Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss #1)
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.
What I Loved:
I was immediately draw in by Wren's voice as a narrator. She's at turns haunting, heartbreaking, feisty, and strong. I really enjoyed how deeply she felt things, and how willing she was to take responsibility for the things she'd done. I was also very invested in the outcome of the story. I wanted Wren's relationship with her mom to find a new level of honesty, I wanted Danny to be ok (somehow), and I wanted the romance to work out. The author did an excellent job of making me care about every character on the page. I read this book quickly because a) I loved the voice and b) I really wanted to know how it ended!
What Left Me Wanting More:
I wanted a bit more information on Wren's abilities and her family's background. I understand that Wren is in the dark on much of it, so of course the reader would be too, but there were a few leaps forward in Wren's emotional journey that I couldn't quite follow because I didn't have enough information about her abilities or how she felt about them.
I also felt like the pacing got a little off near the end. I wanted Wren to stop agonizing so much over her guilt (we'd already established that emotion thoroughly) and just move forward and act. It felt like the climax was drawn out a bit too long.
This was a very enjoyable, fast-paced story that kept me turning pages as fast as possible so I could see how it ended. I wasn't expecting to really love this book, but I did, and I'd happily read another book by Ms. Garvey.
Wren is hiding the zombie remains of her boyfriend in the neighbor’s garage. She resurrected him because, after Danny died in a car crash, she couldn’t move on past her grief. But he’s not the same anymore—he’s not alive like he was, even though he’s not dead. And some way or another, Wren’s going to have to figure out how to make things right, even if it means letting Danny go for good.
As far as YA paranormal romance and zombie fiction and teen love go, Cold Kiss comes out of left field and does its own thing. Instead of dealing with new love and the beginning of a relationship, Amy Garvey writes about the end of one, about letting go and moving on even if it hurts. In that, I think this book is much more heartfelt and touching than is the norm for this genre or subject.
Wren definitely stole my heart in the end, proving herself to be a protagonist worthy of my esteem. She stood up for herself, she didn’t take crap from anyone (especially her mom), she made mistakes but owned up to them and did her best to make amends, and in the end she did the right thing even though she didn’t want to. At the same time, I would have liked to see a bit more depth from her, but what Garvey supplied I was more than willing to take. And there’s a sequel, which I’m expecting will expand on Wren’s personality a bit more, hopefully.
Inter-family relationships also play a role in Cold Kiss, which was fabulous—more books need to realize that most teens have some kind of “family” or support system. Wren had her mother and sister, both of whom also had magical powers (I guess you could call them witches if you want). Wren’s mother tries to pretend the magic doesn’t exist, and it’s created a huge barrier between them, especially since Wren’s dad walked out ten years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. In that context, it’s not at all surprising that Wren attached herself to Danny in the way she did, that she was unable to let him go.
I was also impressed with the romantic relationships Garvey presented in this novel. New boy in town, Gabriel, plays a somewhat important role in the plot. He also has supernatural powers—mind reading—and he knows something wrong in Wren’s world. At the end of the book they’ve only known each other for a week, and though they’ve formed a bond that’s definitely not platonic, they don’t declare undying love for each other or act in any way silly or unrealistic. And though Cold Kiss is mostly about Wren and Danny’s relationship coming to a close, Garvey does give the reader glimpses into the initial stages of their love as well.
“It wasn’t love right away, because nothing ever is, no matter what the songs say, but it was the start of it. A beginning in one way, and the end in another. I think that might always be true of love” (pg. 6).
Thank goodness for a YA author with her head screwed on right!
Sad to say, though, that as much as I loved Cold Kiss as a whole, I did have some issues. In general I feel like this book only scraped the surface of its potential. Amy Garvey could have done so much more—deeper emotion, broader themes, etc. That she didn’t was disappointing, as I can’t help but feel like there’s a piece missing from this novel to make it truly wonderful.
But overall, Cold Kiss the type of paranormal novel I love to read and tend to look desperately for but almost always end up not finding. I’m extremely impressed with both this novel and Amy Garvey’s ability to relate a unique story. This author has talent, and this book has real merit. Cold Kiss is a great novel for those looking for an out of the ordinary experience.
review by Jump Into Books
A very well written story by Amy Garvey in her first Young Adult novel. It reminded me of Practical Magic, you know, the movie with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman and the two crazy aunts played by Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing (I loved that movie!). Although, unfortunately, you don’t get an appearance by crazy aunts. But there is mention of “special” relatives in this beautiful and haunting (Lauren Kate) page turner.
