Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Release Date: September 20, 2011

Pages: 336

Publisher: Harper Teen

Format: ARC

Source: Inkwood

Age Group: Young Adult

Parental Warnings: none

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                                                                                           Cold Kiss

Recommended for Ages 12 and Up

“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.” 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.

Wren has made a huge mistake. Distraught with grief over the death of her boyfriend, she did something she regretted. Using a spell, Wren brought Danny back to life. Without memories of his death, Danny is content to just love Wren forever. But something is wrong.Danny isn't how he used to be. He isn't warm, he doesn't joke around, he is just a echo of his former self. Nobody knows about this; not Wren's family, not her friends. Things aren't how they used to be and Wren has no idea how to get things right again.Until the new boy comes to town, she is lost. He keeps STARING at her, as if he KNOWS something. But she hasn't told anybody. So how could he know? Wren can't help but be curious about him. He seems to be everywhere. When he guesses her secret, she lets him into her trust. But as she and Gabriel work on helping Danny, she finds herself maybe starting to like Gabriel? But she's in love with Danny, right?As Wren realizes what she has done and the ways to fix it, she realizes the inevitable: heartbreak is the only option.This was one of those books that you could just relax into. I was instantly propelled into the book, and it was  beautiful to read. There are some books that you can't get into until a quarter of the way in. I was in this book since the first page.Wren was a nice character to read about. She was still slightly in denial about her reality with Danny. She finds herself wandering around, wondering what to do about the awful situation that she's got herself in. She can't talk to her friends; ever since Danny died, she's drifted away from them. She needs to figure out how to keep her family a part of her life while also keeping magic close to her. She needs to find out which boy she loves, and how she can avoid heartbreak.I liked hearing about Wren's friends. As much as I do love hearing about the romance in YA books, they often eclipse stories of the friends. As much as I love books like Twilight and some of the others, they don't focus on the protagonist's relationships with other people.Wren would actually try to reach out to her friends and mend the relationships severed when Danny died. She was so sad about it, she completely ignored her friends. None of my friends have had boyfriends (we're only thirteen! ha!) but I can imagine from watching my older sister and some high school girls I know.The first few days are usually filled with gushing about him to their friends. The first few weeks, their friends understand because he's a new guy, and they know how much the girl likes him. It's a bit of an obsession at first once they officially become boyfriend and girlfriend, but I don't really like how some YA books don't portray it realistically. The friends are still involved too.Because of this, I was incredibly pleased with this book because Wren knew that she had done it and wanted to reconnect with her friends and not talk about it.This book was heartwrenching. While the writing wasn't particularly "oh my God!" intense, it was emotional, and I teared up a lot through it. It wasn't an extreme either way, but it was really tender to read about. There were some sad moments, and some moments where you thought that Wren was going to be okay.This book really spotlights the grief that you feel after a love one dies, and are in the process of healing. It didn't focus on the nitty-gritty part right after Danny's death, but showed when Wren was ready to move on but was stuck in the past.As well as the healing, a large portion of this book was about regret. Wren made a bad decision when she brought Danny back but she can't imagine losing him again. She knows that it would be better for him if he died for real this time, but knows that she will break her heart again if she does.The inventive spells in this were entertaining. The description of magic and love and loss were spot-on and Amy Garvey's voice was wonderful for Wren's character. She could be witty, but mostly slunk into the shadows and was in the lonely process of moving on.Wren was an incredibly strong character. To go through the things that she did, I applaud her. She was strong and had a burden to bear. Her heart was broken, and she disguised it. It would have been awful to have gone through what she did and her character wasn't weak at all. I kind of preferred how Danny was dead because then it focused more on Wren than it did their "everlasting-true-die-for-you" love.I really enjoyed the characters of Danny and Gabriel. Danny was a shadow of himself, but it was obvious that he would do anything for Wren. It was outright painful sometimes to read parts of the book with him, so utterly clueless about his death, but he was very sweet and kind. I could imagine him being the perfect boyfriend when he was alive. If this was an echo of his former self, I would love hearing more about his former self.It was a nice contrast between the dead Danny and the alive Danny. She really does a great job of comparing them; she used the descriptions of "warm" and "cold" and you could really see how Danny changed. The flashbacks were great for the book.It was different than most YA romances. Although anybody who has talked to me KNOWS that I am a sucker for the standard paranormal romance, it was incredibly fresh to read this stunning novel.Recommended for anybody who loves: The Near Witch; Evermore; Fallen; Twilight; The Sky is Everywhere; etc,.Possible book club questions:What is the one decision that you have made that you most regretted?Do you think that Wren would ever tell her friends?How did Wren's family become closer?Did you blame Danny's friend?How are decisions we make after grieving not the best?How did this book bring up discussions about ethics?etc,.