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It’s the weekend! And guess who doesn’t have work on Monday? That’s right! Me! *does happy jig* Aren’t you all so happy for me? Now I can get tons of stuff done without feeling constantly pressed for time. So today, I bring you a review of Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey. Its expected publication date is September 20th from HarperTeen. I hope you all enjoy the review.

Cold KissWhen 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.


General Comments

I was dying to read this book from the very moment I stumbled upon it on NetGalley. You can’t imagine how much I wished I could move it up my review list but I didn’t. Now that I’ve finally read it I feel a sense of fulfilment. The story wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. It’s not so much about raising the dead as much as it’s about the protagonist dealing with many complicated emotions. I found it refreshing and saddening but at the same time I wished it had focused a little more on the undead and how he felt. And what his reactions were. I felt like the author took a shortcut so she could explore the emotional upheaval of her protagonist. Despite this, I enjoyed the book and was very satisfied by the time I reached the last page.

Critical Review

Author’s Voice/ POV:

The author chose to use the first person POV which I found fitting because this was a story that deeply explored the protagonist’s emotions and her innermost thoughts. The prologue was written in past tense and was beautifully done, while the rest of the story was written in the present to draw us into the immediate nature of her emotions and the entire situation at hand. It was extremely easy to get into and it had the most even flow, I felt like it progressed beautifully.


Our protagonist is Wren, the teenaged girl who was so distraught about the death of her boyfriend that she brings him back from the dead. Throughout the story we watch her struggle with what she’s done, and fail to balance all aspects of her life. She’s could the poster child for girl-in-crisis, for the majority of the novel.

With all the drama I expected her to be more engaging etc. but she wasn’t. She’s the kind of girl to stick to herself, no say a word. I felt like she was on one level for most of the story even when she was going through particularly emotional scenes. I noticed the exclamations in her dialogue and didn’t really feel her anger wash over me. Maybe it’s because from the very beginning she was already tired and already realising she’d made a mistake. She was being stretched thin and knew it.

On the other hand, just about every other character seemed to come alive from the page. They seemed alive or at least more alive than Wren. Or at least they were more vibrant and more relatable. At many points in the story I felt myself wondering if Wren was so stressed that the detachment she felt in her life was coming through in her voice. Was it intended by the author?

Storyline/ Plot:

So I thought the author had a great storyline going. Someone dies. Their loved ones are torn apart by grief. One person has the power to do something about it and brings the deceased back. There are so many potential ways the author can spin this, so many different directions to take. Amy Garvey didn’t focus solely on the raising-the-dead issue; she also tried to devote much of her attention to how each event affects her protagonist. Quite interesting.

Cover & Blurb:

So the cover was a little bleh for me. Honestly, there’s nothing going on, it’s just the lower half of a girl’s face and her neck and her pink lips. I have to say though; I do get the impression of ‘coldness’ from it, which may have been the point. I think the title font is pretty though and the description is interesting and drew me in quite quickly.

Rating Conclusion

I’m giving Cold Kiss a rating of 3.5 out of 5. This is because I, personally, wanted to see more Danny and his reactions, and I wished Wren had been a little bit more colourful and engaging. Otherwise, this was a beautiful story which does a pretty good job of exploring the lengths that love drives us to as well as emotional maturity.

What would you have done?

K, the Popinjay.

Disclaimer: This story was received from the publisher, HarperCollins, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.