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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.
“Fast-paced and chilling, yet so believable...”
Our Book Reviews Online
“A fast-paced thriller with an original storyline.”
“An electrifying story.”
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Celia Frost allowed her body to relax just a fraction as she lifted her coat off the peg in the bustling cloakroom. All she had to do now was get to the staffroom, where somebody would be waiting to give her a lift home. Usually she cringed at having members of staff ferry her to and from school, but today Celia couldn’t wait to get into the safety of a teacher’s car.
She dared to believe that she’d survived the day. Maybe he wasn’t going to come after her. Maybe now he realized that she wasn’t going to be one of his victims any more. Maybe, just maybe, he felt a grudging respect for what she’d done. Of course she’d been careful; getting out of the classroom quickly, making sure that she wasn’t alone, doing her best to melt into the crowd. Although for Celia, being inconspicuous was never easy.
At almost fifteen, her increasingly gangling body showed no inclination to curve or protrude. She habitually walked with an apologetic stoop, and from her bowed head sprang a mass of untameable orange hair. From a distance, her sliver of a face, with its oversized features, looked like it was engulfed in a tangerine cloud.
However, it wasn’t just her appearance and her gloved hands that made Celia a curiosity. She’d decided long ago that Mother Nature was nothing but a cruel old hag who’d ensured that she was in a league of her own when it came to “standing out”. After all, not many pupils starting a new school get an assembly dedicated to them. And unfortunately for Celia, each “new start” was worse than the last, as she became more self-conscious and her peers less tolerant.
Six months ago Mr. Powell, her latest headmaster, had done his best, but it had still been excruciating as he’d addressed the packed hall about “Celia’s special condition”. She’d longed for the ground to open and swallow her up, as the eyes of every pupil turned on her. She’d slouched down in her chair, staring fixedly at the floor, as the intense heat of embarrassment rose from deep inside her and flooded her chalk-white face, turning it scarlet. The girls on either side of her had instinctively leaned away and the air filled with exclamation marks as the hall had erupted with voices.
“Oh my God, that is sooo terrible!”
“It makes me feel ill just thinking about it!”
“She should be in a special school, it’s not right to have her with normal people!”
“What if you bump into her by accident? I’m not getting done for killing her!”
“Well I’d rather die than live like that!”
The headmaster had struggled to quieten down the assembly. He’d warned them that anyone not showing the necessary care and consideration around Celia would be severely punished, but all Celia had tuned into was the hushed chants coming from behind her, led by Max Jenkins.
“Freaky Frost! Freaky Frost! Freaky Frost!”
She was annoyed with herself for even letting it register. After all, it wasn’t very original. She’d heard it before, in all the other schools that she’d passed through.
At least in the other schools she’d always managed to find a couple of girls who would let her sit with them at breaks. She was under no illusions – they’d never been her friends; they’d regarded her as a charity case and they didn’t seem to be aware of how torturous it was, having to listen to them making plans to meet up after school and never being invited. Celia didn’t blame them – why should anyone hang around with a liability like her? But at this latest school in Wales things were much worse. Jenkins had made sure of that.
Celia had soon discovered that Max Jenkins was more vicious, more toxic, than anyone she’d ever encountered. No one was safe from him. He fed off people’s fear and operated with impunity throughout the school and, unfortunately for Celia, ever since that first assembly, he’d decided to make her his special project. He let it be known that anyone thinking of befriending her would be dealt with and for the last six months he’d revelled in watching his isolated, passive victim being ground down by his taunts and threats. Jenkins had a knack for homing in on people’s weaknesses and strengths and then using both to his advantage. Therefore, as soon as he noticed all the A grades Celia was getting, he started delegating his homework to her.
It was unthinkable that Celia would ever fight back. Janice’s words were ingrained in her: “You’re not like other people. You must never do anything where you might get injured.”
Everything Celia did, every decision she made, was dictated by this rule. In school this meant that she was excused from PE, DT, food tech and any other activity that was deemed a potential threat. At home this meant endless, lonely hours confined to the house by Janice; tormented by being able to witness the hustle and bustle of life but never being able to join in.
