How do you write a review for a book you barely have words for? For a story that has me choked up just considering the emotional depths it plundered? No matter how emphatically I proclaim the beauty of Cold Kiss, I won't be able to do the book justice.
Cold Kiss is the story of a beautiful life cut short and a love gone tragically too soon. The lengths Wren is willing to go to in order to fill the hole left after her Danny has died. And sadly, what happens when you don't stop to consider what comes after.
Author Amy Garvey perfectly set the tone of the book in the prologue. The opening of the book is beautiful, wistful and drew me in completely. When I read it, I thought "Oh. Cold Kiss is going to be that book." The kind book that leaves you undone, emotionally spent. But in the most cathartic sense.
I know I'm not dealing out a spoiler when I say that Wren brings Danny back from the dead. And while that's the impetus for the story, it is not the main idea. Cold Kiss is Wren coming to terms with Danny's death. After Danny dies, Wren's spirit is broken, her desperation overwhelming. The author did an exemplary job conveying the emotional havoc Wren experienced. She gives pieces of Danny and Wren's time together. Enough so that you understand the "big-ness" of their love. It is a love so consuming, she is left gaping when it is gone. And while what Wren did sounds unbelievably stupid, you get why she tried. Because who amongst us hasn't bargained and pleaded to bring back someone they've loved and lost. If I lost the man I love, I would be willing to do anything to bring him back me.
The characters of Cold Kiss are written to brilliant perfection. Wren is a ball of pent-up energy. As she continues to deal with the consequences of bringing Danny back, she slowly unravels emotionally. And you can't help but wonder, when is she going to blow wide open? Wren continually expounds on the selfishness, the rashness of what she did. You have to respect her as a character, because she takes ownership of her actions and what it will take to fix it. When Wren meets Gabriel, he immediately senses what she's done and questions her about it. I loved that the author gave Wren that outlet, someone to share her secret with. Gabriel is exactly the person Wren needs at this time. He doesn't judge her harshly. He isn't jealous the love she feels for Danny, he doesn't belittle it. And while Wren and Gabriel have an instant bond, it doesn't feel forced. It's quiet and peaceful. Even though Wren feels attraction to Gabriel, she never loses focus of Danny, of righting her wrong. And she knows it's a journey she'll have to take on her own. The Danny that Wren brings back isn't quite a character. He is a sad, confused shell of the boy she loved. Who you can't help but mourn for when Garvey takes you back to the boy Wren fell in love with.
Looking at this review, I get that I might seem overdramatic. But it's this book! Cold Kiss hit me in such a visceral way, when I wasn't expecting it. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't to be sucker punched in the gut with raw emotion. It hit a deep part of me that I don't stay in too close contact with because I'm afraid to feel emotional pain. My eyes are welling up at just thinking how hard I cried during the last few chapters of the book. I try to avoid "the ugly cry" at all costs. Cold Kiss got me there. It was a beautiful, tragic, and ultimately cathartic story that I am so happy I read. I expect Cold Kiss to stay with me for a long, long time.
"But love like that can be too big, too. It can be something you shouldn't be trusted to hold when you're the kind of person who drops the eggs and breaks the remote control."
"What I wanted was to blow a hole in the sky, explode a star, let the burning embers scorch me and everything they touched."
"Love doesn't break easily, I found. But people do."
* I received Cold Kiss from Harper Teen, in exchange for an honest review. *show more
by Craig Reid