Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

September 28, 2011 Review 1


Cold Kiss Title: Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Garvey
Series: N/A
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal YA
Excerpt: No
Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Julia

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; September 20, 2011
  • ISBN-10: 006199622X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061996221

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Sexual Content:

Kissing, references to sex.


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.


“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.


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.

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