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Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
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Cold Kiss (edition 2012)

by Amy Garvey

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2053657,211 (3.74)3
DarkFaerieTales's review
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This novel has a new take on zombies and forces the reader to see all sides of love — as well as what it can cost, but unfortunately lacks tension or a good climax.

Opening Sentence: I wasn’t thinking of falling in love the day I met Danny Greer

The Review:

Wren uses her secret magic powers to bring her first love back from the dead. After Danny died in a car crash she started researching some spells and actually pulled it off. So not only does Wren now have an undead boyfriend to keep a secret, but she’s way more powerful than she thought. Let me start out by saying that I like the living Danny. From Wren’s memories of him and comparing the old Danny to his new zombie counterpart, he seems like he used to be a great boyfriend. It’s really sad when Wren remembers when he used to be alive, because even though Danny isn’t your typical zombie — he has the full gambit of emotions, for one thing, he’s still cold. But undead Danny needs Wren for everything, his dependence on her means not only that her grades are dropping but she’s neglecting her family and friends. Enter Gabriel, the new, gorgeous student who can’t seem to stop staring at Wren. He can feel her power — both the fact that she’s powerful and that she’s hiding something. With his help Wren learns what needs to be done to undo undead Danny.

Garvey really connects the reader to Wren’s emotions. Her narrative voice is really sad and heartbreaking. It also overwhelms the plot. To the point where the story was dragging under the weight of this depression. The book devolves into a diary of her rants, which is not only painful to the reader but inhibits any character development. Getting her to let go of Danny was hard, but a big part of the problem was that it’s clear the author was already planning for a sequel. I understand that she blames herself for bringing Danny back, but there was so much more going on in this story that Garvey should’ve been exploring. Like why the women in her family have magic and why Wren is so powerful and why her mom won’t discuss magic no matter how much Wren needs her guidance. Those were really important questions to me that never got answered.

Now I like Gabriel, but I’m not sure his character was really necessary. Not that Wren doesn’t deserve to have another love interest, just that Gabriel’s insights didn’t add anything to the story. Their relationship made me uncomfortable when Wren began to neglect Danny more and more, particularly when our characters reach a certain point. I wish this book had focused on letting go after grieving and didn’t try to add in these other elements. The love interest was forced and this book would have been heart-wrenching without him.

I will say that bad decisions can lead to great stories, and Cold Kiss had that potential. Wren clearly never saw Practical Magic or she would’ve known bringing back loved ones never ends well.

Notable Scene:

Gabriel’s watching me, and he puts his apple core down on the table before he speaks. “It’s not what you’re thinking,” he says, so low I have to lean forward a little bit. “I can’t hear your thoughts, not word for word, not unless I really try, and even then it’s not really accurate. You were trying to tell me something before, right? I don’t know what it was, but I could feel you sort of…poking at me.”

Oh. That’s…unexpected.

I must make a face, because he shrugs. “It’s more that sensations sort of come at me? Sometimes images. Like, say someone’s across from me on the bus, thinking really hard about her sister. I might get the feeling of worn cotton, or certain colors, or a scent first, and then maybe a memory of them hiding together under the covers, looking at a book, or fighting over the last pancake or whatever, so I know it’s her sister and not her mother she’s thinking of. See?”

The Cold Kiss Series:

1. Cold Kiss

2. Glass Heart

FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of Cold Kiss. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jun 10, 2012 |
All member reviews
Showing 1-25 of 36 (next | show all)
Full review on Reader's Dialogue: http://readersdialogue.blogspot.com/2013/05/cold-kiss.html

Danny and Wren's love is shown mostly through flashbacks and memories, and some of Wren's ruminations. But even though the current situation is far from what their love truly is, I felt like I really got what their relationship was like, and it totally made sense for Wren to want it back, to feel like if she didn't have it she couldn't go on living. It's the kind of love that insinuates itself into every part of your life, breathing new life and vitality into everything. Can you blame Wren then?

And then there's Gabriel - very different from Danny, but just as good for Wren. Gabriel's mysteriousness at the beginning of the book colors the way I see him even though he's pretty much an open book for most of the story. The way he's described is totally gorgeous, so even without the physical descriptions, I would have been imaging a tall, slim guy. Though I would have had him with dark hair. The constant mention of his gray eyes is striking, and adds to the creepiness and thrill of how he can see more than the regular person.

Wren's growing catastrophe builds and builds really credibly throughout the book, and her emotions and responses escalate with the mounting tension. There never really is a big moment, since everything with Danny happens gradually. There is, of course, the way she tries to put things right at the end of the book, but even that felt sort of anticlimactic to me. Though I'm guessing the reason it's so abrupt is that it continues with whole new twists in Glass Heart.

And I'll find out soon enough, because the characters and tone of the book make me crave more of this story! ( )
  EstherShaindel | May 13, 2013 |
“Love doesn’t break easily, I found. But people do.” As I read this final sentence of the wonderfully descriptive prologue to Amy Garvey’s Cold Kiss, I settled in and prepared for an emotional roller-coaster ride. Although the full sweeps and curls of the ride never fully developed, there were enough twists and turns in this young adult paranormal to satisfy if not exhilarate.

