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

Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: Cold Kiss

Cold Kiss (ARC) by Amy Garvey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: September 20th, 2011
Pages: 304
Age Level: 14+
Source: For review from publisher.

Synopsis via Goodreads

“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.

Amy Garvey’s transcendent teen debut is perfect for fans of Shiver and Beautiful Creatures. Wren’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

With its breathtakingly beautiful story, Cold Kiss not only broke my heart, but it also stitched the pieces back together. Though she did it subtly, Amy Garvey blew my mind through her gripping, heartfelt way with words. This is a book, and author, I’ll be raving about for a long time to come.

Wren is one of those heroines that I was able to form an instant connection with. One of the things I loved most about her was how she saw things for what they were. True, she did bring back to life her dead boyfriend in a fit of heartbroken insanity, but she also quickly realized how wrong what she did was. She knew it was her mistake and that it was her responsibility to both handle the situation and fix it. Also, I so deeply admired her understanding of the fact that a guy with a body cold as ice and hard as stone does not a snuggle buddy make. Unlike some people. *cough* Bella Swan *cough* Her emotions shot right off the pages and into me as she felt torn between her devotion and love for Danny and her new feelings for Gabriel, someone who's alive and real, someone whom she can love and be loved by in a way that Danny is no longer capable of. Wren also had this appealing, wry humor about her that added a little more lightness to the story. By the end, I saw what I always like to see when I've finished a book, a strong, dynamic protagonist who has grown and developed all throughout the pages. Then there was, of course Danny. He's now only a shell of what he once was, a boy who is confused and lonely. My heart filled with sorrow and pain everytime Wren would be gone from him and then come back. He seemed so helpless and after getting glimpses of what he was like when he was alive, it made me so sad to see him that way. However, then he starts to remember things and...yeah that's all you're getting. Next we have Gabriel and I absolutely adored him. He was sweet, funny and really wanted to help Wren, even after he realized what she'd done. The romance between them was so heart-warming and I was left wanting more of it. Some other noteworthy supporting characters were: Wren's mom; Robin, Wren's little sister; Olivia, Gabriel's funny and understanding older sister; and Jess and Darcia, Wren's two best friends.

One of the many things I loved about Cold Kiss was how real and tangible it felt, like all of it could be happening out there, to someone, as we speak. This is rare in paranormal books for me but Garvey managed to take both contemporary and supernatural elements and weave them together so harmoniously as to create a seamless, complete whole. The external and internal conflicts throughout the plot were keenly crafted as well as varied in relation to family, friends, self, etc. While I've never exactly been one of those to crave a zombie book, Cold Kiss is far from being your traditional zombie story. There is nothing gross or gruesome about this novel as our 'zombie' doesn't eat brains or anything like that. I am familiar with some of the Haitian voodoo and have heard stories of people being brought back to life there. This is what Danny is loosely based off of and I got to say, in general, I've never read anything like this story that Garvey has so impressively created.

From the very beginning of Cold Kiss, during the prologue, I found myself immediately held captive by Garvey's lyrical, consuming prose. I had picked it up with the intention of reading just the prologue so I could get a small taste of what to expect. At the time, I had other review books I had to get read first. This was a bit of a mistake because the prologue was all it took to make me love this book. I did end up having to pry it from my own fingertips to come back to later but the time I waited to pick it up again was agony and I ended up giving in to it much sooner than planned. That, my friends, is how much I loved the writing and it continued to be just as wonderful all the way through. It was absolutely gorgeous and so deeply infused with strong, palpable emotions. The words just flowed effortlessly from page to page, like water off a duck's back. Okay, maybe not the most eloquent comparison in the world but there you have it.

The ending of Cold Kiss was deliciously bittersweet, making me want to cry and smile at the same time. My only qualm with the ending was that I felt that if the mystery surrounding Wren's dad had been revealed, this story could have worked perfectly as a stand alone. Oh how this world needs more stand alone novels. But alas, I was left thinking, "If this is the only book, I'm gonna be pissed I didn't get to find out about her dad." Indeed, there will be another book and while I would have liked to have possibly seen everything wrapped up in this one novel, part of me is also delighted that I'll get to discover more about Wren, her powers, and her family.

I've been a lot less liberal this year when it comes to dealing out the 'Favorite' & '5-Star' statuses to books. Of the 45 I've read so far this year, Cold Kiss is now just the fourth book I have given five stars to and deemed a favorite. Not only that, but it is the first paranormal book of the group. (In case you were wondering, it is keeping company with Delirium, Wither, and In the Shadow of the Lamp.) Amy Garvey has provided me with such a unique, slightly awe-inspiring story that lingers with me even now, a couple of weeks since having finished it. Honestly, if I had the time, I'd probably start reading it again right this second. Not only do I highly recommend reading this book, I also strongly suggest pre-ordering it if this already sounds like a book you'd enjoy. I'll be on tenterhooks waiting to devour another book from Amy Garvey, an author who should have started writing YA a long time ago. Seriously chick, where have you been?

Characters: B+
Writing: A+
Plot: A-
Ending: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: A
Recommendable: A-

Overall: A-/A

Cover: A

Pre-order Cold Kiss Now
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Briana said...

Yay! So excited to hear this book is good! I got it at BEA and am now even more excited to read it. Great review Bri!

Krista Cubicleblindness said...

You can always tell when somebody really does love the book they review because of the detail and length of the posts. I have been looking forward to this one as well and glad to see it's getting an A.

Shannon The Bookstalker said...

I haven't read many review of Cold Kiss but now I know its definitely a novel I'm going to want to get my hands on. Wren sounds like a character I'm really going to like and I'm digging the whole creepy, yet romantic vibe. September, why are you so far away? LOL! Thanks Briana, for another insightful review!

Allison said...

I have the egalley on my Kindle and now cannot wait to dive in!

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Georgia, United States
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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