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Touch of Frost - Jennifer Estep Gwen Frost is that weird girl that just doesn’t fit in anywhere. She’s Mythos Academy’s newest student, but unlike everyone else, all she has is psychometry, a fancy way of saying she gets flashes off touching things and/or people. Her lack of flashier gifts is what sets her apart. Everyone at this school is a Spartan or a Valkerie, here with the sole purpose of learning and being trained to fight a war with Loki who is still imprisoned, but always trying to escape. Gwen isn’t sure why her grandmother is forcing her to attend this school since her mother’s death, but one she knows she stands out. Then a fellow classmate dies and while everyone else is busy brushing it off and getting on with their lives, Gwen is struck by the feeling that they are all missing something big and she is determined to figure out what that is.

This is one of those YA mythological fantasy novels with a big mystery and just a hint of a budding romance. It’s completely enthralling and I loved it. Gwen is everything you could want in a heroine, spunky and quirky and completely misunderstood. She reminds me quite a bit of Veronica Mars though at some point in the novel she says she isn’t as crafty as our dear Veronica. She’s forced into a school where she is the school freak for have less strange abilities than her fellow classmates and can’t make a friend to save her life. Nobody likes her, nobody wants to talk to her, and nobody cares about her. Instead of spending the novel bitching and moaning about it, she just kinda goes with it. Nobody likes her? Fine, she’s better off without those snotty rich kids anyway. She’s that underdog that you can’t help but root for.

I also really liked Daphne. Estep could have easily put her in the category of bitchy rich girl and left it at that, but she doesn’t. Daphne’s true colors are hiding under the surface and they are a girly pink with hints of a computer nerd who is really sick of the fucking backstabbing community of Valkeries she has always been a part of. After a little pushing, it is clear that her and Gwen are meant to be BFFs.

Then there is the character that I’m a little on the fence about, Logan. Initially I adored him, with his bad boy looks and attitude, not the mention his reputation as a man-whore and his quippish dialogue with Gwen. I loved him more when he saves her life not once, but twice. The part where my love for him starts to diminish is how after every step forward he and Gwen take, he always assumes the standoff brutish attitude. Add that to the speech at the end about how he likes Gwen but they can never be together because there are things about him that she doesn’t know and shouldn’t ever know and I was rolling my eyes and nicknaming him “Edward” in my head. This is also part of why this gets four stars instead of five, because I HATE it when they do that..

One of the other many things I loved about this was the fact that we don’t stick to your basic overused mythological figures, or even stick to one type, seeing Greek and Norse gods, and more than one that I have never heard of before. No Aphrodite or Thor or Zeus to be found here, opting for much more obscure references, only throwing in a handful of popularized ones. I also loved the writing style and how I felt like I was in Gwen’s head a lot of the time, bouncing around along with her insecurities. My only issue with this, beyond Logan’s idiotic moments, was the lack of romance. I would have preferred just a touch more romance between Logan and Gwen, but since this is the first in a series, I’m sure we’ll get to see it eventually!

This is a wholly enjoyable novel and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys YAs, mythology, and a good mystery.