Cold Kiss

Cold Kiss

3.5 269
by Amy Garvey

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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

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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.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—When her boyfriend dies in a car accident, Wren is so inconsolable that she uses her budding supernatural gifts to raise Danny from the dead. He waits patiently for her nightly visits to their little nest in the loft above her neighbor's garage, and she endures his cold kiss. Wren slowly realizes that she made a mistake, and that the boy she loved is gone though his reanimated body remains. Then Gabriel arrives at school, and he seems to know more about Wren's mysterious powers than she does. She feels an undeniable attraction to Gabriel, who can see into her mind, where he discovers what she's done. Danny, meanwhile, grows restless as he remembers more about the night he died, and he escapes from the garage to find answers. Suddenly, he's more than a gruesome secret-he's a danger to Wren and Gabriel. Because he is already undead at the beginning of the book, and the courtship is relayed through Wren's memories, readers miss out on many of the qualities that made the prickly teen fall so hard for Danny, and the narrative lacks emotional intensity. Nonetheless, this novel succeeds on many levels, especially as a cautionary tale about the all-consuming power of first love and the need to move on after it ends.—Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
Publishers Weekly
Adult romance writer Garvey makes her YA debut with an introspective paranormal story about holding on when one should let go. Seventeen-year-old Wren has inherited her family's ability to tap into the energy of the world to make magical things happen. She's never been one to think things through, but has outdone herself by raising her boyfriend from the dead after he is killed in a drunk-driving accident. As Wren becomes less certain about how to deal with what she's done, the reanimated Danny (who isn't exactly the boyfriend she remembers) is recovering his memories and becoming more difficult to control. Wren is thrown even further off-balance when new student Gabriel, who has supernatural abilities of his own, uncovers her secret. After more lies tumble together and escalate, Wren confronts her attraction to Gabriel, the reality of her inadvertent cruelty, and her failing relationships with friends and family. Garvey sidesteps zombie tropes by keeping the focus on Wren's emotional state and the consequences of her actions, painting a delicate portrait of first love, loss, and a "girl who thought love came with ownership papers." Ages 13–up. (Sept.)
Horn Book Magazine
“Garvey could easily have told a cautionary tale about being careful what you wish for; instead, this is a story of the redemption possible in taking responsibility for mistakes and the comfort found in sharing burdens.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Fans of Shiver will appreciate the nuanced, more bitter than sweet portrayal of star-crossed supernatural love in this promising debut novel.”
Lauren Kate
“Beautiful and haunting. Every page tore me apart—and I loved it.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Fans of Shiver will appreciate the nuanced, more bitter than sweet portrayal of star-crossed supernatural love in this promising debut novel."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Fans of Shiver will appreciate the nuanced, more bitter than sweet portrayal of star-crossed supernatural love in this promising debut novel.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“The writing heightens the sense of tragedy and hopelessness and makes us care. While the supernatural elements are an essential hook, it is the pain of first love lost, that longing for the person who is irretrievably gone, that is the crux of Garvey’s gripping first novel for young adults.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Fans of Shiver will appreciate the nuanced, more bitter than sweet portrayal of star-crossed supernatural love in this promising debut novel.”
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Wren inherited magical powers from her mother and grandmother. If she's angry, things tend to catch on fire or be hurled across the room by using the energy in her body. But Wren gets carried away when her boyfriend, Danny, dies in a car crash. She misses him so much that she casts a spell and brings him out of his grave, but not really back to life. Obviously, Danny must stay out of sight—most people freak out around the "undead." Wren soon learns that the Danny she brought back isn't the Danny she loved and soon he begins to chafe at being stuck in a garage attic. Her two best girl friends are bewildered, hurt, and then angry about Wren's refusal to hang out with them, but she can't let them in on the secret and she can't leave Danny alone too much. Plus her mother is being closed mouthed about their powers, which frustrates Wren, especially when she sees her younger sister, Robin, beginning to develop powers of her own. To top off her miseries, Wren is befriended by Gabriel—a new boy in school—who happens to have psychic powers of his own and for whom she begins to fall. She finally realizes the selfish mistake she made by bringing Danny back as he begins to remember more about his death and searches out a new spell to put him back in his grave. The book is a good read, with a compelling narrative and plenty of angst. It could be a good jumping off point for a philosophical discussion of what is life and is there a soul, not to mention how to deal with death. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
VOYA - Mary Arnold
Paranormal romance is hot—"Danny was mine, and I was his, and that wasn't going to work if he was dead." Wren finds true love, only to have it ripped away when Danny is killed in a car wreck. She has long known that she inherited power, but her Mom refuses to share what it might mean, and in her grief and desire, Wren makes a big mistake: a graveyard ritual brings Danny back from the dead, but the Danny who returns is not Wren's sweet Danny: he is something between a ghost and a zombie, cold as marble, without any memory but his deep need for Wren's presence. She knows she cannot keep him hidden in a neighbor's garage forever, nor turn her back on him for a choice he did not make, especially now that he is on the brink of realizing his true condition. Can Gabriel, a new boy in town with powers of his own who recognizes Wren's gift, possibly help? Think Steven King's Pet Sematary (Doubleday, 1983/VOYA April 1984)-creepy with the emotional impact of first love, complicated by a dead boyfriend and an emerging love triangle. The writing, especially the flashbacks that reveal the depth of their relationship, heighten the sense of tragedy and hopelessness and make us care. While the supernatural elements are an essential hook, it is the pain of first love lost, that longing for the person who is irretrievably gone, that is the crux of Garvey's gripping first novel for young adults. Reviewer: Mary Arnold
Kirkus Reviews