Celia felt like she lived her life trapped in a gloomy bubble, a gripping fear sealed in there with her. It was exhausting trying to fight off the gloom as it seeped into her mind, leaching out all the light. But she couldn’t let it take hold of her; after all, how could Janice cope if Celia stopped coping?
Throughout her life this fear of injury had always overridden any other desire; until, that was, last week, when Max Jenkins had walked out of their maths class and thrown his homework book at her saying, “You’d better make it a good one.”
As she’d stood there, with his book in her hands, Celia was suddenly overwhelmed by temptation.
Use binary numbers to write a coded message.
Oh yes, she’d grinned to herself. I’ve got the perfect message for you, Jenkins.
So it had been earlier that day that thirty-five pupils had sat in their maths lesson, yawning and lolling their heads on their desks, having already decoded seven dull binary messages, when they got to Max Jenkins’s effort.
“Now, Mr. Jenkins, let’s see what pearl you’ve come up with,” said the uninspired maths teacher.
He wrote the digits on the board and, to chivvy them along, he made one of the boys come up and write each decoded letter in large capitals under its corresponding numbers. He chose pupils at random to work out each letter, and at first their droning voices were barely audible.
“Yes, come on, come on. Look at what we’ve got so far. Max Jenkins is an…” The teacher paused, looking concerned. “Now, Mr. Jenkins, this had better not be anything offensive. Is it offensive, Mr. Jenkins?”
By now, Jenkins was shifting in his chair, looking increasingly uncomfortable. “Course not. No one would be so stupid as to write something that would get them into really, really big trouble,” he said, glowering at Celia. She turned her head defiantly to face him, revealing just a trace of a smile. At this, Jenkins started to panic. “I don’t want mine read out,” he shouted. “I haven’t finished it. It’s not very good… I can do better.”
“Well I never, Max. It’s not like you to be bashful. Now I am intrigued. Let’s continue,” said the teacher, gesturing to his scribe.
But now, instead of having to prise the answers out of the half-asleep class, it seemed that everyone was wide awake and furiously trying to be first to crack the code.
The letters came rattling out from the animated pupils faster than the teacher could stop them and before he knew it, there on the board, in large bold capitals for everyone to see, was:
01001101 01000001 01011000 00100000 01001010
M A X J
01000101 01001110 01001011 01001001 01001110
E N K I N 01010011 00100000 01001001 01010011 00100000
S I S
01000001 01001110 00100000 01000001 01010010
A N A R
01010011 01000101 01001000 01001111 01001100
S E H O L
A communal gasp of disbelief was immediately followed by the first nervous titter, which was followed by another, then another, until the whole classroom exploded into laughter. Hysteria overpowered their fear; tears rolled down contorted faces, bodies bent double with laughter and others, too giddy to speak, pointed from the words on the board to the silently seething boy. Even the dour maths teacher, who knew Jenkins’s malicious nature only too well, could not suppress a smirk as he shouted over the uproarious class, “Mr. Jenkins! What a very peculiar thing to write about yourself!”
The whole school soon heard what had happened in the maths class and, for the first time since Celia had arrived, people weren’t trying to avoid her eye, but actually acknowledged her in the corridor with approving nods and secret smiles. However, everyone knew that there would be a terrible price to pay for what she’d done. Celia knew this too, but the planning and execution of her revenge had stirred a potent mixture of excitement and dread in her that pressed dangerously against the sides of her invisible prison. It had all seemed worth it just to see Jenkins’s face puce with rage, as humiliation and laughter threatened his reign of terror.
Suddenly there was a flurry of activity in the cloakroom, as pupils scattered like a shoal of fish when a great white suddenly cuts through the dark waters. Celia kept her back to the exodus and continued zipping up her bag that was on the bench. Her mind was racing, desperately trying to work out her next move.
“Hey, Frost, you freak!”
She could feel him moving in on her. The fumes from his paint-stripper aftershave clogged up the air.
Celia was aware of her body beginning to tremble. Don’t show fear. Don’t show fear, she repeated over and over in her head. She knew that any sign of distress would only excite a sadist like Jenkins. She steadied herself and turned to face him. The room was now completely empty apart from her and her tormentor.
