Books Review

Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

October 12, 2011
image from Barnes and Noble’s website

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. (GoodReads)

I picked up Amy Garvey’s Cold Kiss not only because it sounded good, but also because the back says it’s “perfect for fans of Shiver and Beautiful Creatures”. Well, yeah. We all know how much I love Shiver. Actually, I think I’m more obsessed with it, but that’s beside the point. What is the point, however, is that Ms. Garvey’s YA debut is a beautiful book.

Ms. Garvey’s writing is stunning. She has given Wren a very poetic, funny, and honest voice. Raw, even. The descriptions leave nothing to be desired and have a sort of depth to them, if that makes sense. The dialogue is smooth and fluid, as well. Although Wren is withdrawn from her friends, they are still great members of the cast and help show just how strong friendship can be.

Prior to reading the book, I knew Danny had to be some sort of zombie given the fact that Wren brings him back to life. Zombies tend to freak me out because of the whole flesh-eating thing, but Danny is not freaky. He is a tragically broken person who seems trapped between death and life. I really like how Ms. Garvey has presented both zombies and witches in this. I wouldn’t necessarily consider Danny a zombie nor Wren a witch, though. And I mean that in a good way. They’re both just them: beautifully flawed characters.

Although the romance in the book held my attention, what I liked most while reading is the way Ms. Garvey has included the themes of loss and love, and what it means to deal with both. At times, Cold Kiss read as a contemporary novel in the vain of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. The balance between the paranormal aspect and the realism is wonderfully crafted.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cold Kiss. The ending felt a tad rushed, but it ended on a sweet note. Nonetheless, it’s a beautifully written and told story that I know many will love. Wren, Danny, and Gabriel—a boy I’m sure many will swoon over—all tugged at my heartstrings and I can’t wait for other readers to be swept away by their story.

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