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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Kiss of Death by Lauren Henderson

Kiss of Death by Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: May 10th, 2011
Pages: 307
Series: Scarlett Wakefield, #4
Age Level: 14+
Source: Won

Synopsis via Goodreads
Scarlett thought Dan McAndrew's murder was long behind her, but when she and her classmates arrive in Edinburgh for a weeklong field trip, she's startled to be joined by her old St. Tabby's cohorts--and enemies--who are visiting the area on a field trip as well. Even more startling, Callum, Dan's surviving twin, is in the area--and his cold treatment leaves Scarlett wondering what's changed, especially when a series of attacks makes her believe that someone's out to get her for her past mistakes. Would Callum ever hurt her, though? And what's Scarlett to make of her conflicting feelings for Callum, now that Jase isn't around? Even more upsetting, why is her most trusted confidante, Taylor, acting distant and dismissive?

While not my favorite, Kiss of Death was a good, sturdy end to the Scarlett Wakefield series by Lauren Henderson.

One of the things that I've grown to appreciate throughout this series is how Scarlett isn't perfect, and in fact, is quite flawed. She's a really good person at heart but she can have a bit of mean streak about her as well. Can't we all? She continued to be a humorous and easy to connect with character in this final installment, though I did have one problem. That problem is that while I seemed to see a good bit of growth in her as a character in each of the previous books, I don't really feel like I got that from her this time around. Now for Taylor, I've always liked her character but my feelings were a bit mixed for her and I didn't love her quite as much. I actually got really frustrated with her for a while until I later knew the explanation and then forgave her. There was also a twist concerning her towards the end that I thought came way out of left field and I didn't really find it all that believable. As for the guys, well I just didn't connect with or love Callum the same way I did in Kisses and Lies and part of me thinks this was intentionally done by the author to prepare for things that would happen later, like she wanted me to quit liking him. I'm not going to lie, I felt a bit manipulated. In the same sense, my fondness for Jase skyrocketed and I really liked his character in this one. Plum was probably the character I was most happy with in this book as I feel she exhibited the most development and there was something somewhat shocking revealed about her that really made me change the way I viewed her. Then of course was Scarlett's crazy, mean old aunt, who had a larger role than ever.

I was so glad when I found out that for the last book, Scarlett would be returning to Scotland as I really loved the setting in Kisses and Lies. While I did like revisiting this setting again, I felt less drawn to it than before. Kiss of Death was also pretty predictable but I was still able to enjoy it fairly well. I had suspected who was following Scarlett from early on and while I was never entirely sure who was behind the attacks, I wasn't surprised when the villain was revealed. Despite that, there is something about these books that is so fun and compelling, even when I see certain things coming, though this one probably was the most predictable of the four.

The writing was above average and consistent with what I have read in the previous books. It was humorous and, as always, I got enjoyment from the slight differences in terminology and such that comes with reading a book by a British author versus an American one. The one thing that kinda bugged me was the mention of Myspace. Not to sound like one of those young people, but honestly, who uses Myspace anymore? And for the random, obsolete person out there reading this who does use Myspace...*waves*...come to the dark side of Facebook! We have cookies.

The ending was a pretty great way to tie everything together. I was very satisfied and left with a good sense of closure, which is always important to me when finishing a series. As a whole, I'd consider the ending a happy one, tinged with the slightest amount of bitter-sweetness, and this worked well.

All in all, while I definitely feel that there are ways this book could have been stronger as the last in a series, it was still good and satisfactory. I think part of me felt disconnected from this one as I was trying to read it during a crucial time in my school life last semester, which probably didn't help. As a whole, this has been a great YA contemporary mystery series and I would definitely recommend it. I'd probably have to say the middle two books, Kisses and Lies and Kiss in the Dark, were my two favorites. I look forward to reading more from Henderson in the future.

Characters: C+
Writing: C+
Plot: B-
Ending: B+
Final in Series: B-
Enjoyment/Likability: C+
Recommendable: B

Overall: B-

Cover: A-

Buy Kiss Me, Kill Me (My Review)
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Buy Kisses and Lies (My Review)
Hardcover / Paperback / Kindle / Nook / Book Depository

Buy Kiss in the Dark (My Review)
Hardcover / Paperback / Kindle / Nook / Book Depository

Buy Kiss of Death
Hardcover / Paperback / Kindle / Nook / Book Depository


Katelyn Torrey said...

I have not heard much about this series in fact I think this is the first time but it does sound pretty good! I love to see the main character isn't perfect! It really makes a difference in a story when you can relate to a characters imperfections. I will have to check out the other books as well!

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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