Max Jenkins was tall and powerfully built, but once Celia straightened up her shoulders, she stood level with him. She met his stare, trying to appear unperturbed, but her owl-round eyes, framed by a thicket of lashes, always made her look slightly startled. She convinced herself that someone would have gone to get a teacher, so she decided that she just had to keep him calm and at bay until help arrived.
“You think you can do that to me?” His voice was a low rumble; a volcano on the verge of erupting. “What you did wasn’t very nice, was it? You’ve hurt my feelings. People can’t seem to appreciate this, but I’m a very sensitive person. I’m just misunderstood.” He cocked his head to one side and pouted mockingly.
“Yeah. I’m sure Hitler felt the same,” she blurted out, regretting the words as soon as they left her mouth. But Jenkins only gave a hollow laugh.
“Well, Freaky, aren’t you full of surprises? First your little stunt in class and now an attempt at sarcasm. You obviously don’t take me seriously. Perhaps I’ve been too kind to you – but I’m about to put that right. You see, you’ve given me no choice. I now have a duty to teach you a lesson. I have a reputation to maintain. People have got to be shown that anyone who takes me on will be punished. So I’ve been wondering what would really make an impression on you.”
He paused and put his forefinger and middle finger together. He pressed them against the base of her neck, before moving them lingeringly up her face, tracing them over her sharp chin, across her thick gash of a mouth and climbing along her broad nose. They came to rest in the middle of her forehead, where Jenkins flicked up his thumb to form a gun and said, in a slow, deep whisper, “Bang! Bang!”
Celia blinked as his fingers jabbed into her forehead, her flesh crawling, but she remained composed. Her lack of response disappointed him, but he was far from finished.
“I’ve decided that your punishment should benefit the whole school. You must know that we’ve all been dying to see what would happen if your freaky body got sliced.”
At these words, panic shot through her. She pushed past him. “You’re going to let me go now. I’m going to walk out of here and I promise not to tell anyone what you’ve just said, okay?” she said firmly.
But as she quickened her pace towards the door, he grabbed her and dragged her back, pinning her against the coat rack.
“Get off me. You’ve had your fun,” she shouted, struggling against the weight of his leaning body.
“Who said anything about fun? I’m undertaking a serious scientific experiment here, but, of course, to do that I need my implements.” With this, he reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a small, red-handled penknife. She recoiled as Jenkins prised out the shiny, silver blade and without warning sliced it across his thumb. He winced as blood immediately sprang from the short, narrow cut.
“Surprisingly, that hurt more than you’d think,” he said coolly, as he sucked the blood from his thumb. Then he answered Celia’s open-mouthed stare. “I wanted to demonstrate to you just how sharp my blade is,” he said leeringly. “And now it’s your turn!”
He gripped Celia’s left wrist and yanked at the cuff of her blouse, causing the button to fly off. He pulled up the sleeve roughly, exposing Celia’s long, translucent arm, her vivid veins like blue water running under a thin layer of ice.
“Don’t do it, Max,” she said softly, but the beads of sweat springing from her pores belied her outer calmness. “Just let me go.”
He erupted, bawling in her face, the veins on his neck bulging. “Do you really think I’m going to let you go?! People were laughing at me because of you. You freak!”
“Just think about it.” She fought the tremor in her voice. “Say I bleed to death? You’ll spend years banged up in prison. It’s not worth it, is it, Max? It’s not too late. You can walk away from this right now.”
But Jenkins responded by seizing her elbow and positioning the knife so it hovered over her upper arm.
“What do you think?” he taunted her. “Should I do it, should I?”
She daren’t move, she daren’t breathe.
Suddenly, quick, urgent footsteps could be heard coming down the corridor.
Teachers, she thought with blissful relief. The teachers are here!
The cloakroom door flew open. The teachers froze at the sight that faced them, with only seconds to decide what to do next. Jenkins panicked, tightening his hold on her elbow.
Oh God, he’s going to do it! I’ve got to do something!
She jerked her arm out of his grip. There was a flash of silver, and a searing, white-hot pain as the blade sliced along her paper skin. She heard a short, high-pitched scream puncture the air – it was coming from her.
