Published by HarperTeen on September 20th 2011
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 a shell of the 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 drew me in instantly with a premise that promised romance, obstacles, consequences, and of course paranormalcy. Apart from her unique I’ll say “magical” abilities, Wren is just like any other girl. She’s busy with school, has weekly sleepovers with her two besties, and is completely in love and devoted to her boyfriend, Danny. Of course, except for the school-part, the rest is all of the past. After a devastating accident, Wren loses Danny. However this is temporarily. In utter pain and confusion Wren summons all the power she has, bringing Danny back from the grave, at least a version of him…
By the time the novel begins, Wren although still coping with Danny’s lost, is also coping with his return. After a spell performed in a blind panic, Danny comes back in a type of altered state. Besides the fact that everyone saw him dead and buried, Wren struggles to hide Danny due to the fact that he’s changed. His body is now entirely too stiff and too cold; his memories as well have begun to deteriorate. Although this is an important aspect to the Cold Kiss story-line, it’s not the main one. This book focuses more on Wren, not just getting over Danny’s death, but learning to live without him and understanding that it is okay to be happy without him. After he died she lost a piece of herself and in the process shut herself off from most of the world, including her two best friends. Then out of the blue, a new student arrives (Gabriel). He immediately recognizes the power swirling within Wren and deduces what she has done. Wren can’t help but feel drawn to him in more ways than one which adds another level of chaos to her life.
This is where I must praise Amy Garvey. Her writing – by way of the emotions she draws out of the readers is truly remarkable. I’ve personally never been in love such as Wren has, but by Garvey’s amazing details and ability to portray “true” love I was able to feel Wren’s emotion. I felt pure utter happiness during the flashbacks that occur featuring sweet moments between Danny and Wren and of course mounds of sorrow in the present while Wren watches Danny suffer in confusion and isolation.
This is a powerful book. Wren although heartbroken and lost, is still such a strong and independent character. Her raw emotions pillared this story the entire way through leaving me entirely captivated. The only quip I had with this story is the length and pacing. Like most good books I felt like this one was entirely too short, but by a pacing stand point. I felt like a lot of the story moved by too quickly. There were some flashbacks to fill in the gaps but by the end I felt like the bond grown between Gabriel and Wren was a bit rushed. Regardless I still loved this book, having read it in one sitting. Book two comes out very soon (2 weeks) and I definitely need to read it!