Title: Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Garvey
Series: Cold Kiss #1
Pub. Date: September 2011
Genre: YA/Paranormal Romance
From Goodreads: 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.
My Reveries and Ramblings: This book was okay. I was able to read it fairly quickly in one sitting. There was very little detail. It was pretty much plot driven. The characters were a bit flat to me. I wanted to know more about Wren’s power and why her mom wouldn’t talk about it, or why her dad left. I also wanted to know more about Gabriel. But instead most of the book was entirely devoted to how badly she messed up by bringing Danny back to life and how she loves and loved him so much. I just wish Ms. Garvey spent more time on fleshing out the characters. The plot is there, the characters, not so much.
Having said that though, I do think the story was good, albeit predictable. It felt more like a novella or short story. There just wasn’t enough…of everything. But i did enjoy it. I’m not the biggest fan of zombie books and there were quite a few moments where Danny creeped me out. But I loved the message in the book. The messages were of love, loss and grief. Wren has to come to terms with losing her first love prematurely. Most people have lost someone in their lives. So I can assume everyone can relate and sympathize with Wren’s battle: her desire to keep the one she loves and her need to let him go.
Overall, I thought the book was okay. I will probably read the sequel at some point. I really hope the author expands on the world and answers some questions left from the end of the last book.
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Title: Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Series: Dead Beautiful #1
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Pub. Date: 2010
From Goodreads: On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she’d ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.
After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”
It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.
Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.
Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.
My Reveries and Ramblings: Dead Beautiful centers around Renee and her life after she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest. Throughout the story Renee tries to solve the mystery of their “death by heart attack” which seems to be a reoccurring theme/death of students who have died while at Gottfried Academy. Of course, everyone tells her she is looking too much into their deaths and that it is perfectly possible for two people to die of heart attacks at the same time in the woods.
Besides her investigation into the mysterious deaths, her growing attraction to Dante, a student who causes her to literally go weak in the knees, has left her with more questions than answers. I liked Dante’s character and how unselfish he was but he just didn’t give me that I-want-him-gotta-have-him feeling. Honestly, I really really really wanted to love this book. I really did! But sadly, the idea of the Undead creeped me out. Even though they specifically stated in the book that the Undead are not the same thing as zombies, to me, they basically were; and I’m not a huge fan of zombie anything. But I tried. Also, I did not like Renee. I thought she was rude and was selfish most of the time.
This book wasn’t my type of book. However I think it was well written. The world Woon created was detailed. The mythology surrounding the Undead was original and put together nicely. The mystery was good. In fact, it was what kept me reading even though I wanted to stop because of the whole Undead thing. I wanted to find out who was behind all the murders. The end was not what I expected and I was a bit disappointed.
Overall, it was a good book, just not for me. Although I can understand why so many people really liked it. It was kind of like Twilight but with Zombie-like people instead of vampires.
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