Kiss Kill Vanish

Kiss Kill Vanish

3.9 7
by Jessica Martinez

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Love. Betrayal. Murder.

Valentina is living a charmed, glittering life in Miami—falling in love for the first time, showered with gifts and affection by her father, surrounded by friends—when one shocking moment shatters everything she thought she knew about herself, her boyfriend, and her world. With no one left to trust, Valentina sheds her identity


Love. Betrayal. Murder.

Valentina is living a charmed, glittering life in Miami—falling in love for the first time, showered with gifts and affection by her father, surrounded by friends—when one shocking moment shatters everything she thought she knew about herself, her boyfriend, and her world. With no one left to trust, Valentina sheds her identity and flees to Montreal, where she finds work posing for a series of portraits by a pompous young artist. Valentina has always been at home in the art world, but she's never felt quite so alone.

Valentina's carefully constructed new life comes crashing down when someone from her past resurfaces, putting her safety in question and her heart on the line. With betrayal at every turn, Valentina must untangle the deceptions of those she once loved and race to find her own truth—before it's too late.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/01/2014
After discovering that her father and boyfriend are killers, 17-year-old Valentina Cruz runs away to Montreal. Penniless, she lives in a rented closet, works as an artist’s model, and practices her stolen mandolin by night in an empty cafe. She thinks the music will sustain her good memories of her boyfriend, Emilio, who taught her to play: “Here I thought the memories were triggered by melodies in a self-renewing loop, but this whole time they’ve been seeping out, drop by drop, note by note.” Martinez (The Vow) skillfully develops the contrast between Valentina’s expectations, instilled by a privileged childhood, and her desperate circumstances. When Emilio turns up with an explanation for what he’s done, he and Valentina plot to escape the web woven by her father, but nothing goes as planned. Meanwhile, after the artist she poses for commits suicide, Valentina is drawn into the life of his brother, Marcel. Valentina’s decision making is sometimes opaque, but her strong voice, full of sensory imagery, and her exquisitely drawn relationships with Emilio, Marcel, and her father make this a memorable thriller. Ages 14–up. Agent: Mandy Hubbard, D4EO Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Robin Wasserman
“A beautiful tangle of love, loyalty, compromise, and betrayal, Kiss Kill Vanish will leave you breathless.”
Lisa McMann
“A sexy, pulse-pounding thriller with a fresh, artsy vibe—bold, dangerous, intoxicating.”
Corey Ann Haydu
“Kiss Kill Vanish is an outstanding and original novel that is unlike anything else I’ve ever read. Martinez manages the rare combination of gorgeous, atmospheric writing and thrilling, page-turner action. She has created a darkly romantic world that is compelling and ultimately unforgettable. I miss it already.”
“[A] thrilling, twist-filled story.”
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Erin Wyatt
“Jane” is grinding it out in poverty in Montreal, barely cobbling together a living by working as a muse for a not-so-talented painter who thinks he is brilliant and by playing her beloved mandolin for spare change. Valentina Cruz, a young woman from an extremely privileged background, fled her home in Miami after witnessing her lover, Emilio, and her father kill a man. She has become Jane as she hides out and tries to discover how her seemingly perfect life suddenly imploded. As Valentina figures out her next move, she uncovers secrets about her former life that change everything she thought she knew about her family and herself. Finding an unlikely ally in Marcel, the brother of the painter for whom Valentina served as model before his untimely death, the two damaged souls provide much needed companionship for each other and find themselves on a journey to help Valentina reclaim her own identity. Twists and turns abound in this plot-driven thriller. While it takes some time and patience for the story to unfold, the payoff is worth it. Death and intrigue surround Valentina as she tries to figure out a way to protect her sisters, find justice, and get revenge for the betrayal and sins of the men in her life. While the story may be far-fetched, the characters and action are compelling. The author metes out the secrets slowly to keep the reader in suspense until the very end. Reviewer: Erin Wyatt; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
This latest novel from Martinez, whose work features and speaks to the recently emancipated teen, offers evidence that the new-adult literary niche is more than a marketing gimmick. Valentina's world exploded when, hidden in her boyfriend Emilio's closet, she watched him kill a man at her father's behest. Terrified and devastated, she's fled Miami for Montreal and changed her name and identity. She finds Montreal's brutal November cold as hard to take as posing for Lucien, the poseur artist and condescending jerk who's hired her. His smarter, stoner brother, Marcel, is dangerous—he knows she's dissembling. The fact that her family's wealth is blood money haunts Valentina, but struggling to pay for food and her share of a decrepit apartment keeps her occupied—at least until Emilio turns up, demanding (unsuccessfully) that she return with him to Miami. While what he says turns her world upside down again, it can't excuse her father. Desperate to escape the past stalking her, Valentina talks Emilio into fleeing together, but Lucien's death upsets their plans. Valentina engages readers' sympathy through each surprising plot twist, although that someone so bright and observant could remain wholly ignorant of her father's true profession isn't entirely plausible. Happily, such lapses in logic are few and easily ignored. Compelling characters and a fast-paced, unpredictable plot make this thriller a genuine joy ride. (Thriller. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Wealthy Valentina is taking a chance with falling for her father's 24-year-old employee, Emilio. It's a chance that seems absolutely worth it until the night when, while hidden in a closet, she sees him shoot a man point-blank while her father stands and watches. Terrified and confused, the teen flees to Montreal, leaving behind the comforts her father's success in the art trade have brought her—the yachts, the Klimts and Picassos that adorn her Miami mansion, and the freedom to never have to think about money. Her reality up north is radically different. Accompanied only by Emilio's mandolin, under the simple moniker Jane, she busks for money, barely making enough to eat, when an encounter with Lucien, a spoiled and cocky artist, lands her a job as his muse and model. She manages to coast by until a run-in with Emilio at an art show spirals her back into his arms. What proceeds is a whirlwind of intrigue and romance that, aided by Lucien's troubled, but far humbler brother, involves a yacht fire, an FBI bust, a standoff at gunpoint, and a helicopter rescue. From the heat of Miami to the cold streets of Montreal, Martinez's modern-day film noir is a wild ride for romance and thriller fans alike.—Joanna Sondheim, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.40(d)
HL680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Jessica Martinez is a Canadian living in Florida. She graduated from Brigham Young University and now divides her time between her three sweet children, her two rebellious cats, her husband, and all the books she wants to read. Also, sometimes she writes.

