Review: Cold Kiss

Review: Cold KissCold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Series: Cold Kiss #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 20, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 292
Format: Hardcover
Source: Won

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.

First Sentence: “I wasn’t thinking about falling in love the day I met Danny Greer.”

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.

Favorite Quote:

“It wasn’t love right away, because nothing ever is, no matter what the songs say, but it was the start of it.”

6 responses to “Review: Cold Kiss”

  1. Anna says:

    It’s so interesting:)

  2. Lisa Cox says:

    Interesting sounding book. May just have to try this one out.

  3. fakesteph says:

    I love that this isn’t an insta-love kind of paranormal romance, but actually a more thoughtful book. This actually sounds right up my alley.

  4. Llehn says:

    It just goes to show that when you give something you don’t usually like a chance, you might be surprised by it 😀

  5. Kristin says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now but just have never picked it up since it came out. Thanks for giving away your extra copy.

  6. Ashley says:

    Thanks for the easy entry – that’s appreciated 🙂

    This book sounds quite intriguing and I’d love to give it a try!

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