Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Publisher: Harper teen
Age: Young Adult
Species: Human/ Zombie/ Exceptional Humans*
Rating: 5/5
Interest: Zombie/ Hype/ Picked up on a Whim

“It seemed so right. Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn’t going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead, not anymore. I didn’t think any further than what it would feel like to kiss him again, to wrap my arms around him and bury my head against his shoulder. 
That was my first mistake. It also turned out to be the biggest.”

When her boyfriend, Danny, is killed in a car accident, Wren can’t imagine living without him. Wild with grief, she uses the untamed powers she’s inherited to bring him back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy she once loved.

Wren has spent four months keeping Danny hidden, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school and somehow, inexplicably, he can sense her secret. Wren finds herself drawn to Gabriel, who is so much more alive than the ghost of the boy she loved. But Wren can’t turn her back on Danny or the choice she made for him—and she realizes she must find a way to make things right, even if it means breaking her own heart.

I will be the first to admit I was skeptical of how good Cold Kiss would be. After mixing it up with another book, seeing bad reviews for that book, then low ones for this one and reading Warm Bodies, the best zombie book ever written, I did not have high hopes for Cold Kiss. In fact, I picked it off my bookcase on a whim when I was tired of not being able to finish a book. I'm actually very glad I did.

There's a new trend starting with zombies. I'm finding that these dead people are becoming the ultimate symbol of loss or regret. Both are in high supply in Cold Kiss. There isn't a constant cloud of grief gripping the novel though, which I appreciated. However, there is this huge sense of secrecy. Wren's mom keeping secrets from Wren, Gabriel hiding things from Wren, Wren keeping everything from well, everyone. It's a little frustrating to feel like you're constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and a secret to be revealed.

It's strange, but I really loved the dynamic between Danny and Wren. She was so caught up in their past, trying to hold on to and remember the absolute best parts of Danny since everything had gone wrong. Danny was... highly dependent but he wasn't an idiot or mindless. He sincerely needed Wren, she was all that made up his world and he simply didn't know how to deal with being dead, her leaving all the time and being unable to go back to his former life. They were entirely tragic but still beautiful together. Granted, love probably pulled a curtain over the creepier and wrong aspects of resurrecting Danny, but I still felt honest affection in them both for each other, and they just wanted that back.

Gabriel was just there, for me. I liked him, he was good to Wren and he understood the Danny situation, but he didn't capture my heart. I wanted Wren and him to just make out and get the sexual tension over with, however I didn't really have a use for him beyond that. His sister... was strangely accepting of girls who can levitate and zombie boyfriends for not having a supernatural gift herself. She was a very laid back and pretty awesome girl, if I ever get into a creepy or dire situation, she's the girl I'd want at my side.

I do wish there was more background information in the book. I wanted to know more about Wren's abilities, her absentee father and the thing that split up Wren's entire family. I suppose that's what sequels are for, but I felt like there didn't need to be a second book, if Garvey had just explained this things in Cold Kiss. I honestly don't know if there will be a sequel (I'm sincerely hoping so) in order for these things to be explained. However, I feel like a second novel will lose some of Cold Kiss' potency though, so much of it was rooted in Danny and the pain it was putting Wren through to keep him around. I'm uncertain there's really a good way to continue the series with the same raw emotion Cold Kiss contained.

Overall Cold Kiss was a beautiful and heart breaking debut from Amy Garvey that is full of inner strength on behalf of the characters. I loved most of the characters, I adored the tragedy present in all of the relationships, it was all just wonderful. Cold Kiss is the perfect fall or Halloween book, full of vibrant imagery. I'd recommend this book to any paranormal teen fan or fans of witches or zombies. Everyone should pick this book up and read it for the fall season!

*Exceptional Humans- includes all humans with exceptional abilities such as time traveler, psychics, clairvoyants, witches and a myriad of other not so normal humans.

Teaser Lines:  "Let me go." 
   Three simple words, and yet they stand for everything I haven't been able to do since he died. Grief and regret flood though me, and it's like trying to walk away from the wind--I can't escape it, so I let it slam me instead. 
   "Stop," I scream, just like the morning in the park, and Danny collapses as if his strings have been cut.  

Happy reading, 

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