For What It's Worth

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ARC Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Cold Kiss

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.

Amy Garvey’s transcendent teen debut is perfect for fans of Shiver and Beautiful Creatures. Wren’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned. (YA) Release date September 20th, 2011

Cold Kiss is a haunting, heartbreaking, bittersweet and at times humorous debut novel by Amy Garvey.

Wren is impulsive and makes a lot of mistakes. She forgets to put the milk in the refrigerator, she leaves the cap off the toothpaste. Not a big deal. But Wren has power and when she loses the love of her life Danny in a car accident, being impulsive has ramifications that go far beyond sour milk.

In an act of desperation, and yes, selfishness, Wren raises Danny from the dead. Only Danny isn't the same sweet boy that gave her that warm, crooked smile. He remembers and clings only to Wren. When Wren leaves him alone, Danny slips farther and farther away from his reality but can never truly leave. Wren can't tell anyone and sees her own life slipping away as she has to keep lying to friends and family to keep her horrible secret.

Wren: "It's all my fault, every bit of this. It's like one of those hedge mazes. Once you're in, turned around without any landmarks, there's nothing to do but keep going until you find your way out."

When Gabriel comes to town sensing Wren's despair and power she finally has someone to turn to and maybe someone who can help her say goodbye to Danny for good this time.

Cold Kiss grabbed me right away with Garvey's writing style. I remembered all the wonderful times between Wren and Danny right along with Wren and could see how she would get herself into this situation. Even though we only see Danny as a broken boy I could also tell how wonderful he was in life.

It was about 3/4 way through that the book lost me for a bit. There are several issues Wren has to address. One is her growing power. Wren's mom has answers but is very secretive about the whole thing to the point that it doesn't always make sense. Things come to a head and Wren confronts her mom but I felt the whole thing was swept under the rug a little too quickly. I never really got the answers I was looking for.

The other issue of course is Danny. How does Wren find the strength emotionally and physically (through her powers) to send Danny back to where he belongs. Gabriel helps with that but even though I liked him and see their draw to each other it was a little too intense, particularly from Gabriel's side for me to believe. It wasn't quite insta-love but it did feel a little too rushed. Also, by the 100th time that Wren is complaining about how she regrets what she did but refuses to think about how to fix it, I started getting annoyed and wanted to rush the story along.

Despite that one complaint I loved the premise, the writing and conclusion over all. This is a stand alone (does happy dance - throws confetti - hugs book - thanks the book gods!) and had a beautiful ending.

Oh and that cover - love it & it's very fitting.

Rating: 3 out of 4

Amy Garvey: websiteTwitterFacebookTumblrGoodreads
Buy the book! Cold Kiss
Source: ARC copy from BEA
Publisher: Harper Teen September 20th, 2011

*Cold Kiss is a 2011 YA Debut Author Challenge qualifying novel - sponsored by The Story Siren.

Enter my giveaway for Cold Kiss HERE Ends 9/7


  1. Glad you liked it! I have it coming up soonish :) I do feel a little concerned about the mom-thing and the complaining and not fixing thing, but if you say it's still good, I'll trust you on that one. Secretive parents and whiny teenagers are a bit of a pet peeve of mine..
    Thanks for the review!

  2. Great review and I didn't like the mom being secretive and nothing was really answered with about her powers.

  3. @Daisy I was pulled in early on by the writing and loved reading about Wren & Danny. I do think it falters a bit in the last 1/3 but still worth reading.