The prologue showcases the first meeting of Wren and Danny and lays the foundation for what is to come – the story of a girl so devastated by the loss of her boyfriend she works dark magic to bring him back from the dead. Garvey then jumps right in with her story, with the spells already cast and Wren beginning to realize that the Danny who holds her now is just a shadow of the boy she loved. I found myself caught up quickly in the relationship of Wren and Danny, and enjoyed the way Garvey used flashbacks to show the depth of it. Being able to see what a wonderful boyfriend Danny was in life and how that contrasted with the needy, somewhat empty soul that Wren brought back from the dead added an emotional depth to the first half of the story that I found completely absorbing.

Danny was a very easy character to care about, so it was no surprise that letting go of such a wonderful boyfriend would be very difficult. I sympathized with Wren and her despair, but I never fully warmed up to her character. She had plenty of strengths, with one of the best being her sense of responsibility, and was very well-developed so there will be many readers who find her to be a wonderful heroine. She took it upon herself to bring Danny back, and she never tried to shift the blame for her actions elsewhere. Her grief at his loss, and the difficulty she had letting him go, were both being explored and I was enjoying that aspect of the story. What I did not like was the way Wren started to pull back from Danny as things became more difficult, and new boy Gabriel showed up. It was at this point that I started pulling back from the story myself, as Wren became so locked on the idea of NOT being able to come up with a solution to correct her mistake that she became a bit repetitive. As her thoughts circled and circled, the emotional pull of the story was lost and the exploration of grief that had started out the book fell by the wayside.

Gabriel didn’t feel as developed as Wren and Danny, which is a shame because the love triangle would have been stronger for it. He was a good character, but he had a tendency to try to fix Wren’s problems for her which came off as a bit controlling to me. Wren had enough strength to stand on her own two feet and take responsibility for her actions, even when locked in indecision. Gabriel’s power didn’t feel necessary either (maybe this will play into things a bit more in future books), and I would have preferred to just have a strong, well-developed, completely normal teenage boy as the third side of the triangle. Danny was all those things in the flashbacks, so I would have liked to see Wren deal with the emotional turmoil of having these qualities right in front of her as she struggled between the love of her past and a possible love in her present. Gabriel is a good character, but with a little more development he could have been a great one.

Danny turned out to be the most intriguing and heartbreaking character, and he saved the second half of the book for me. Danny, with his mix of emotions and memories growing more volatile as time went on, was a nice twist on the usual zombie genre. Seeing the contrast between his past and present, and the dangerous ways he was beginning to change, had me alternating between chills and sorrow. All I wanted was for him to find peace, so the final resolution of his fate was a mix of sadness and happiness for me.

In Cold Kiss, Amy Garvey has presented an interesting premise with a teenage girl who is so unable to deal with the loss of a loved one, she brings her boyfriend back from the dead. However, the full horror of this situation is never completely developed and the message of learning to let go is lost through a large section of the story as Wren devolves into a character paralyzed with indecision on how to correct her error. While this is ultimately resolved in a touching conclusion to the tale, I wish the emotional aspects of the situation had been explored a bit deeper so that this really good book could have been a fantastic one.
( )
  eomalley | Apr 20, 2013 |
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. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
I won this book, along with its sequel, Glass Heart, from Epicreads.com and I am so glad I did; otherwise I may have missed out on a really enjoyable read. I think this is definitely one that needs to get in the hands of more people! It's not very long and I was able to get through it in one evening. I was hooked from the first page.

The main character, Wren, has been capable of doing "strange" things for awhile now. The same things she's seen her mother do since childhood. However, there's an unspoken rule to never talk of these things- not to each other and not to others.
Wren is completely distraught after losing her boyfriend and first love, Danny, in a car accident. Not thinking about any consequences she uses her special "abilities" to bring him back. The only problem is, he's not really the Danny from before anymore. Wren now has to hide him away while he obsesses over her and only her... but then he starts to remember things...
In the meantime, a new boy, Gabriel, transfers in. Somehow he can sense Wrens powers and eventually figures out how she used them. All he wants to do is help her any way he can. All this does is confuse Wren more.

If you're looking for a happy book, I suggest running away. The emotions displayed here are so raw and heart-wrenching. Garvey does an excellent job of portraying falling in love for the first time, the loss of that first love, and the confusion of letting go and moving on. I was in tears the entire final few chapters.

I really enjoyed Garvey's writing style and the overall feel of the book. I'm really looking forward reading Glass Heart soon because there were some definite unanswered questions I have. (It'll have to wait until I'm finished with the last two Vampire Academys though!) ( )
  bryantkeli | Nov 4, 2012 |
Wren is a special girl with abilities that she doesn't yet fully understand and her mother, the person who should be explaining them to her, refuses to. So Wren turns to her estranged aunt in order for some guidance. When Wrens boyfriend Danny dies in a terrible accident, she does everything within her reach to bring him back to her. Not understand the cost that came with it.

I enjoyed this book and once I started it, I had to finish it. I got it from a free nook friday a couple of weeks ago and it grabbed my attention. I like Amy Garvey's writing. Wrens mother irritated me a little, she seemed a little too closed off and if she doesn't want her daughter using her ability she probably should have explain it to her instead of shutting her out. Telling a teenage daughter not to do something, only made her want to do more.