Paula Rawsthorne is an exciting new talent in YA fiction. The Truth About Celia Frost, her first novel, is a gripping, entertaining and thought-provoking thriller. Her talent for writing has already seen her become an award winner - one of her first stories won the BBC Get Writing competition and was read by Bill Nighy on Radio 4, and the opening chapters of The Truth About Celia Frost led to her becoming a winner of Undiscovered Voices 2010.
Winner Brilliant Book Award
An annual award voted for by students at Key Stage 3 in schools across Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City and Derbyshire. The award promotes reading for pleasure and raises awareness of children’s literature, promoting excellence as well as popularity.
Winner - Sefton Super Reads Award 2012
Organised by school librarians and Sefton Council's library service, the award highlights recently published fiction aimed at secondary school pupils. High school students across the Sefton borough read and reviewed the six titles on the shortlist, and then voted for their favourite.
Winner - Leeds Book Award 2012
Entirely decided by readers, the Leeds Book Award is judged by pupils across Leeds who vote for their favourite books in three age categories. The Truth About Celia Frost was awarded the prize for the 11-14 year old category at a ceremony attended by over 250 young readers.
Shortlisted - East Midlands Book Award
The East Midlands Book Award is an independent, annual award with the aim of promoting writers who live in the East Midlands, to raise the profile of the thriving literary scene in the region, and to reward exceptional work.
Longlisted - Southern Schools Book Award
Selected by librarians, teachers and pupils all the books on the longlist for the Southern Schools Books Award will be read and reviewed by pupils across the southern counties. Designed to promote lively book dicussions amongst young people, the award links pupils across the region through the judging process.
Longlisted - The Branford Boase Award 2012
Set up to reward the most promising new writers and their editors, as well as to reward excellence in writing and in publishing, the Branford Boase award is made annually to the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards by a first time novelist.
Shortlisted - St. Helen's Book Awards
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See more readers' reviews at Goodreads.com.
'The Truth About Celia Frost'
Awesome book! I've recommended to all of my friends and I am so glad I came across it! I couldn't put it down, I was just too intrigued, too curious to find out what happened next! Probably one of the best books I've read in ages! I loved every tiny bit of it, up to the last detail! Hoping Paula Rawsthorne writes more books, because was definitely a great read! :)
Olivia-Kate, 20th June 2012
I found this book by my friend swapping it with me. At first not knowing the author I was slightly concerned about not knowing what to expect, after reading the first chapter I was hooked, this book is excellent. After starting the book I just couldn't put it down. It was fabulous and I can truly recommend it. I would also recommend Paula Rawsthorne - she is an excellent writer. The plot was fabulous and the way she kept switching from character to character was amazing. For £6.99 the book is totally worth it.
georgina, 21st December 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
I absolutely loved this book!!!!!!! It was amazing and so different to some typical teen books. It kept me wondering what was going to happen til the very end and I read it very quickly. Definitely one of my favourite books!!!
Rachel, 25th October 2011
I really enjoyed this book and have since bought three more copies for friends and younger members of my family!! The story of Celia really had me gripped and I honestly couldn't put it down. Highly recommended and roll on Paula's next novel.
Lynn Bushell, 19th September 2011
The truth about this book
Too absolutely brilliant for words to describe. It's one of those rare books that you wish just never ended and you could continue living in the world of Celia Frost. The story line is completely believable and possible which always adds a special something to books like these. You have horror, suspense, twists, friendship, lies and a little romance. One of my absolute favourite books and I just wished I had read it sooner but I was lucky enough for my book to be signed so now it's just extra special and fantastic. A perfect book for almost any age.
Maria, 17th September 2011
"The Truth about Celia Frost"
This was an astounding read, once I picked it up and read the first chapter I realised it really was one of those unputdownable books! I loved the relationship between Celia and Sol - it wasn't a boyfriend and girlfriend thing, they were just very good friends. I loved the adventures they had at the abandoned quarry, but was truly afraid for them when one of the gangs on the Bluebell estate attacked them. The part that really gripped me was when Private Investigator Frankie Byrne is on a frantic man hunt for Celia and her mother Janice Frost. At points you start to speculate about what will happen then it compels you to read on. Often how you thought the story would continue is totally different to how it actually does. I loved this story and I hope Paula Rawsthorne writes another book about Celia and Sol.
