the truth behind the jotun, and where she ends up... But a heck of a lot goes on, and it will be much more effective for you to discover it first hand while reading it for yourself.
What I mean by this is: 'Frost' is extremely high octane. Like, non-stop. At least for the first half it is, and the last section is very fast-paced too... It's just the middle that lets it down.
And this is why I really don't think I should have liked 'Frost' as much as I did. The pacing seems to be all off - there's a lot going on at once, then nothing for what feels like hundreds of pages, then a lot will happen again, followed by another lull. It wouldn't have been so bad if I'd felt more interested in the general goings on of the characters, but I found it very hard to connect with any of them (apart from Megan, who I really appreciated - her attempts to stay true to herself and maintain her identity are very thought-provoking - and Loki, who wasn't in as much of the novel as I'd hoped) so it just plodded along. I'm not saying this in a terrible way - it's not like the book was 600 pages long! - it just meant that I did find my attention drifting multiple times during this story, so I didn't like it as much as I should have.
Really, I think 'Frost' has turned into a guilty pleasure for me. I was so hooked by the beginning that I could forgive the slow middle: I can't normally overlook things like that! And I think that's what's good about Erin's writing - it makes you want to find out what happens to the characters. There were multiple points in the plot where I couldn't see what was going to occur next, or how they could get out of the awful situations, yet Erin is brilliant at writing her character's out of tight places in a way that is realistic and believable.
The other thing that really made it a guilty pleasure was the amount of cliches it managed to pull off. We have the chosen one, that's obvious, but we also have the makings of a love triangle, the boy who you've only just met buying perfectly fitting clothes, the friend you've known less than a week leaving her life to help you, the sun shining in the window and glinting off of your perfect weapon, and - my personal favourite - visions coming to the protagonist in their dreams. All of the little cliches that happened made me groan, but because I was enjoying the story so much it didn't really annoy me - it just made it seem a little bit cheesy, and more like it was playing on the stereotypical YA themes. However, there's a lot in this book that is completely against normal happenings in YA, so I appreciated the contrast in these inclusions.
Of course, when I finished 'Frost' it left off at such a cliffhanger that I knew there was going to be a sequel, and it turns out that E. Latimer has been working on it on Wattpad! I'm going to have to check it out as soon as possible, because there's a huge cliffhanger in this book - it's made it impossible for me not to continue on with the story in the future.
If you start 'Frost' and aren't completely sure about it, persevere - the development of the characters means it just gets better and better throughout. To get hold of 'Frost', visit Amazon UK or Amazon US.

I know what you're really here for, so I'm going to pass you over to Erin now - she's going to share a day in her life!
8:00am: Ugh. Alarm is going off. Why did I think I was getting up at this ungodly hour? Something about being a productive member of society? Screw that. 
9:00am: Slightly less repulsive hour. Will lie in bed and think about getting up for a while. Maybe look at facebook. For just one minute. 
10:00am: Oh crap. Somehow found way onto youtube and time-sucking vortex of cat videos. Must force self out of bed and make smoothie. Yay, health food!
10:01am: Smoothie is gross. Throw out smoothie and heat up frozen waffles. 
10:30am: Think about cleaning the house or exercising. Do ten half-hearted jumping jacks and then watch Taylor Swift's new music video and get sucked into comments below. Never read Youtube comments!
11:00am: Decide that people suck and the world is a refuse-filled wasteland of human garbage. Retreat to writing cave. 
11:01am: Determined to throw off yoke of procrastination. Going to write ALL THE WORDS!
11:02am: That's a meme, isn't it? What meme is that?
12:00pm: Found meme. Have somehow progressed to Star Wars...and cats. And Star Wars cat memes. Have concluded that the internet is a never ending, vicious cycle of cats. 
12:30pm: Got one hundred words down. Success!
1:00pm: Fifty are terrible. Delete them all.
2:00pm: Snack time! Will eat healthy apple. Am so healthy!
2:01pm: Still hungry. Will add healthy cupcake. Chocolate is healthy, right?
2:15pm: On fifth cup of tea and out of milk! Unacceptable! Consider riding subway alone to go get milk. Have small panic attack at mere thought and return to writer cave. 
2:30pm: Oh, email! Got feedback from beta reader. Beta reader is so awesome! Will get started on feedback right away and make manuscript even better.
3:00pm: Am terrible writer. Should have got degree English degree and became teacher. Stare at computer and brood for half hour. 
3:01pm: Maybe beta reader is the terrible one? Can't trust internet strangers. Her bio does say "loves cats". She's the worst. Probably type of person who emails entire lists with "funny cat memes". Yuck.
3:30pm: Still brooding. Now listening to dramatic music to go with mood. Husband says I'm moping. Am not!
4:00pm: Patiently explain difference between brooding and moping to husband. Only true artists brood. Am true artist. 
4:30pm: I can do this! End up talking self out of funk and writing another five hundred words. Maybe I don't suck?
5:00pm: Totally in flow of things! Could write forever, or at least get another five hundred words down on the page!
5:01pm: But first, Buffy reruns on Netflix. 
I can certainly relate to Erin's morning - even while writing this blog post I've been hopping over to Youtube in the background, I just can't help myself! If this is the kind of day you get when you're a writer, though, I think it sounds like quite a good life - despite all of the brooding.

Erin Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer who was born and raised in Victoria, BC and recently moved to Vancouver. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing and reads excessively. 

Her book, 'Frost', was released by Patchwork Press on August 25th, 2015. 'Frost' is a YA fantasy based on Norse mythology, about a teen who accidentally freezes the first boy she kisses and discovers her family tree is weirder than she ever expected. 

For more E. Latimer, you can find her website here. You can also check her out on Twitter and Facebook!
I'd once again like to thank Erin for visiting my blog, and to congratulate her on writing an awesome novel. I'd also like to thank Patchwork Press for allowing me to get involved in this blog tour, and for inviting me to read 'Frost' through NetGalley. Awesome stuff! 

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