There is a lot of mystery in the book, like why Wrens father left them, why her mother won't talk to her about their abilities, and why her mother and her mother sister won't talk to each other. Unfortunately, none of that get's answered here, which is okay as I wait to eventually hope getting the next book.

It was sad and the ending made me teary because it's understandable how a loss like that can be hard to get over and let go. Overall I enjoyed the beginning of this series, and hope to have some questions answered soon.

This review has also been posted on Goodreads. ( )
  LilyaB | Oct 11, 2012 |
For Wren, Danny is her one and only true love. So when he dies in a car crash one faithful night, she decides that she will do whatever it necessary to stop this ache in his heart; she brings Danny back from the dead.

The premise to Cold Kiss is what made me pick it up. I loved that Wren dealt with love lost and had to accept that no matter what lengths she takes to bring him back, it will never be the same. In those regards, the plot was very simple. It's about a girl coming to terms with the death of a loved one and attempting to understand the magic that courses through her veins. And no, this is not a zombie book, there is almost no action in this book. Garvey writes of heartache, confusion, and finally acceptance. Despite the lack of action, I enjoyed this book. I liked the slow evolution of Dead!Danny, how he went from a confused shell to a violent shell of a boy who Wren no longer recognizes.

Wren is the reason why this book gets such a high rating from me. Who wouldn't sympathize with a girl who feels as though her entire world is crumbling? If you found a spell that would bring your first love back to life, wouldn't you take the risk as well? Wren behaves exactly how you would expect a heartbroken and confused high school girl to act. She is not annoying by any means, she is simply grieving. My least favorite part of the book was the introduction of Gabriel. Gabriel knows a little something about magic as well, and he does not approve of Wren using her powers to bring the dead back to life. Although Gabriel means well, I think he comes off a little too pushy and inserts himself into Wren's life too often. I could have done without the love story in general. I feel that Wren was complex enough and that she could have figured out that bringing her boyfriend back to life isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cold Kiss. I adored Wren as a character and loved how Garvey conveys Wren's pain and confusion. I could have done without the love story but I did not mind their slow and blossoming love. I can't wait to read about Wren again in the upcoming sequel, Glass Heart! ( )
  HarkiQuinn | Sep 8, 2012 |
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This novel has a new take on zombies and forces the reader to see all sides of love — as well as what it can cost, but unfortunately lacks tension or a good climax.

Opening Sentence: I wasn’t thinking of falling in love the day I met Danny Greer

The Review:

Wren uses her secret magic powers to bring her first love back from the dead. After Danny died in a car crash she started researching some spells and actually pulled it off. So not only does Wren now have an undead boyfriend to keep a secret, but she’s way more powerful than she thought. Let me start out by saying that I like the living Danny. From Wren’s memories of him and comparing the old Danny to his new zombie counterpart, he seems like he used to be a great boyfriend. It’s really sad when Wren remembers when he used to be alive, because even though Danny isn’t your typical zombie — he has the full gambit of emotions, for one thing, he’s still cold. But undead Danny needs Wren for everything, his dependence on her means not only that her grades are dropping but she’s neglecting her family and friends. Enter Gabriel, the new, gorgeous student who can’t seem to stop staring at Wren. He can feel her power — both the fact that she’s powerful and that she’s hiding something. With his help Wren learns what needs to be done to undo undead Danny.

Garvey really connects the reader to Wren’s emotions. Her narrative voice is really sad and heartbreaking. It also overwhelms the plot. To the point where the story was dragging under the weight of this depression. The book devolves into a diary of her rants, which is not only painful to the reader but inhibits any character development. Getting her to let go of Danny was hard, but a big part of the problem was that it’s clear the author was already planning for a sequel. I understand that she blames herself for bringing Danny back, but there was so much more going on in this story that Garvey should’ve been exploring. Like why the women in her family have magic and why Wren is so powerful and why her mom won’t discuss magic no matter how much Wren needs her guidance. Those were really important questions to me that never got answered.

Now I like Gabriel, but I’m not sure his character was really necessary. Not that Wren doesn’t deserve to have another love interest, just that Gabriel’s insights didn’t add anything to the story. Their relationship made me uncomfortable when Wren began to neglect Danny more and more, particularly when our characters reach a certain point. I wish this book had focused on letting go after grieving and didn’t try to add in these other elements. The love interest was forced and this book would have been heart-wrenching without him.

I will say that bad decisions can lead to great stories, and Cold Kiss had that potential. Wren clearly never saw Practical Magic or she would’ve known bringing back loved ones never ends well.

Notable Scene:

Gabriel’s watching me, and he puts his apple core down on the table before he speaks. “It’s not what you’re thinking,” he says, so low I have to lean forward a little bit. “I can’t hear your thoughts, not word for word, not unless I really try, and even then it’s not really accurate. You were trying to tell me something before, right? I don’t know what it was, but I could feel you sort of…poking at me.”

Oh. That’s…unexpected.

