Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Reading Level:  Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006199622X
ISBN-13: 978-0061996221
Series: No
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: I like the simplicity of this cover and how the pale colors compliment the title. The title font is gorgeous too. I think it's a quite cover that will really stand out.
First Sentence: "I wasn't thinking about falling in love the day I met Danny Greer."

Mini-ReviewCold Kiss is a poignant debut novel of first love and loss.


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.

Cold Kiss is a poignant story of first love and loss. Featuring a realistic and likable main character, a strong first person voice, and a slow building romantic relationship that is the perfect recipe to cure the insta-love blues, Cold Kiss is an amazingly touching story that I recommend for everyone.

Wren's loss saturates every page of the novel. The reader can feel her fear and sorrow and desperation and because of this vivid feeling of loss, it's easy to see why she raised her dead boyfriend from the grave. What I loved about this book was how unique Wren's point of view was. She was smart and biting, her dialog and thoughts were clever. Though she was so closed off from the world, her simultaneous sarcasm and need to fix her relationship with her friends really helped to show how much she was missing being among the living. It was interesting to contrast how different she was when she was with Danny. I enjoyed Wren's journey back into the world of the living. My only quibble is that she refused to accept help until the almost the ending and I wish she'd have been a little more open to being helped since she was stuck in a situation that she didn't know how to get out of.  

The author was especially skilled in recreating perfect moments for Wren and Danny. Though Danny was dead for most of the novel, the reader got a sense of the person Wren was mourning and in those glimpses, it was easier to see how their future would have gone. From his secrets smiles to the feel of his warm hands on her back, the author was incredible at building a relationship that was already gone. This was perfect to contrast with what Wren was left with after she rose him from the dead--that is, the shell of the boy she used to love. The memories of Danny where chopped up and spread through out the book so they hit the reader as fresh and hard as they hit Wren, adding to that sense of desperate melancholy she felt. Seeing how Danny and Wren were together also justifies why Wren brought him back and validates her reasoning, no matter how rash it seemed.

Gabriel is Wren's answer to how to go on, there to melt her cold heart. What I really enjoyed was watching them begin something and that their world's didn't revolve around each other instantly. Sure, they both seemed fond of each other at first but Wren is worried about other things. I liked that Gabriel tagged along, forcing her to notice him until she started to trust him. Their relationship came together naturally and didn't feel rushed which was nice, especially since you could tell this didn't happen with Danny and wouldn't make sense if she just threw all that out the window for a new guy.

The powers Wren's entire family had were another unique part. Though it was somewhat undefined, it was also as familiar to the reader as it was to Wren. Her mother's reluctance to talk about their "gifts" also added to the intrigue and I was happy to see how must Wren's family cared for her.

Cold Kiss combines a bittersweet romance and the paranormal power to possibly change the ending, into a heartfelt journey through one girl's grief. The blending of the past and the dismal present worked perfectly to portray what was and Gabriel's presence glimmered of hope for the future. Cold Kiss is addicting from the beginning to the end; a breathe of fresh air in the genre with a ton of heart.



  1. Amber-
    What a great review! Just reading it was getting me all choked up again.
    I agree that Amy Garvey did a fabulous job of doling out the memories of Danny & Wren. The memory in the last chapter had me sobbing.
    What a great book!

  2. I think this is one of my favorite reviews from you Amber! It really captures what the story was all about and I wish the words I chose in my review seemed half as beautiful as yours. Your feelings seem to be the same as mine with this one and I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Cold Kiss is probably going to get a spot on my best YAs of 2011. I loved it :)

    Beautifully written review!

  3. I'm skeptical right now. All of the stories on great loss that I have been reading lately just are not hitting the correct marks for me personally. Bitter End and The Beginning of After were both big let downs for me and I'm just not sure I can do yet another story where it possibly won't make me feel like I'm in the story experiencing the loss myself. I need to be connected and crying and I'm just not sure this novel would do that for me.

    Thank you for the awesome review though. I hope that many people find this one to be as great as you thought it was.


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