Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: Cold Kiss

Author: Amy Garvey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Pages: 304
Read it in: 3 days
Summary: 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.

LC's Take:

Hmmmm... OK, so... I wasn't a huge fan of this book. Cold Kiss tells the story of Wren, a high school girl, who happens to have magic powers that her mom has kept a secret from her all her life-- until her boyfriend Danny dies in a car accident, and Wren finds out that she can use her powers to bring him back to life. The problem is that once she does, Danny isn't the same...
When I first read the premise for this book, I was thinking to myself alright, this could either go one way and be really awesome, or it could just fall flat as a pancake. Unfortunately, I felt like it did the second of those two. I had numerous problems with it almost from the beginning, and even though I kept hoping the story and characters were going to get better, it all just kept getting worse.

So my first and biggest problem with this book was the main character Wren. She was completely unlikable. Wait, scratch that-- she was a miserable, stuck-up, ungrateful little toerag who I just wanted to slap into next week for being so incredibly selfish, mean, and bratty. And what really ground my gears about her, besides her insufferable and immature attitude, was her delusional belief that after raising her dead boyfriend back to life and basically turning him into a brain-dead zombie who lives in an abandoned garage, she still somehow thought that she had everything under control and refused to let anyone help her! Gah! So frustrating!

Alright, I will give the girl a little credit-- Wren does understand the horrible consequences of her decisions and she knows that she has to fix things somehow-- I just didn't like the way she went about it. I also get that Wren was incredibly frustrated because she has these crazy powers and no one-- not even her own mother-- will explain them to her. So I guess in a way it's no wonder that she ended up using them in one of the worst ways possible. But despite all of this? She still came across to me as a really crappy person.

Danny, Wren's undead boyfriend, was not much better. Honestly, he was laughable-- and not in a good way, because I feel like the author was trying to make him seem like this super-tragic, sexy undead guy, but instead he just came across as ridiculous and pathetic. I didn't feel sorry for him, which I know as the reader, I was supposed to. And this made me feel like a big, unsympathetic jerk.

Then we have Gabriel, the new hott guy in town who wants to help Wren out of her situation. He annoyed the crap out of me too-- why? Because he's only known Wren for what, like a couple weeks? And he's inexplicably bending over backwards to help out a girl who only responds to him with venomous retorts and ice-queen attitude. Why the heck is he even attracted to her? She treats him like complete and utter crap! This is not realistic at all, and I hate when books portray these totally unrealistic relationships that make zero sense. Almost every interaction was Gab acting like a love-sick puppy towards Wren, who only threw bitchy comments at him if he so much as looked at her the wrong way, and then Wren wondering why Gab likes her so much (a question I also had). It just baffled me that Gab continually took Wren's abuse and was so willing to help her out of a situation that she had selfishly gotten herself into in the first place. In real life, he would've ditched her.

Besides the annoying main characters whom I either hated or couldn't stop laughing at, the ideas in the story were very vague and wishy-washy. Based on the fact that Wren brought Danny back from the dead and that she has had some kind of "power" ever since she became a teenager, the reader would assume that she's a witch, right? But this was only hinted at throughout the book with a few mentions of spells and magic, and nothing was ever really developed too deeply. I don't think Wren even mentioned being an actual "witch" until Chapter 21! This made the whole paranormal aspect of the story really confusing for me.

Finally, I think that this book just took itself too seriously-- it tried to make some deep, meaningful, romantic story out of a premise that is to begin with pretty ridiculous. I would have liked it so much better if it was a comic, light-hearted story about some teenage witch and her undead zombie boyfriend getting into all kinds of shenanigans (love that word) and ending with a touching, happy ending. Unfortunately, any humor that was in the story seemed like it was just awkwardly thrown in as an afterthought, so it didn't come across as actually being funny. (Fail.)

So I don't know, Cold Kiss was readable, it's not like I ever felt like I wasn't going to be able to finish it, but it was one of those unfortunate cases where I just didn't like or wasn't interested in the characters-- and if I'm not invested in the characters, the rest of the story isn't going to do much for me. Let me also state however, that there are many readers out there who did like this book and thought that the characters were really well-done and multi-dimensional. Even though I wasn't a fan, you might want to check out some positive reviews on it because you might end up really liking it!

~Cover Talk~

I think this is an interesting cover, but it's not a favorite by any means. I do really, really love the font for the title though! Not only is it beautiful, but the letters are also raised and irridescent, which I always think is a nice touch. The close-up of the girls lips is definitely elegant-looking and it almost looks like she is encased in a thick layer of ice, which fits the story very well. However, I don't think it stands out much when compared to all those other gorgeous YA covers out there...

LC's Rating:
Unfortunately, Cold Kiss seriously fell flat for me-- mainly because I either couldn't stand or couldn't connect with the characters. I also thought that the overall story was a little confusing and took itself too seriously. Some humor would have been appreciated in this rather morbid plot...



  1. I don't even remember what I rated this. I do know that it was one of my early reviews, so please don't go and read it, but I remember being disgusted by Danny and never really getting too emotionally involved in this book. Looking back now, I just thought the whole thing was ridiculous. It wasn't great, I'll tell you that.

  2. I haven't even tried to read this before because I've seen so many people talking about how whiny and annoying Wren was. That seems to be the majority opinion :P Now I'm even more sure about not reading it. Can't stand characters like that.

  3. Yuck. :( It always makes me sad when a book fails to impress me (or someone else.) This one does sound like it had its share of issues!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  4. Thanks for the review! I hated books with bratty characters...I can't stand it! I'm even on the fence if I like Rose Hathaway of Vampire Academy because she's having a character worse than her would make me want to throw the book on fire haha ^_^

    1. Wren was pretty bad-- although one of the worst, most annoying characters I've read about was Ashline Wilde from the book Wildefire-- I hated her so much I had to give the book a 1 star rating! :(

  5. Ohhh no! I'm so sad you didn't like this one :( I absolutely can't wait to read it, because my bff read it and loved it, but still. I always hate to see negative reviews for books I'm excited for haha!

    1. I really hope that you like this book better than I did!

  6. Ugh. I do NOT Like the sounds of that Wren character. I just bought this too for zombie month but I didn't know if I would have time for it. I won't be bumbed if I don't now!

    Xpresso Reads

    1. Have you read Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer? That's a zombie book I would recommend! :)

  7. Thanks for the review!/i think it probably going of my wishlist

  8. I am on the fence on whether or not I want this one.

    Also, I have tagged you. :)

  9. Hmm... I'll probably end up getting this one from the library now instead of buying it. Also, I've nominated you for an award! You can find it here:


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