I must make a face, because he shrugs. “It’s more that sensations sort of come at me? Sometimes images. Like, say someone’s across from me on the bus, thinking really hard about her sister. I might get the feeling of worn cotton, or certain colors, or a scent first, and then maybe a memory of them hiding together under the covers, looking at a book, or fighting over the last pancake or whatever, so I know it’s her sister and not her mother she’s thinking of. See?”

The Cold Kiss Series:

1. Cold Kiss

2. Glass Heart

FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of Cold Kiss. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jun 10, 2012 |
How many people, when faced with the devastating loss of a loved one, wish that they could bring said loved one back? That death was not the final barrier it appears to be? Now, what if one could actually bring someone back from the dead? In Amy Garvey’s Cold Kiss, Wren has the ability to put into action what most people fervently wish in their hearts when facing the death of a beloved. The far-reaching and unforeseen consequences of her actions make for one of the more compelling YA novels of 2011.

To really get to the heart of Cold Kiss, one must ignore the fact that Wren has witchy powers. When that element is removed from the picture, a reader can concentrate on the emotional trauma Wren continues to face after the death of her first love. Readers of any age can relate to her inability to let go and refusal to move on. They can appreciate her need to right her own wrongs without relying on the proffered help that would make the entire situation more bearable. More importantly, they can recognize her sense of abandonment that goes all the way back to her parents’ separation. This underlying grief only ratchets up the tension.

Amy Garvey excels at presenting Wren as teen with a broken heart. With the entrance of Gabriel, her warring desires to move on with her life versus fear of what others will think versus the horrific thoughts of putting Danny to rest figuratively and literally make the reader ache for her. More importantly, in showcasing this struggle, Ms. Garvey is highlighting the fact that Wren is still young and has her entire life before her. More importantly, she is not meant to pine after her first great love forever. It is a refreshingly common sense approach to growing up, something that the paranormal YA genre tends to gloss over in lieu of a happily-ever-after ending.

Cold Kiss is a beautiful story of love and loss. The premise is simple, while the heart of the novel lies in Wren’s pain and her touching struggle to right a terrible wrong. Wren’s need – for Danny, for her friends, for feeling better – is almost palpable. This poignant powerhouse brilliantly captures Wren’s feelings perfectly, and the reader is brought along for the ride. The whole power as-a-metaphor-for-her-surging-emotions supernatural element, while done way too often these days, is nicely balanced with the more realistic aspects of the story. Wren’s plight gets under the reader’s skin and firmly lodges there until the emotionally draining end. Readers will long remain haunted by Wren’s situation and this novel about the power of love to unite and to destroy.
  jmchshannon | Apr 8, 2012 |
Im sorry to say but I didnt like this book very much. I just didnt get the reason why a person would do just a stupid thing. I understand that we all make mistakes but wow, how SELFISH. I never like a selfish protagonist which is why I did not like this book. It may sound harsh but those are my final thoughts.
Even though I didnt like the book, I still managed to get through it. I kept thinking there would be something more and that we'd go into more detail about her power and her family's history but that never happened. In my eyes this book had so much potential and definately a let down to me. I wouldn't recomend it. ( )
  Rhinereads | Mar 25, 2012 |
I suggest when reading Cold Kiss you have a box of tissues sitting right next to you. I've never read a YA book that actually made me cry as hard as I did reading Cold Kiss. It made me cry at the beginning and at the end.Cold Kiss is about a girl named Wren who falls in love with a boy named Danny, only to lose Danny in a nasty car accident. Not being able to let go and move on, Wren finds a way to bring him back. She always knew that she was different somehow. Not just her, but her family as well. After going through a bad time with her father leaving them, Wren wasn't ready to let go of Danny too. So she uses a little magic and brings Danny back. From there on you continue to read the struggle Wren has with letting go and moving on. She loves Danny with every single piece of her heart, but she also knows what she has done is wrong.Cold Kiss broke my heart into a million pieces and then put it all back together with the ending. Amy Garvey's writing will touch you and give you goosebumps. She is so good at describing emotions, that you can feel exactly what the characters are feeling. Now I know some of you might be thinking, "Well, why would I want to read a book that will make me cry?" Trust me, it is so much more than that. It made me cry, smile and laugh. Cold Kiss is a beautiful story about love, family and friends. I am so sad it is over, but I am also very happy I got the chance to read it. I don't know if this is going to be a series, but the way it ended left it open for a possible second story or just for a stand alone. A MUST MUST MUST READ!5 out of 5 Stars! ( )
  DamarisGCR | Mar 7, 2012 |
What I liked about this book:
Wren and the horror she felt over what she had done...
The fact that there doesn’t have to be a book two but there could be...
What I disliked about this book:
The convenience of Gabriel, his ability to sense Wren’s power, and his instantaneous attraction to her...

If Garvey had let Gabriel swoop in and rescue Wren, I think I would have pitched the book in the garbage; some things you just have to do by yourself, and I’m glad the author knew that.

This will be enjoyed by teens who enjoy supernatural romance with a huge helping of angst heaped on top. ( )
  JRlibrary | Mar 1, 2012 |
I'm having a hard time finding something to say about this book. It's just sort of ... meh. The prose is pretty, the characters seems real, but are maybe a little bland and generic. The plot was well thought out, but nothing I haven't seen before. In fact, I didn't really care for anyone in the book. Wren ressurects her boyfriend? Cool. She now wants to make him un-undead again? Okay. It just didn't grip me, it didn't make me want to find out what would happen to the characters.