Bethan Lisles, 12th September 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
I got this book only two weeks ago and, one day, when I decided to read it I literally couldn't put it down. I read it all in a day!! It's a great story - like nothing I'd ever read before. It's a real page turner, every new page reveals a new, unexpected problem or adventure and with such an unexpected ending - no-one would guess the truth about Celia Frost.
Poppy Cook, 28th August 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
What an amazing book! It was so detailed and well thought out- I admire Rawsthorne so much for this. The character of Sol was a great a idea, he made the story all the more intriguing. I'm going to recommend this book to all of my friends and family- anyone would be a sucker to miss out on a book like this!
Kamara Samuels, 22nd August 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
What an exciting and novel book this is, the plot is unusual and unpredictable. Never a dull moment. It also contains some important moral issues that are very relevant today, but the storyline is excellent and although I am an adult I did not put it down until the very surprising end!!
Vikki Martin, 15th August 2011
The Truth about Celia Frost
Amazing book, couldn't put it down, fascinating, unexpected ending. Celia was wonderful and Sol was such a great character. Have sent copies to my grandchildren who I am sure will love it. I agree with other reviewers, it would make a great film. Keep it up Paula, well done, can't wait for your next book.
Mary Murray, 14th August 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
I am a 14 year girl and I thought this book was amazing. It was so unlike anything I have read before. The story twists and turns, every page reveals something new and unexpected. I would recommend this book to all teen readers who enjoy a good story and a fast paced thriller. But it is more than that; some of the issues in this novel have made me think, long after I finished the book. I give this book ten out of ten!
Georgie James, 4th August 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
I think this book is was amazing! I couldn't put it down. It has a great story-line, and it's a real page-turner. I think it would make a great film, and i would definitely buy a sequel! Overall i really enjoyed it, mainly because it's full of suspense.
Izzy Chapman, 25th July 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
I thought it was a brilliant book and i really enjoyed it, great characters, and a plot that has more twists than a curly-wurly. Worth reading - ideal holiday reading. :)
bob Hannigan, 22nd July 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
Paula's debut novel is fantastic. Fast paced, suspenseful and intriguing, it had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't put it down. The truth about Celia lives up to the anticipation. It would make a great movie too, with a thumping soundtrack! Keep writing Paula - can't wait for the next one!
Susan Anderson, 10th July 2011
The Truth About Celia Frost
When I read the first chapter online I HAD to find out what happened next! I finished the book in about 2 days because I couldn't put it down! Paula's book is AMAZING and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who likes a book full of suspense, great characters and a good twist!
Katherine Devaney, 10th July 2011
From the very beginning I was hooked on Paula Rawsthorne's writing style and use of language. The story of Celia Frost is just astonishing. Celia suffers from haemophilia and is attacked and cut in a knife crime....however Celia heals normally. This was a perfect book to come back to reality from vampires, werewolves and angels. If Paula continues to write like this she has a glittering writing career ahead!
Rob Welton, Jarrold's Books
Paula's debut novel is absolutely amazing. I read this book in a matter of hours and loved every page. It is a cleverly sophisticated, fast paced and engaging thriller which had more twists and turns than you can shake a stick at. I was hooked from page one and couldn't bear to put it down as I needed to know what happened next. It was an utter pleasure to read and I can't wait to see what Paula writes next...this book was definitely one of the best books I have read in a while. An engaging and totally absorbing read which is welcome change from all the paranormal and dystopian YA titles that seem to be everywhere at the moment. I would thoroughly recommend it.
The Overflowing Library
An engaging thriller... After being told by her mother that she has a life-threatening illness, Celia has lived cautiously, protected by an obsessive mother. As she approaches adolescence she questions her mother's control over her. Sustained by her friendship with a boy who becomes her first real friend - and unwittingly helped along by the rotund and seedy detective on her trail - Celia discovers all, as her story comes to a nail-biting and thought-provoking conclusion.
