Frozen Beauty by Lexa Hillyer

Title: Frozen Beauty

Author: Lexa Hillyer

Date of publication: March 17, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen

Print length: Hardcover,368 pages

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult,Contemporary

Edition: ebook

You can buy this book from Amazon

signature-fonts ★★★★☆

Writing Quality 5/5, Character Development 3/5, ‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 4/5, Intellectual Depth 5/5, Originality 3/5, Overall 4/5.


After reading ‘All Your Twisted Secrets’ by Diana Urban, I saw this book into the recommendation section, and I liked its cover. I looked over the description and decided I want to read it. Not going to lie, but I’m glad I did!

The entire story takes place in Devil’s Lake, where the Malloy sisters (Kit, Tessa and Lily) are well-known for their contrasting personalities as well as their majestic beauty. The three of them are very close until one of them dies (Kit) under unknown circumstances. They all used to have secrets, but when this tragedy occurs, their dark and deep mysteries are getting unravelled. When Lily sees Boyd (their neighbour with whom they are quite close to) kissing and arguing with Kit right before she got murdered, it becomes clear for the cops he was the one to do it, but are they right? Tessa perceives Boyd as being innocent, and that is why she agrees to help the boy in discovering the criminal, but the secrets she is about to find are both unsettling and more twisted than she could ever imagine.

The main action takes place between Lily and Tessa after the death of their sister, the story being flipped back and forth between the time Kit was alive, and after she died. In this way, we can see how different both of them are; Tessa is clumsy, and she is known for tripping in her own feet. She is a genetic mash-up between her and her sister. She always feels like she’s living under her sister’s shadow. Tessa is the same age as her friend Boyd. On the other hand, Lily is quite the complete opposite; she is a typical fifteen-year-old, with an undying love for new clothes and quite a temper. Her grades aren’t fantastic, and she feels an immortal pressure given by her older sister because she was a goodie-two-shoes.

The actual story is about Kit and how she died, who killed her and why.

The action is well written. The timeline of the story is followed harmoniously, without letting room for misunderstandings. Even though the story was being told from a third-person perspective (excluding the parts from Lily’s dairy), I felt like every character was well developed. We knew something about everyone, things that later on solved the riddle. When every piece of the puzzle was put together by Tessa, everything finally made sense. I can tell you right away that the ending was a pleasant surprise, and it did the exact thing that the end of a mystery novel must do; turn your universe upside down.

I didn’t expect to see what I saw when I started reading. Not long after I picked up the novel, I realized that Lexa Hillyer was a skilled writer. The description (especially the ones of the views) gave me chills: ‘but now the skeletal trees surrounding the lake pricked at the sky, a giant crown of thorns.’. After reading her biography, I saw that she used to be a poetry writer, and that makes plenty of sense now! The author litters the book with poetry paragraphs which takes the book to a whole another level. It just makes it better. It has everything: romance(the romance parts are everything, even though there are not many), mystery, thriller, a bit of poetry and even some (or plenty of) drama! It seems like the perfect kind of book, except that sometimes the purpose of the book (finding the murderer of Kit) is covered by fog. Sometimes you can’t stop reading, and sometimes you die because of the boredness it gives you. If you get past that, the book becomes just a delightful activity. The thing I enjoyed the most while reading the story were the extracts of Lily’s diary. It gave the book a playful tone, as well as a sad one. The way Lily felt about herself: not being as good as her sister, Kit, or feeling like all of her friends became a beautiful memory, created a gloomy atmosphere, while the cheerful way of describing the past events, mixed with a few, but innocent grammar errors created the humorous atmosphere.

Last but not least, one more reason to read this book, the sisterhood. Even though I said that Tessa and Lily are much different, the relationship between them is enchanting. They love each other, and somehow the death of Kit made them closer. I know it was a tragedy but was it for nothing?

Overall, it was deep and sad, yet happy and humorous all in one go. It made me experience thoughts and see things in a different light. It gave me a new perspective, and I am glad I picked it up. Without a doubt, I recommend it for further reading!


Hello! I’m the author of the YA fantasy duology Spindle Fire & Winter Glass, YA speculative contemporary Proof of Forever, and the upcoming YA contemporary Frozen Beauty. I also wrote the poetry collection Acquainted with the Cold, which won the 2012 Foreword Book of the Year Award. I’m one of the founders, and President of Publishing, at creative development company Glasstown Entertainment. I live in Carroll Gardens with my husband, daughter, and a very skinny orange tree. Follow me on instagram @ProofOfLex and twitter @Lexa_Hillyer !


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