Rating: 3 stars
When Danny, her first love and best friend, dies, Wren is broken. After losing her father, her grandmother, and essentially her mother, she can't stand to lose anyone else. So, she decides to use the forbidden power she's tried to stifle and brings him back to life... But he's not the Danny she knew. As her own life starts to spiral out of control, Wren is forced to rely more on Gabriel, the new boy who knows her secret. Can she allow herself to love again when she's the only thing Danny has left? Can she even fix what she's done to begin with?
This book, poignant, heartbreaking, and tragically beautiful in the first part drags towards the end. Wren is, for the most part, unlikable, and no different from every other whiny YA female protagonist. What Cold Kiss desperately needs is a comic relief to alleviate the suffocating depression of the story. Jess, one of Wren's best friends, might have been that, but she's such a minor character that she never gets the chance. Danny (pre-death) would have been perfect for that role, too. And Gabriel, well, he's kind and handsome and smart, but do boys like this really exist in high school? Ones that are so, so mature for their age and always fall for the immature, messed up, high-strung girls? Wren treats him pretty badly for a lot of the book, and they only know each other for a week, yet he keeps saying how much he cares about her.
On a good note, Garvey does a fantastic job when it comes to characterizations. It's the little details, the behavior between two sisters or a mother's habits, that really stand out and make the novel seem real. The magical aspect is, like the rest of the book, enchanting, tinged with a sort of sadness. And even though it can be a little much, the story is still touching. None of this, though, is enough to bring Cold Kiss to its full potential. As the expression goes, close but no cigar.
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What did you think of Cold Kiss? What's your favorite paranormal book?