Maybe this was because the whole zombie aspect of the zombie was missing: the brain-eating part. If executed well, this could have taken this book to a whole new level. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it might have attracted more readers than a sort of mushy book that's neither fish nor fowl. I kept hoping it would get better, maybe some action or something. But Garvey stayed in the pre-defined boundaries of a contemporary novel turned slightly supernatural. It had something of an If I Stay vibe, there were passages where I was truly heartbroken for Wren and wanted everything to work out.

The most interesting character is definitely Wren's mother. I still want to know what her story is, because I don't think we find out. Unless I missed something, she hints at this uber secret concerning Wren's father but never actually tells her daughter anything. It seems like this is supposed to build up tension - which it does - but the author fails to release said tensions, which makes the reader feel sort of cheated.

Danny's whole persona was too unclear for my liking. The reader - or I at least - never got the feel for the cute nice boy he apparently was in life. That's the same for most characters. They are not ... in a defined skin yet, you could say. Especially Gabriel's sister Olivia and her weird witch friend. Both didn't have a necessary function, I believe. At least, it could easily have been replaced by someone else. In my opinion, this book is in need of either a complete rewrite - not because the writing itself is bad, remember, the prose is good! - or some serious editing. But that's just my honest opinion. ( )
  Jibar | Feb 23, 2012 |
"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 the shell of a 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."

Cold Kiss is such an absorbing, moving story about losing a first love and learning to let go. But the idea here is that Wren couldn’t let go and so messed with the laws of nature, used her magic, brought her boyfriend back from the dead and now bears the repercussions of her action. Anyone can comprehend the devastation of losing a loved one, so while the magnitude of Wren’s “blunder” is spectacular, there's still room to be sympathetic towards her.

Throughout the book, Wren wrestles with what to do with Danny – something she admits to not having thought through before she resurrected him. As the flaws in her plan become more apparent to her, you get just as apprehensive as she does about the impending moment when things come to a head.

Keeping this secret has meant that she has detached herself from her friends and has had to resort to lying to everyone. She's slowly unraveling until Gabriel comes into her life. Turns out he has a special gift of his own and becomes the one person she can confide in. Of all the things in this book, the one moment that made me shudder most was when Gabriel said, “Wren, what did you do?”. With that said aloud, the fog is lifted and there’s no more running away. And it’s a relief that after all the self-imposed isolation and intense scrutiny that she has received from her friends, she finally has someone she can lean on – even if it’s begrudgingly.

Garvey does a marvelous job of showing Wren's emotional distress. Aside from Danny, she’s also dealing with past abandonment issues, the guilt over her lies and her desperate longing to connect with her mom about the magical powers she possesses. I like how Garvey gives just enough details about certain intimate moments between Wren and Danny when he was alive and leaves the rest to the reader’s imagination. They're powerful and tender moments that show how deeply they loved each other. Then there's also Wren moving forward. Making a connection with Gabriel is a reminder that not all was lost with Danny's death but she still has to find it within herself to make that one final act of letting go.

Cold Kiss is so many things at once – creepy, uncomfortable, sweet, suspenseful, romantic – unorthodox, yes – but nevertheless romantic. I was emotionally spent but it's well worth the read!

~ Bel

www.bibliojunkies.blogspot.com ( )
  bibliojunkies | Jan 8, 2012 |
Every time I sit down to write this review, I do so with the full intention of gushing with praise over it. Then I remember – it basically deals with a ZOMBIE. Granted, not the flesh-dripping, brain-eating type of zombie… but honestly, who among you out there would willingly kiss a guy who doesn’t have a heartbeat, is cold.. and is not Edward Cullen.

That said.. once you get past the whole kissing a dead guy thing, the story is actually pretty good. Wren makes some very adult decisions, and deals with the adult consequences of the same. She has an interesting family dynamic happening, an established history (no three-minute falling in love here), and real issues with grief that she has to overcome in order to get on with her life.

As far as paranormal teenage stories go, this one is on the better end of the spectrum. I was impressed not only with Wren, but also with Gabriel. He wasn’t creepy, didn’t stalk on her, made good choices, was responsible, and most of all.. he wasn’t dead. Hurray! ( )
  TheLostEntwife | Dec 10, 2011 |
Feeling alone after her boyfriend Danny dies, Wren does something about it. What Wren wants is Danny back and with some research into some musty old books, an incantation said at Danny's grave under a full moon, Wren has what she wants.

Or what she thought she wanted.

Undead Danny isn't quite the same as the fun, happy alive Danny that Wren remembered. The Danny that Wren fell in love with. And now, unable to tell anyone what she's done - not even her mother who won't discuss the powers she and Wren seem to have - Wren is hiding Danny in a neighbor's garage. Wren's life is slowly coming apart.

Then transfer student Gabriel starts paying a lot of attention to Wren. Certainly more than she would like. Somehow Gabriel can sense not only Wren's power, but also what she's done. And he wants to make it right.

It's up to Wren, though, to undo what she's done . . . no matter what.