To what lengths is it acceptable to go to hold on to someone you love?

Devastated by the premature death of her boyfriend, Wren enlists her natural magical abilities to bring him back—although even Wren has to admit that the Danny she has brought back is only a shadow of what he was in life. Desperate to keep what she has done a secret, Wren is forced to live a double life. She must keep one foot firmly planted in teenage reality: attending classes, dealing with friends and ducking her mother's questions. Her other foot is planted in her secret, as she struggles to keep a boy who is more her puppet than her former boyfriend hidden. Her plans are slowly unraveling when she meets Gabriel, a new boy who can read her thoughts and guesses her dark secret. As Danny becomes more difficult for Wren to handle, she begins to see that not only is he not the boy she once knew, but he might actually be dangerous. In the end, it is Danny's own words that help Wren the most. Fast-paced and achingly real, this fresh tale hints at the danger that lurks beneath Wren's spell without veering into the macabre. Driven by her selfish desires both to keep Danny and then to be rid of him, Wren is not a traditional heroine, but her character is ultimately redeemed by her decision to make things right no matter the cost.

A provocative romance rises above zombie conventions. (Fiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Cold Kiss , #1
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File size:
521 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Lauren Kate
“Beautiful and haunting. Every page tore me apart—and I loved it.”

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Cold Kiss 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 269 reviews.
ephrielle More than 1 year ago
From the beginning this book has started in such a way as to make it unique. Instead of following the cause and effect model we are going backwards. Something has already happened and now we are going to figure it out in reverse. A great use of the unexplored areas of the English language. Basically, you have a teenage girl getting carried away by her feelings. Everything at that age seems so permanent and intense. In the throes of her undying love she makes a mistake, a huge mistake. As most teenagers find that intense lasting emotion was more of a growth pain. Now she finds herself not liking the consequences and needing a way out. Sprinkle in some zombie and magic and you are good to go. A relatively quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great, i mean really great. I managed to read it in an hour but that may be cause im a speed reader anyway it catches your attention when you first see it. As you get into it, its impossible to put the book down. Overall, amazing!!!!!!!! A must read for anyone who loves romance and suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a really good story line, realistic characters and a heart breaking tragedy. So in has it all. Wish there could have been a different timeline for the way the story was told. It would've been more gripping if the events were happening as you read then instead of being in retrospect for the main topics. Great book though. Have a boyfriend named danny, who's described exactly the way the one in this book is. Brought on a whole new level of bonechilling, makes you wonder...what would you do?
SammiiTX More than 1 year ago
I recived this as a prize from one of the authors of The International Kissing Club, Shelle Roberts! Thanks so much for the book!! It was amazing! I really enjoyed the book, it was interesting. It was extremley different then most books I read on the terms that I don't do ghost's well. The creep me out, and so I stay away from them. There was something different about this book though, and it was a good change. The plot was adequete, not perfect, and kind of all over the place. Sometimes I had to go back and re-read the page to understand what the next page was talking about. It bothered me because I really don't like doing that. The characters were fun though! They dealt with what teenagers our age deal with. Well other than one of them being from a family of witches and being able to bring back a person from the dead. The character I just described was Wren, the main character. She is a keep to yourself person with only a few best friends, till she meets Danny. He takes her out of her shell and just makes her happy. That is.. till he dies and she goes into depression and pushes everyone away and is hiding a big secret that I can't say!! That is till a new guy comes along... This new guy is Gabriel, he is new to town and is instantly atracted to Wren! Of course Wren is still hiding somethings and isnt interested in this new mysterious hottie! Gabriel is the kind that will do anything he to get what he wants and always wants to help people. Always. So watch your thoughts around Mr. Mystery, you never know when he's listening!! This book was amazing, it was a quick and easy read. I give it 39 out of 59 Tacos!! Which is equal to 3 stars!! Woo!! Pre-order it and you won't be sorry. Even if your against ghost books, this one is worth it!! ~~Sam!
Yogurlala More than 1 year ago