Wren is a confused and heartbroken seventeen year old girl who recently lost the love of her life in a horrific car accident. With her budding “powers” she decides to take matters into her own hands and raise her beloved Danny from the grave. But the consequences aren’t what she expected or thought of. Danny becomes very attached to Wren after his second birth and Wren feels very overwhelmed with it all.
Alienated by her friends and not being able to talk to her friends or even her own mother about what is going on, she reluctantly turns to outsider and new comer, Gabriel. Gabriel also has the “gift”, the gift of mind reading, kind of like an Edward Cullen sort of thing. Soon, Wren and Gabriel find their friendship budding into something else and Wren feeling hopeless and even more confused with Danny still being a walking corpse.
Everything, of course, works out in the end. However, I wish that we got to hear more about her family and their abilities and exactly how powerful her mother really is. It also would have been nice to know exactly what happens to her father so early on in her life. Garvey just leaves the reader hanging on that one. Hopefully in the second book she will reveal some more of this.
All in all, this was a very great book. I couldn’t put it down, and when I did, believe me, it was hard, since I have a 3 year old running around, haha.
review by A Blog about Nothing
I haven’t read many paranormal novels this year, I think maybe two or three. I’ve spent this year reading contemps and dystopians but I picked up Cold Kiss after reading the synopsis and thought I’d give it a try. I was glad to see that I was able to get past the first fifty pages which didn’t happened when I tried reading paranormals just last month. My heart just hasn’t been in a mood for them lately. But Cold Kiss won me over from the beginning, I think it was because it wasn’t just focused on the paranormal aspect of the story, the magic that Wren can do but mostly on her grieving and what one will desperately do to not let go of those we love.
I liked that the novel was focused on Wren’s struggle to deal with the death of her boyfriend, with the way her feelings change after she brings him back and how she realizes how selfish she was and the damage she had done. Also loved that there’s a lot of focus on her relationship with her mother and the secrets she’s keeping from her, the anger she feels towards her for not teaching her about their powers and what really happened to her father. It makes the reader curious to continue reading, it has way more than just the undead boyfriend in it which makes the story feel a bit more like a contemporary novel with a dash of paranormal in it. I think that’s why I was able to get into this one, because it was full of angst and teenage rebellion too.
Towards the end though, I became angry with Wren. I was irritated with the way she began to treat Gabriel, who’s the best guy ever and all he’s been wanting to do was help her. She was a bit annoying during that last third of the novel, she was ungrateful and childish, I know she’s a teen but after all he had done for her, he didn’t deserve to be treated so crappy. I was glad to see that the ending leaves you with a bit of closure and even though this is a series it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. Thanks goodness for that! It does leave some things unresolved which I hope will take main focus on the sequel. I’m looking forward to see what happens next and hopefully see Wren grow a little bit more.
“If I love him, the right thing to do is let him go. And hope that wherever he goes, he doesn’t remember that I didn’t love him enough to leave him in peace in the first place.” ~ Wren
At first glance, Cold Kiss looks just like most of the other paranormal romance books. But really, it isn’t. It’s amazing, unique, and a definite must read.
Wren was my ideal protagonist; Sarcastic, fun, yet strong and passionate. The way she held herself together despite everything that happened was amazing, and that’s definitely something we can all look up to. She’s… just awesome, you know? And everything she does makes sense. Being someone that lost her best friend in an accident a few years ago, I can easily relate to Wren. Though I wasn’t romantically involved or anything, I can understand what she went through. If I had her ability, I might’ve done the same thing.
The author’s writing is beautiful, the emotions well portrayed. I felt that some of the less vital characters, Gabriel in particular, lacked a strong back-story. However, since this story’s for Wren and Danny, not about Gabriel, Wren’s dad, etc, I think it’s okay. The character’s decisions, however strange it may be, made sense – even Wren’s decision to bring Danny back – and we got a clear back-story on Wren and Danny, which was really the major points.
