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Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez
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Kiss Kill Vanish

by Jessica Martinez

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This is an great story! From the very first chapter I was intrigued by what surrounded Valentina yet she didn’t know.

Plot: This is about a girl who finds out her father is not who he says he is. She runs away only to discover more secrets. One thing that really pulled me into this plot was Valentina herself. She was blissfully unaware of her fathers actions and left so thinking she was done for. The plot carries this deep power struggle of facing her past as well as what she can do for her future.

Friendship/Love: This area totally caught me by surprise because I thought this was a safe haven for Valentina. After discovering so much about her life, truly this area has to be good for her. Instead it bit her…bad. It crept up on me since I was so caught up with Valentina and her discovering her fathers secrets. I honestly didn’t second guess it and even fell for every word he said.

Ending: I like the ending. After coming to a conclusion, Valentina takes matters into her own hands. Which I really enjoyed. I liked seeing her prove everyone wrong. She took what power she had left and made it work for her. You go girl!

This is a spectacular story that completely captured me. I really enjoyed the secrets, the action as well as the development of Valentina. ( )
  Bookswithbite | Oct 2, 2014 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Unique, heartwarming story that kept me intrigued the entire time. While it was slower paced, that in no way deterred me devouring this from start to finish.

Opening Sentence: “Jane, darling, you have to keep still.”

The Review:

Valentina Cruz’s world was turned upside down when she realized everyone she loved wasn’t what they seemed. She grew up in a very privileged home with a lot of money. Her mother left her when she was just a little girl, so her father raised her and her two older sisters by himself. She had a happy life with a wonderful boyfriend. She always thought that her father was a wealthy arts trader and she loved him unconditionally. Her boyfriend, Emilio, was older then her and worked for her father. Valentina always had a very close relationship with her father until one dreaded night when she witnessed her father ordering a murder that her boyfriend carried out.

Valentina did the only thing she could think of, she ran. At first she had no idea what to do, but eventually she found herself in Montreal, Canada. It has been 3 months since she left and while it hasn’t been easy she is getting by. She lives in a crappy apartment with a bunch of roommates and works as a model for a weird, but very rich artist. She now goes by the name of Jane and for the time being she is content. But Valentina can only run so far before the past catches up to her, and eventually she will have to face what she saw that night. The two people she trusted most in the world aren’t what they seemed, but who are they really?

Valentina was a very interesting girl that was lost. She is a young girl that just realized her entire life was a lie; I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating that would be. All the people she loved betrayed her and really she has nothing left. Throughout the story she goes on a journey of self discovery and while she makes a lot of mistakes she eventually finds herself. Because I got to experience so much with her, I developed a very strong connection with her. She is a smart girl even though there are times she lets her heart guide her to making some poor decisions, but this is a very normal for teenage girls. I know when I was a teenager I made a lot of stupid mistakes because I listened to how I was feeling instead of doing what I knew was right. But eventually, Valentina becomes a woman that I could admire and cheer for.

Kiss, Kill, Vanish was a very unique story that I really enjoyed. It was a slower paced novel, but it still kept my interest the whole time. From the very beginning, I was hooked and I found that it was almost impossible to put it down. When I wasn’t reading I kept wishing I was. Personally, I have always found the Mafia fascinating so I knew when I read the synopsis of this story I was going to like it and it did not disappoint me. The plot was interesting and there was an air of mystery throughout the whole story that keeps you intrigued. There is also a large group of secondary characters that play a big role in the story, but I’m not going to go into detail about them because I don’t want to spoil anything. I really loved some of the secondary characters and Martinez did a wonderful job creating all of them. While there wasn’t a lot of romance in the story the little there was, was done perfectly. Overall, this was just a well written story that was both heartwarming and entertaining. I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys young adult contemporary/mystery novels!

Notable Scene:

Plop.

I don’t turn to the sound. It’s coming from the en suite bathroom, which, I sense without seeing, is open wide. For one moment, I let myself notice how satisfying the sound is, before it has meaning. It’s round and crisp with its own tiny echo.

Plop.

Another drop. Except it’s not the metallic ping of a leaky faucet where water meets metal, or the splat of a washcloth dripping on a marble countertop. It’s water meets water. I shouldn’t be here.

Plop.

But the same dread that pushed me into Marcel’s room turns my head now, drags me toward the perfect, echoing sound, pulls my eyes into the yellowed bath room light where a painting has been brought to life. It’s a grotesque version of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Half of it, at least. Just Adam, no God.

Plop.

An arm, thin and purplish, juts out over the edge of the bathtub, manicured fingers dangling in the air, life less. His rippling torso is not the muscled perfection Michelangelo painted, but sallow skin stretched over rows of ribs, slumped sideways, marred with nipples like bruises.

Plop.

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Kiss, Kill, Vanish. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Sep 1, 2014 |
KISS KILL VANISH was an engaging and fast-paced story about a young woman who has to remake her life when she learns that everything she thought about it was a collection of lies. Valentina Diaz was the favored youngest daughter a wealthy man. She was living a wonderful, privileged life in Miami. She and her father shared an interest in art and she traveled all around the world with him visiting galleries and attending auctions. At seventeen, she falls in love with one of her father's young associates. Emilio was everything a young girl could want - handsome, caring, and tender. He taught her to play the mandolin. Their relationship is secret, she thinks. He's twenty-four and works for her father - probably not her father's first choice for her boyfriend.

They are together in his room one day when her father knocks on the door. Emilio stuffs her in a closet and then opens the door to her father and another man. She watches as Emilio kills the man while her father watches. Valentina runs taking Emilio's mandolin with her. Pawning her jewelry gets her to Montreal where she scrounges a living busking and acting as an artist's model. Besides her poverty, she is dealing with heartbreak after watching her boyfriend kill a man and her father order it. When see sees Emilio again at a gallery show and learns that the artist she is working for is employed by her father to watch her, her sense of betrayal deepens. It deepens still more when Emilio keeps putting off leaving her father and going away with her to some place of safety.

When her artist-employer Lucien dies in a suspected suicide, she fears the Emilio has something to do with it. Still in Montreal, Valentina becomes close to Lucien's young brother Marcel who is consumed with guilt about his brother's death. Formerly drunk and drugged, Marcel turns over a new leaf after his brother's death. He and Valentina slowly become friends. He agrees to help her when she decides to return to Miami to confront her father.

With more surprising revelations, her trip to Miami, and Marcel's role in it, changes her life again. This was a powerful story about a young woman who has to figure out who she is and what she wants out of her life. I really liked Valentina and could understand the choices that she made.

Thriller and romance lovers will enjoy this great story. ( )
  kmartin802 | Aug 23, 2014 |
Jane is trying hard to make enough money to survive in cold Montreal. She plays her mandolin for tips and poses for a rich but untalented artist named Lucien. Valentina Cruz ran away from home in Miami after seeing her beloved father and her lover kill a man and took on the identity of Jane. Leaving her privileged life behind, while in Montreal she begins to unravel the truth about her family and the key to her father's wealth and power. She feels she needs to act before it is too late and figure out a way to make sure there is justice and some revenge.
While the book worked hard to eek out details slowly, the patience that it took to get in to the story had a huge payoff as the twists and turns came fast and furious toward the end of the book. ( )
  ewyatt | Jun 9, 2014 |
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