Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

 Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

Ever since I first heard about Cold Kiss, I’ve been dying to read it. The premise sounded fresh and unique, and in the months before its release, I heard many good things about it. However, Cold Kiss turned out to be something I wasn’t quite expecting. I liked it, but there were a few things in I didn’t enjoy as much as I wanted to and thought I would.

There’s often a before and after to people, and the Wren, the main character in Cold Kiss, is one of them. Before the death of her boyfriend Danny, Wren was living the high life so to say. She had a fabulous boyfriend in Danny, great friends, and a supportive family. However, everything changes when Danny goes out one day and doesn’t return. Wren becomes a mess in many ways. Withdrawing herself from her life, she obsesses and morns over Danny until she comes up with a way to bring him back. The Danny that comes back, though, isn’t the Danny she knew and loved. He’s needy, obsessive, and a bit possessive of Wren as well. Moreover, he keeps asking questions, ones that Wren isn’t quite ready to answer. Everything changes though when a Gabriel DeMarnes arrives at Wren’s school. Sweet and charming, Gabriel is someone Wren feels an odd connection to, but there’s one tiny little problem: he’s on to Wren’s dirty little secret….and he wants to help. Will Wren let him, or will everything soon become one hot (or more accurately zombie) mess? Only time and more pages can tell in this interesting read that puts quite a new spin on the zombie trend.

The main way in which this book died in my eyes was development or the lack therefor. From the characters to the plot to the main romance, everything just fell a bit short development wise and it ended up hurting Cold Kiss in many ways to say the least.

Let’s start with the plot. The premise of this was one of the first things that drew me to this book. It sounded fresh and exciting, something that I truly hadn’t seen before, and while it was that way in some ways, in others it feel flat. I never really understood exactly what Wren’s powers were. Was she a witch? Alternatively, was she some sort of zombie riser? The same went for Gabriel and his sisters as well as Wren’s family. Moreover, another plot line that never really worked out was the family plot line. Throughout the book, something is hinted about the father and his disappearance as well as the Wren’s aunt and mother’s dilemmas with the other, but by the end, nothing was really explained about it all. It just kind of all drifted off, which only made me guess there will probably be a sequel. What did work well was seeing Wren’s qualms over the whole Danny situation. I honestly could feel her pain and suffering over letting Danny go as well as keeping him. It was a winless situation, especially in the beginning, but by the end, I was happy with Wren’s ultimate decision as well as the growth in character that came with it.

Talking about Wren, I have to add that I did like the characters in Cold Kiss overall. As mentioned above, given Wren’s feelings and actions, I felt she was realistic character. In addition, I really enjoyed the addition of Gabriel, even though I felt his relationship with Wren was little too underrated. Wren’s family unit (especially her sister) and friends also provided an interesting addition and sometimes comic relief. Lastly, it was also interesting to see Wren’s flashbacks about how Danny used to be compared to how he now was.

In all, while Cold Kiss did have its faults development wise, it's still a solid debut as well as one that I’m sure many paranormal fans will eagerly devour, especially if they are fans of the more sensitive-zombie type. 

Grade: C+

Cold Kiss (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publisher via Netgalley- thanks HarperTeen!


  1. Hmmm. I think I will enjoy this one. Thanks for the honest review :)

  2. I always forget this is about zombies, which makes me more eager to read it! Sorry it didn't completely live up to your expectations, but I'm looking forward to reading this myself!

    Great review, Lauren!


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