The Truth About Celia Frost is an amazing debut teen thriller. Planted firmly in the here and now of grotty high rise housing and dodgy scientific experiments, the plot twists and turns as Celia gradually begins to uncover the truth about herself - every time I thought I'd guessed Celia's history something would happen that made me re-think it all. Fast-paced and chilling, yet so believable, I found it very difficult to stop reading once I'd started, particularly as the book neared its nail-biting finish. An excellent book for teens looking for something other than paranormal romance.
Our Book Reviews Online
I loved it. It was brilliant. I found it hard to put this book down and I was dying to know what was going to happen.
A gripping psychological thriller, mixing issues of ethics with a poignant coming-of-age story.
An engaging thriller with twists and turns to keep every reader hooked.
We Love This Book
A page-turning thriller that's impossible to put down.
A very suspenseful and thrilling read. Discovering the truth about Celia was definitely an exciting, as well as a shocking journey that made me think about certain ethical issues. Reading about the person trying to find Celia was very intense... There is a shocking mystery, and a very intense atmosphere.
This debut novel is sure to engage young teens with its gripping storyline and feisty heroine. It's refreshing to read a gritty, realistic story for Young Adults with not a vampire or dystopian landscape within spitting distance. The many twists and turns in the plot will keep readers captivated until the very last page - highly recommended for young fans of fast-paced, realistic narratives.
The Truth About Celia Frost is a great thriller from a debut author, and should put Paula Rawsthorne firmly on the map as a bright new talent in teen fiction.
Notes from the Bookshelf
I cannot tell you how brilliant this novel is. Celia Frost is so brave and so loyal. The story concludes with lots of action, and the writer has written it so well that you feel like you’re in the story yourself. I recommend this to everyone – it is FABULOUS. 1000/10!
The Mile Long Bookshelf
Mixed in with the cast of believable and complex characters is a compelling plot line. The opening scenes are genuinely intriguing as we wonder what the secret is about Celia's condition and what her mother is trying to hide. This intrigue leads to a page-turning read and with the introduction of a shifty, unscrupulous private eye and his unknown employer the tension mounts and the mystery deepens.
Tall Tales and Short Stories
A fantastic read...so different from anything I've read before, realistically portrayed and believable, thought proving and gripping. I read it in one day, I just had to know what was going on and Rawsthorne's writing was just so compelling. This is a fresh and exciting new addition to Young Adult fiction and I'm excited to see what the author comes up with next.
Heaven, Hell and Purgatory
In the riveting The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne, Celia has a medical condition but all is definitely not as it seems, and the story races off into a world of unscrupulous doctors, a ruthless private detective who finally finds his inner decency, and Celia's beautifully evoked, troubled but determined mother.
A stunning psychological thriller for young adults.
A gritty, fast-paced thriller brimming with plot twists, Paula Rawsthorne’s The Truth about Celia Frost is an impressive debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!
Daisy Chain Book Reviews
Like no other book I have read before. The Truth About Celia Frost is something different, compelling and a thrilling read...I was unable to put this down. The beginning of the book hooks the reader from the start and you are unable to let go.
Susan K. Mann Book Reviews
A fast-paced, quick read. Engaging and thrilling from page one up to the end, with twists and turns happening so often readers wouldn't know what hit them by the time they finish. It's a breath of fresh air, something new to look forward to aside from the usual dystopian and paranormal books coming out these days. A gripping debut for Paula Rawsthorne which I definitely recommend to everyone!
Paula Rawsthorne’s excellent debut is original and gripping and the tension is palpable throughout...As well as being a compulsive thriller, this novel is also a skilful coming-of-age novel.Both parts of the story build to a thoroughly satisfying climax and resolution, with final twists to surprise.
Books for Keeps
A journey into danger, deceit and hidden secrets with the added bonus of more twists and turns than a game of snakes and ladders. Billed as a thriller, The Truth about Celia Frost offers so much more than just a regulation adventure. Imaginative, socially aware and thought-provoking, the clever story is guaranteed to get the grey matter moving. An impressive debut from a writer not afraid to confront controversial issues.