Cold Kiss is a zombie book without being a zombie book. It's much less about Danny being a zombie, if he even really is a zombie, he's actually just lacking a heartbeat - and much, much more about Wren and her dealing with losing her boyfriend.

It's definitely a different take on how not to react when your boyfriend dies but it's great to see Wren's growth both in understanding her powers, grieving for Danny and learning how to deal with the friends and living the rest of her life without Danny in it (at least publicly).

It might have been nice to see a glimpse into Danny and Wren's relationship while he was still alive, early in the book to really understand just why she was so willing to bring him back. To really see the love that they had for each other, but seeing things solely from Wren's perspective has its own merits as well.

The book really picks up and develops more depth about half way through. As things get trickier for Wren, we get to see more development in her character and more characters are introduced to help her - and really aid the story.

A fun story for anyone who thinks zombie books are too gory or scary and would prefer something more introspective. ( )
  BookSpot | Nov 13, 2011 |
This is a story about loss, and about dealing with loss. And while usually the idea of a love cut short almost always tugs at my heartstrings, Cold Kiss failed to so this time. I believe the only reason for that though is that we didn't see Wren and Danny together before he died. We didn't see Danny as he was alive. There were small flashbacks showing them together, but they still didn't really connect me with Wren's loss.

I honestly could have done without Gabriel too. Or at least less of him. There were some parts that felt kind of forced to me, and I also felt like he moved too fast sometimes. There wasn't any real development between them. It seemed as though she had to have a guy in her life, and the only way she could get over Danny was to have a new guy to focus on, which is just not true.

My favorite parts of the book were Wren coming out of her grief enough to begin mending her friendships with Darcia and Jess. Friendship is incredibly important, and I'm glad to see that Wren was trying to reconnect, and that Darcia and Jess were trying to forgive Wren for just completely dumping them. Wren's family on the other hand confused me. I liked her sister Robin, but I don't understand why her mother would never talk about the magic. Or why the dad left. And these questions were never really answered.

All in all, I did like the story, though there were definitely flaws for me. People are saying this is a Paranormal book, but really it's not. Sure, there's a zombie, and some magic. But this deals more with loss, and letting go so you can move on. I would definitely recommend giving this book a try.
  pandaris | Nov 6, 2011 |
This book was nothing like I exected. I know it's technically a paranormal, but the author isn't in your face about it. I know that magical powers and raising the dead aren't normal everyday things, but I believed they were while reading. This book had an understated quality to it and I loved it, even the zombie was understated. Wren brings her boyfriend Danny back from the dead, so technically he is the undead, but he isn't the shuffling, moaning, brain eating type. For a good part of the story he's very complacent and just happy to be with Wren. Of course, bringing someone back from the dead never turns out to be the fairy tale you imagined. All the women in Wren's family have powers, but her mother refuses to talk about it, so she doesn't know where it comes from or how to control it. Nobody but her family knows about what Wren can do, until she meets Gabriel. He's not exactly a psychic, but he can sense what's inside of her and really wants to help. Gabriel is definitely a nice guy, but sometimes it felt like he had too much of a hero complex.

This was definitely an interesting take on one of my favorite types of paranormal and I quite enjoyed the less gorey version of a zombie. The story was sweet and sad, with a great cast of characters. It definitely had a satisfying ending, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to read a sequel :0)
  TheBookLife | Oct 17, 2011 |
This was perhaps one of the sweetest teenage love stories I've read in a while. I read through it very quickly, but I attribute that to the fact that I was so caught up in it, I didn't want to put it down. Wren was a character who was so easy for me to relate to, and I can easily empathize with her plight after she revived her boyfriend from the dead. I do wish I fully understood what happened with Wren's dad, as the book doesn't exactly make it clear, but that didn't ruin the story for me. In the end, I probably felt just as sad and alone as Wren did, which is a good sign actually because it means that the book was that powerful to make me have that feeling. ( )
  sealford | Oct 8, 2011 |
Seventeen-year-old Wren comes from a family of women who have an extreme sensitivity to electrical energy and can harness and manipulate it. They can also cause great havoc unless they learn how to control this power properly. But Wren’s mom wants so desperately to pretend they are normal, that she refuses to discuss it with Wren and her younger sister Robin. The girls are thus left on their own to figure out how to manage their unusual reactivity.

When Wren’s boyfriend Danny dies in a car accident, Wren is so distraught, she impulsively uses her power to bring him back from the grave: "I wanted him back. I wanted him back so much I couldn’t think about anything else. … It seemed so right. Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn’t going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead, not anymore. I didn’t think any further than what it would feel like to kiss him again, to wrap my arms around him and bury my head against his shoulder. That was my first mistake. It also turned out to be the biggest."

Unfortunately, Danny is not quite who or what he used to be. And of course Wren can’t tell anyone what she has done. She hides Danny in the attic of an old woman’s house behind her own, and visits him at night.

This new Danny is needy, and panics when she leaves for school. Complicating matters further, a new guy at school, Gabriel, also has an unusual sensitivity. He can pick up thoughts from other energy-sensitive people, and figures out what Wren has done. In spite of Wren's fear of exposure, she is relieved to have someone to discuss the “problem” of Danny with, and it also helps that Gabriel is very good-looking. As their relationship develops, Gabriel becomes more and more worried about Wren’s safety, as Danny becomes more and more threatening. Before long, Wren and Gabriel are plotting about ways to get rid of the boy Wren loved so much that she brought him back from the dead.

