Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: September 20th, 2011
IBSN: 9780061996221

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. 

After Wren's boyfriend, Danny, dies in a tragic car accident, she's devastated. Driven by grief, in ignorance of the consequences, she uses the strange powers she inherited to bring him back, but he's only a shell of himself. He's cold and dead and only reflects the old Danny in fleeting moments. He can only think of her and becomes possessive and needs to be hidden from the world. And hiding him seems to work, until Gabriel arrives.

Cold Kiss was surprisingly raw and emotional. Wren is as devastated by Danny's death as you'd expect, and though she knows bringing him back was a mistake, saying goodbye for a second time seems unbearable. Her grief over the boy that is still technically with her and the conflict between what she needs to do and what she wants to do is heartrendingly real.

Wren had a distinct and unique voice, realistic and well-portrayed emotions, and a very likeable quality to her despite her standoffish cover. The way she developed was realistic, especially considering she needed a trigger -- in the form of Gabriel -- to do so.

Gabriel motivation for helping Wren out was plausible. He understood what was going on, he knew it was wrong, and he wanted to help fix it. Plus, he kind of liked her. He didn't try to just swoop in and get overprotective of her; he just offered assistance where it was needed. I love these kinds of relationships explored in YA: where the romance is actually beneficial to the development of the main character. Gabriel helped Wren overcome something that she couldn't have on her own, and their connection proved to be stronger than those of YA characters built simply on good looks.

All of this amazing character building was portrayed through an easy, flowing writing style. A quietly sad and slightly hypnotic tone was established quickly and maintained, inducing a strange prickly feeling at the story's climax. I'm interested in more books from Amy Garvey in the future based on her incredible writing skill.

Overall, a compelling and emotional read; heavy on the character development and light on the supernatural. A refreshing read for paranormal and contemporary fans alike.

I give Cold Kiss a 4 out of 5.