The Lancashire Evening Post
It’s not often I pick up a book for young adults that is darkly funny, compelling to read and narrated with a fresh voice... A brave debut novel, Paula Rawsthorne has had the courage and skill to write a story that can’t easily be labelled and deserves to do very well. I’m very much looking forward to her follow-up.
[The Truth About Celia Frost] lives up (if not exceeds!) expectations. The plot does some major twisting and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the next plot twist to come around the corner and I can honestly say I didn’t see any of them coming and the major plot twists are pretty epic. It goes without saying that the writing is captivating, compelling and so utterly un-put-downable. I’m surprised that Paula is a debut novelist – I really can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. So, if that wasn’t clear enough, I loved The Truth About Celia Frost in just about every single imaginable way – I just couldn’t fault it! I don’t say this often but if you haven’t already go off and buy it … now! Why are you still here?
Books for Teens
A great book for kids of both gender who want a fast paced book that will ask them to think a bit about some of the big issues facing us...a superb debut novel and leaves me wondering what Paula might come up with next.
J E Towey
This novel is really compelling – you keep reading and reading and reading. Even if you have better things to do, you keep reading the story because you just have to know what happens to the characters. The Truth About Celia Frost is amazing. The plot is so unique and every emotion is contained in this story. Happiness, love, fright, heartbreak, anger, freedom: it's all in there.
A fast-paced thriller with an original storyline.
A fast paced contemporary young adult novel written with such skill and ease, I have no hesitation recommending it to readers who would like something different, meatier and with a hint of Kelley Armstrong's YA series, sans the supernatural elements.
My Favourite Books
This is a Young Adult thriller with a steady stream of twists....The story is as much a coming-of-age as it is suspenseful. Celia’s faltering, painful journey to independence is beautifully captured, backing up the thrills with honesty and depth.
If I could say only one thing about The Truth About Celia Frost, it would be that I have honestly never read a book like it before. It has a brilliantly unique plot and concept, and I couldn't see half the twists coming. Just the whole idea of the book is so incredibly different and kind of refreshing.
Cicely Loves Books
It's like, The Truth About Celia Frost has a bomb slowing ticking away somewhere in the background, and when it finally goes off, you'll get the shock of your life. This is a thought-provoking, fast-paced, thriller bursting with lies. I know I'll be watching out for a certain author!
Love Reading x
One of the most gripping page turners I've read for quite a while...Nothing is quite what it seems in this well-plotted, fast paced and exciting novel...an astonishing debut.
The School Librarian
A book full of plot twists. Every time I thought I had just gotten everything figured out and knew what was going to come next everything was tipped back upside down...Every different twist worked so well and kept me on my toes. I fully recommended this book...really go buy it now! I will be plugging this book for months because I was not expecting this at all, and they are my favorite types of reads!
It kept me on a constant cliff-hanger, I was reading in the car on the way home from my holiday and I was getting more and more car-sick, but I couldn't bear putting this book down!...Usually when I read amazing books like this one, I wish there was a second book but this time for The truth about Celia Frost, I don't. I don't know how someone could come up with an equally brilliant sequel that doesn't take away from this books amazing story-line. I loved this book so much and REALLY enjoyed reading it!
Page turner blog
Paula Rawsthorne is a debut author- and if her first book is a sign of things to come I hope she keeps on writing. The Truth About Celia Frost is an intriguing novel about a girl with a major medical problem and how she discovers her own and her mother’s secrets. Do read it!
Library Adam's blog
An electrifying story.
The Truth about Celia Frost is utterly captivating. It traps you within its pages and won’t let you go until you have read it cover-to –cover. A must read ...five stars!
Notes of No Other Purpose blog
The story is fast paced, has some fantastic twists and was so good that I finished it in one sitting. The Truth About Celia Frost is a fantastic debut and I’m excited to see what Paula Rawsthorne comes up with next.
Feeling Fictional blog
As well as being an exciting thriller, this book also really makes you question what is morally right and wrong... I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for future books [by Paula Rawsthorne] because I get a sneaky feeling they'll be as unputdownable as The Truth About Celia Frost.
Mad House Family Reviews
Fast and fun.
Philip Ardagh, The Guardian
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