I have to admit I cried towards the end. Not convinced? Read the quote above. It was an emotional roller-coaster the whole way through. I’d be laughing at something Wren said on one page, then, being the emotional person I am, would be holding back tears over something that happened on the next page. It was a emotion evoking, wonderful read.
I actually wouldn’t consider it a paranormal story. It was more of a contemporary story, with just dabbles of paranormal on the side (zombies). It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and it sticks with you long after you’ve finished reading. I’d recommend this to anyone in search of a good story, and I hope that the author decides to write more. Love zombies? Give this book a try. Don’t like zombies? Give this book a try. Really, it’s that good.
Totally Not What I Was Expecting...in a Good Way
I definitely expected to hate this book. Perhaps that's not something I should admit, but that's how it was. Partly, it's the cover. It's pretty on one level, but it just really creeps me out. Plus, there's the quote on the cover by Lauren Kate, whose books I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate as well, from what I've heard in the blogosphere. I believe I'd also read some less than flattering reviews of Cold Kiss. Well, this is one of the rare situations in which I am okay with being wrong.
While I am not completely in love with Cold Kiss, I definitely enjoyed it and I really appreciated how different the messages about love and romance are from so many of the most popular YA novels. As you can see in my favorite quote down at the bottom, this book is all about the misconceptions and fairy tale perfect romances not being as portrayed by pop culture.
The focus of this book is not on love overcoming death. That's what I thought it would be. I loved that she really considered the dark consequences of Wren's actions. I expected this to be a romance, but it's really not. That made a refreshing change.
I'm not sure how I feel about Gabriel. On the one hand, I would have preferred for Wren not to have a romantic interest in someone besides Danny - not forever, but while she's dealing with this. Still, I can kind of see why Garvey included him, and that he might be a necessary impetus. Wren certainly wasn't happy with her relationship with Danny before Gabriel entered the scene, but Gabriel serves to remind her of all that she's missing: a warm guy who she can be seen in public with. Gabriel can be a partner; Danny is nothing but deadweight. Still, Gabriel is too attached and to protective for someone who just met her.
The paranormal aspects are interesting, but not perhaps as well-defined as I would have liked. It seems a bit as though Gabriel's abilities were thrown in as a plot point to force Wren to open up to him, rather than being something natural. Other than that, I just don't know why he had them.
Another plus was the theme of family, and of how Wren's family dealt with the magical powers. This aspect, as well as the whole what-will-we-do-with-this-undead-dead-guy part, reminded me a lot of Practical Magic. Wren's mom does not want to teach her daughters how to use their power, which is what lets Wren get so out of control. She's made up her own rules and boundaries.
Cold Kiss is deeper and more thoughtful than I anticipated, making it a nice counterpoint to all of the paranormal, instalove romances out there. I will definitely be giving book two, Glass Heart, a try. I'm definitely curious to see what will happen next, and hope that Garvey will continue to deviate from the standard YA romance tropes.
Brrr Its Cold In Here
I recived this as a prize from one of the authors of The International Kissing Club, Shelle Roberts! Thanks so much for the book!! It was amazing!
I really enjoyed the book, it was interesting. It was extremley different then most books I read on the terms that I don't do ghost's well. The creep me out, and so I stay away from them. There was something different about this book though, and it was a good change.
The plot was adequete, not perfect, and kind of all over the place. Sometimes I had to go back and re-read the page to understand what the next page was talking about. It bothered me because I really don't like doing that.
The characters were fun though! They dealt with what teenagers our age deal with. Well other than one of them being from a family of witches and being able to bring back a person from the dead.
The character I just described was Wren, the main character. She is a keep to yourself person with only a few best friends, till she meets Danny. He takes her out of her shell and just makes her happy. That is.. till he dies and she goes into depression and pushes everyone away and is hiding a big secret that I can't say!! That is till a new guy comes along...
This new guy is Gabriel, he is new to town and is instantly atracted to Wren! Of course Wren is still hiding somethings and isnt interested in this new mysterious hottie! Gabriel is the kind that will do anything he to get what he wants and always wants to help people. Always. So watch your thoughts around Mr. Mystery, you never know when he's listening!!
This book was amazing, it was a quick and easy read. I give it 39 out of 59 Tacos!! Which is equal to 3 stars!! Woo!! Pre-order it and you won't be sorry. Even if your against ghost books, this one is worth it!!