Evaluation: This story is not quite as silly as it sounds. The concept of an animated anthropomorphic being has played a powerful role in human mythology, and tying it into the idea of an everlasting love that can conquer even death has great appeal. And women with the power to harness electricity! Well, who wouldn't want, for example, to make the vacuum do what it does all by itself? The execution of these ideas is a bit lacking in this case, but the author is not without promise. Her updating of the classic narrative about the mystical creation or reincarnation of a being is a clever device for a morality story. And she has a good ear for teenage angst, and for what is important to high school kids. But the lack of depth in the story detracted from my ability to take the ethical issues seriously, and the characters for the most part are just not appealing; by the end of the book, I found myself preferring the often catatonic and increasingly zombie-like dead Danny to the incredibly self-absorbed and whiny live Wren. ( )
  nbmars | Oct 7, 2011 |
Cold Kiss is a story that you will surely be empathetic for. It was like "sugar icing on top of a poison cupcake." A well written and sweet story of a love that knows no bounds, although with every flip of the page will kill you bit by very bit. Leaving you with a mountain of used tissues.

I was drawn into Wren's sorrow. You can't help but to wonder if you would do what Wren is capable of, bringing back the dead. Just one of the powers she is still trying to understand. It's not farfetched to love someone so dearly, and having Danny be her first love is easy to grasp and understand as to why Wren did what she did.
To love someone either a boyfriend, a husband, a girlfriend, or even a grandparent, the way she devoutly loves Danny; I would have made the same choice and deed if I was capable of the act. (I miss you Grandpa!)

Amy Garvey has done a great job in pulling her readers into the story not only in thought but with their hearts. Putting the reader in Wren's mind and experiencing the pain and tribulations right along with her.
I fell in love with Danny! He isn't your typical zombie. He had emotions, thoughts, and no mindless cravings for brains. He was such the ideal boyfriend that even in death and rising he only thought of Wren. In life he was the person who made everyone smile, and the one who would make a fool of himself just to cheer you up. And he is the prime example of a wonderful person whose life was just cut short.
Garvey has such a lyrical and ballad like form of writing that I'm sure everyone will enjoy!
The ending though heart breaking, gave me the feeling of 'closure.' But if Amy Garvey decides to have a sequel, I won't in the least bit mind opening the wound back up!

Thank you Amy and HarperTEEN for Cold Kiss!! ( )
  TValeros | Oct 3, 2011 |
Amy Garvey has brought us a gem within the flurry of dark, tension-ridden paranormal romances. From the first pages, Amy caught me within the haunting, chilling embrace of Cold Kiss. The imagery is vivid, and Wren's yearning for the Danny before the car accident had me pining for him too. Zombie Danny is sweet, but he's cold, clingy, and has no heartbeat--a stark contrast from the once warm, vibrant, and living Danny.

Wren is a very relatable narrator. While her regret over Danny's situation give her a bleak view on her life, her sarcasm and wit add spice to the narration. You might question why she's so obsessed--protective--of Danny, but when she flashbacks to life before the accident, everything becomes clear. You might even want Danny for yourself.

It's clear that Wren has it bad for Danny. She really loved him. Now, she regrets having brought him back to life. Zombie Danny is needy. Taking care of him has caused her to push away her closest friends, and Wren has no desire to start a new relationship. However, Gabriel comes into her life and refuses to be daunted by her attempts to push him away. Their relationship takes time to develop unlike her relationship with Danny. It's fresh and sweet. I loved every moment of it.

So what about Wren's powers? Cold Kiss is a paranormal romance, but it is more about emotion than action. It is more about romance than powers. It's clear that Wren isn't quite normal; at the same time, Amy doesn't make a big deal about Wren's powers. It's different, and I like how it all comes together.

Cold Kiss is about love, regret, and moving on... with some supernatural happenings on the side. It is a definite must-read for those of you who seek emotion and soul in a book. ( )
  summerskris | Sep 29, 2011 |
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
www.allthingsurbanfantasy.blogspot.com

COLD KISS is a mood piece, haunting and clear. It is a sad song, a scrap of poetry, an intimate glimpse of grief and adolescence and redemption. Despite the oh so brief moment in time that we share with Wren, the author fills in all of the real, delicate little details that allow all of these characters to go straight to the heart.

Those details are most haunting as they establish the love between Wren and Danny; how they met, their first kiss, the silly gifts and secret moments. All of these things add up to a happy a bubble of adolescent happiness. Eventually, however, this bubble pops and the real world comes rushing in (and Garvey writes just as viscerally in a dark palette as she does for the sweetness of romance). The details she draws for Wren’s dark secret are fantastic and chilling, and will stay with me long after finishing this review. This is not some heat of the moment act with tragic, immediate backlash. Wren moves deliberately, decisively, and is buried under every last real-world consequence of her actions. While the new boy in town, Gabriel, helps pull Wren out of her panicked inertia, to me never quite achieves the same depth of emotion as Danny. Rather than being a fault in the story, I felt like this balance just emphasizes how much Wren has lost and how much she has to overcome.