Cold Kiss is unlike anything I have read before, and it was not what I was expecting, but in a good way! It starts off with a girl named Wren trying to cope after her boyfriend dies in a horrible car accident. His name is Danny, and he was everything to her. He is not completely dead though, she brought him back to life with her powers, and is hiding him in her neighbor's garage. No one, except for her knows he isn't truly dead, and she tries to visit him when she can, but also tries to keep her own life going. She tries her best to juggle school, her friends, Danny, her family, and her job; all the while, keeping her powers in check and keeping her secret. This becomes increasingly difficult as Danny starts to remember who he is, and he becomes harder to keep hidden. Also a new Yummy student arrives, named Gabriel; and he rocks Wren's world when he tells her he knows her secrets. When everything in Wren's life begins to fall apart she must find the strength and courage with in herself to make some hard decisions, in order to set things right. It was a very emotional yet beautiful read. It's a book that deals with love and loss, and the struggles a person faces afterwards. Wren was a very interesting and beautiful character. I enjoyed every moment of her story, though some of the moments were very difficult. Your with her as she deals with the loss of Danny, and the loss of love. The struggle with controlling her powers, and understanding them and herself. Also her journey of heartbreak, forgiveness, acceptance, and learning to love again. This is a very heartbreakingly beautiful book. Be prepared to get emotional! Overall Rating = A+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant to read this because i thought it was a book for teens. I am so glad i read it. I am 41 years old and enjoyed this book immensely. Read it in two days! Great, different storyline.
ValiaLind-Author More than 1 year ago
I have to begin by saying that this story will take your breath away. When I first heard about the concept I wasn't sure what to expect. There are various way this story could've played out. However, nothing prepared me to the spectacular way Amy delivers Wren's story. When Wren loses her boyfriend in a car accident, she loses her first love. She is a special girl, with powers living within her that she doesn't quite understand. She reaches out to that power in a moment of grief and brings Danny back to life. Or more accurately to the land of the living. Danny is not the same boy she fell in love with. Wren spends most of her time hiding Danny and trying to figure out what the future will hold. Then Gabriel walks into her life, and he knows her secret. Yes, even the deepest and darkest secret of her power. Gabriel and Wren draw closer together. Their relationship is beautiful and difficult because Wren is still trying to make things right with Danny. Danny is a broken shell of a boy she once knew. Gabriel is a gorgeous complication. How do you chose between your first love and a boy who seems to see down to your soul? This book was one of the best books I've read all year. The writing is charming, full of heart. I have to be honest and say that I've shed a few tears reading this story. Alright, maybe a bit more than few. I wouldn't call it an ocean per say. :) I can't begin to explain the decisions that Wren has to make in this book. Even though this story incorporates supernatural, the life Wren lives can be related to every day situations. We all make decisions that may break our hearts. Some things, some people, stay with you to your very soul. How do you let go of that? Do you let go at all? This book is elegantly written. It touches the heart, speaks to the soul, and teaches you that life is beautiful, even with pain and heartache. Amy weaves the words together in a way that brings us close to the characters and shows us the ways of life. You don't just read this book, you feel it.
jenababy13 More than 1 year ago
Heart-breaking and emotional, Cold Kiss is a unique story that will make each part of your heart ache yet, show you that there is a way to overcome tragic events. Wren is devastated when her boyfriend, her first love, Danny is killed in a car accident. When she decides she'd do anything to have him back, she uses her powers, ones she doesn't know much about, to bring him back from the dead. But, instead of the Danny she knew and loved, she find herself with a cold, distant Danny... not her boyfriend she once knew. Hiding Danny from the world seems hard enough, but when Gabriel shows up, being like her and sensing her power, she begins to realize that keeping Danny here may have been the wrong thing to do. But, after losing her love once, could she be strong enough to do it again? Each page of Cold Kiss is heart shattering. Even in the semi-happy parts you can feel the chill within the words. It's an emotional book which is meant to teach you something. That sometimes, your emotions take over and you make the wrong decisions, but you have to be strong enough to set them right. That, just because you've lost something so significant that was such a part of your life, doesn't mean that you won't ever find it again. Cold Kiss shows that sometimes you have to make the wrong decision to realize how to come out on top again. Amy Garvey does this in a beautiful way of using Wren, our lead character. Wren has powers, powers that she doesn't know much about because her mother tries to hide them. She uses them anyway to bring back Danny because she's overwhelmed with grief. I liked watching Wren grow. She goes from this I-can't-lose-you to I-can-learn-to-move-on type of girl, and I enjoy watching characters who come to realize that. Then we have Gabriel. Who to say the least, has had a rough life. I loved his character. He keeps such a good head on his shoulders, yet is strong and smart. His caring side is what gets to you. Not only is he cute with blonde hair and gray-blue eyes, but he's always willing to help. To be there for the people who mean something to him and I love that about a boy. Overall, I think Cold Kiss is a moving story. Literally, about learning to let go and move on. That things happen for a reason, you shouldn't be able to change it, you just have to learn to appreciate what you had when you had it and then accept your new future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a real tough time trying to finish the story. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again. When my interest was peaked and I wanted to to delve into more details, the story line was dropped and we were back to the same old rehash of Wren's angst over what she had done. The story had great potential and I liked it's original concept; however, it kind of fell flat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wren is a special girl with abilities that she doesn't yet fully understand and her mother, the person who should be explaining them to her, refuses to. So Wren turns to her estranged aunt in order for some guidance. When Wrens boyfriend Danny dies in a terrible accident, she does everything within her reach to bring him back to her. Not understand the cost that came with it. I enjoyed this book and once I started it, I had to finish it. I got it from a free nook friday a couple of weeks ago and it grabbed my attention. I like Amy Garvey's writing. Wrens mother irritated me a little, she seemed a little too closed off and if she doesn't want her daughter using her ability she probably should have explain it to her instead of shutting her out. Telling a teenage daughter not to do something, only made her want to do more. There is a lot of mystery in the book, like why Wrens father left them, why her mother won't talk to her about their abilities, and why her mother and her mother sister won't talk to each other. Unfortunately, none of that get's answered here, which is okay as I wait to eventually hope getting the next book. It was sad and the ending made me teary because it's understandable how a loss like that can be hard to get over and let go. Overall I enjoyed the beginning of this series, and hope to have some questions answered soon.
DonnaWDW More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a cute book, easy read. I do think she could have added a little closure at the end, such as what actually happened to the father, and where is he now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, great story and really liked the way Amy Garvey writes, would definitely recommend this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is written for teenage girls. I think they would like it. The story shifts from present to past and back to present but not difficult to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book. I'm surprised it was free. I really liked the writing and storyline, it was sad and unique. I am surprised there were any negative reviews...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read few books that has tugged at the heartstrings and this is one of them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ar first I thought this was going to be another Twilight wannabe. It's not. It's better. So good you'll cry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok read but ending predictable and left questions unanswered..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Um JFB, this is a story, just for fun, no one believes the protagonist really raised him frim the dead, the author wrote this for entertainment. I too am a Christain and I believe very strongly in Christ, but I enjoy and appreciate fiction and fantasy.
Tawni More than 1 year ago
Cold Kiss was such a great and unique read! It was a refreshing new story about a love lost by unforeseen circumstances and coping with it in an unusual way. I really, REALLY loved that this book was lightly paranormal. Its definitely not something I come across often, but it played out nicely throughout the story. Wren is a great character and I loved her real and raw emotions. She has power and enough of it to bring back her dead boyfriend (Danny), which turned out to be a flop. I appreciated the truthfulness Wren put out - well not when it came to hiding him from others, but in any other situation. I enjoyed all of the other characters in Cold Kiss. Each character was so dynamic even if they weren't a huge part. I admire that and it always kept me interested. I think I liked Danny more than anyone else. It was creepy to think that he was really dead, but you are learning so much about what was between him and Wren, along with his personality. The only thing I didn't love was that it kept going back into the past. We don't experience some of the things alongside the characters and I feel this takes away from reader connections. I did however enjoy the writing very much and will be looking forward to seeing more of Amy Garvey! Overall, Cold Kiss contained love and learning to cope with the reality of losing someone you love. It's a book you'll really enjoy and might even want to read again! Review based on ARC
Anonymous 9 months ago
An interesting story that kept my attention the entire way through.
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