And seeing her overcome is something I could read more and more about. Garvey has painted a gorgeous portrait of her characters, and though COLD KISS doesn't appear to be part of a series, I'll certainly be seeking out more of her books. I would love to see these well crafted little moments strung together over a greater period of time, and I have every confidence that Garvey’s characters will bear up to the challenge.

Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex. ( )
  Capnrandm | Sep 28, 2011 |
Cold Kiss was such a great and unique read! It was a refreshing new story about a love lost by unforeseen circumstances and coping with it in an unusual way. I really, REALLY loved that this book was lightly paranormal. Its definitely not something I come across often, but it played out nicely throughout the story.

Wren is a great character and I loved her real and raw emotions. She has power and enough of it to bring back her dead boyfriend (Danny), which turned out to be a flop. I appreciated the truthfulness Wren put out – well not when it came to hiding him from others, but in any other situation.

I enjoyed all of the other characters in Cold Kiss. Each character was so dynamic even if they weren’t a huge part. I admire that and it always kept me interested. I think I liked Danny more than anyone else. It was creepy to think that he was really dead, but you are learning so much about what was between him and Wren, along with his personality.

The only thing I didn’t love was that it kept going back into the past. We don’t experience some of the things alongside the characters and I feel this takes away from reader connections. I did however enjoy the writing very much and will be looking forward to seeing more of Amy Garvey!

Overall, Cold Kiss contained love and learning to cope with the reality of losing someone you love. It’s a book you’ll really enjoy and might even want to read again!

Review based on ARC ( )
  thebookwormsorg | Sep 27, 2011 |
Cold Kiss was not at all what I expected. This is an emotionally intense book about love, loss and finally, letting go.

The main character in the story is Wren. I thought Wren was a very interesting character. The author did a really good job of describing Wren’s emotions to us. Losing one you love, especially your first love, is extremely difficult. Wren also has these ‘powers’ that she inherited from the women in her family. After a few days of mourning, Wren decides to use these powers to bring her boyfriend, Danny, back to life. While I enjoyed reading the back-story about their relationship before his car accident, the interactions Wren had with Danny after she brought him back were just downright creepy. I kept waiting for him to do something sinister, but he really never did.

Gabriel is the new boy at school, and he seems to have an instant attraction to Wren. I found Gabriel’s character to be very interesting as well. I thought for sure we would see a love triangle going on between Wren, Gabriel and Danny, but I never really got the impression of a love triangle. Wren was definitely pulled to both boys, but it was more in a way as she was letting go of Danny, and growing toward Gabriel.

I found the book to be well paced. It held my attention pretty well, despite the fact that there was not a lot of action going on in the book. The plot was very creative; I do believe this is the first book I’ve read having to do with a girlfriend bringing her boyfriend back to life, and dealing with the consequences of it.

Overall, I found Cold Kiss to be a really interesting read. I did have a few questions at the end of the book about things that were left unresolved, so I’m wondering if this will maybe be a series. I would definitely like to know what will happen to Wren next, especially with her powers.

Happy Reading!

http://www.thereaderbee.com/2011/09/review-cold-kiss-by-amy-garvey.html
  TheReaderBee | Sep 25, 2011 |
COLD KISS, by Amy Garvey, is a heartbreaking tale with an undertone of the paranormal. Wren and Danny were the perfect couple, but a startling accident left Danny dead and Wren heartbroken. Through her grief she channels the unspoken powers of her family and brings Danny back to life. But this Danny is not the one she loved, he is but a shadow of what she lost. Wren distances herself from the life she could be leading to keep Danny a secret, but it isn't as easy as Wren thought.

Minus the cover (I'm sorry but it creeps me out!), I really enjoyed this book. Harvey created an MC that was lovable and who I wanted to see succeed even when her world threatened to crumble over her. Wren's guilt for bringing Danny back tugged at my heartstrings. I really enjoyed exploring Wren's gifts, but was disappointed that her mother ignored them and didn't help her daughter control them. To add more guilt, her best friends Jess and Darcia wanted to rekindle their friendship lost after Danny died. Wren's fear of getting close to anyone was consistent throughout the book and I wanted to jump into the book and give her a hug!

Gabriel seemed to be the light to Wren's dark hole she buried herself in and I definitely appreciated how forthcoming, honest, and brave he was throughout Wren's dealing with her dead ex-boyfriend. I thought all her problems could be solved with Gabriel's help but Wren's stubbornness to fix her own mistakes added to her depressing life.

I really loved the paranormal aspect of this book. As if I didn't feel bad enough for Wren's situation, adding the uncontrollable powers that sparked within her made it worse. But Wren's intellect and exploration of her gifts was really awesome to behold. I wish Harvey got more into the paranormal aspect, because I am such a sucker for it, but I think the balance between paranormal and contemporary was perfect.

This book is a bittersweet story about dealing with grief and realizing that even in the face of death it is possible to move on and be happy. Wren acted with her heart the whole time and I think she will jump right into yours if you let her.
  sithereandread | Sep 20, 2011 |
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