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Kiss Kill Vanish 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book with a grounded protagonist and a page turning story.
Reading-is-My-Treasure More than 1 year ago
Kiss Kill Vanish was a surprise. When I first discovered it, it looked so good! However, after reviews started coming in and the book had been on my Kindle for awhile, I kinda lost interest. I'm glad to say that when I finally got to reading it, I got REALLY into the story. I really liked reading the book! Intrigue and the mystery and the drama and scandal--it was all so great! The romance was the thing that kept me reading. I was always hoping for something to develop between Valentina and a certain guy. I was on the edge of my seat, looking for signs that the two characters were attracted to one another. As for the characters, I loved Marcel. Despite his jerkish behavior at times, he was one of my favorite parts of the book. He had a soft side that I couldn't resist. Valentina didn't feel like a solidly built heroine. She seemed a bit . . . scattered. All over the place. I liked her, but she didn't stand out as a great character. Emilio--ugh. I never liked him. I didn't like his and Valentina's relationship. It was too love soaked--too passionate-in-a-bad-way.  The story is dark with bursts of dramatic color--just like the cover. It was a thrilling book! I was almost always on the edge of my seat and feeling nervous about what would happen next. Overall, Kiss Kill Vanish was an exciting ride. I'm glad that I decided to pick this one up. It was fun! *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Alli More than 1 year ago
Well I really like the book and currently writing an essay that's also a letter to the author. In the copy I have there are many errors but other than that the book was amazing. And to the guy that said it was horrible and gave it one star, she was whiny because she came from a rich family and never had to work. And also the money in Montreal is nothing like the money in the U.S stuff (as the author clearly stated) cost more there than in the U.S. I still suggest people to read this book!
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
I must admit. I have had friends who read Kiss Kill Vanish and weren't impressed. I try not to let other people's opinions affect me in regards to judging a book I haven't read but I have to say I do become wary of the book. I wished I didn't request it for review but still, I tried emptying my pre-reading judgements and started it. I must say, I was surprised! The beginning is slow. That is a given. The author took a while trying to set up everything and get the ball rolling.. still, I wasn't bored or disliked the protagonist. It's funny how I actually really liked Valentina. I loved the plot and thought it was addicting. I especially loved all the well crafted twists. Even I, someone who loved mysteries and usually solves them rather quickly, wasn't able to see the twists coming my way. To spare you the details, Valentina witnessed her boyfriend kill someone in cold blood when her dad ordered him to do so. She couldn't take it and fled. She found out her father is pretty much a drug lord, trafficking drugs and making millions and millions of dollars. Valentina decides to runaway and goes to Montreal (she lived in Florida). I felt, for such a pampered sheltered rich girl, she did fairly well. She barely complained and wasn't naive. She didn't have a misconception that everything should come to her easily because that's how it has always been. She lived in a closet sized room with other people and worked as a model for a rich guy. Yea it seems fishy, but let's be real, someone like her can't do manual labor! I do understand that about her. Heck, I've never had a job which has more to do with our culture where the parents take care of the kids and kids shouldn't be worrying about money than my family or all arabs/muslims being rich. So I get why some people think she's too sheltered and should look at reality and get an actual job.. this is easier said than done.The romance in this book.. guys it is so unpredictable and I LOVED IT TO PIECES. THANK YOU THANK YOU Jessica Martinez for finally letting an underdog win the girl. THANK YOU for finally making my guy bias win the girl. I don't want to mention which guy I'm talking about (because there are several, though NO love triangle (square?) at all). All I can say is that I was very very happy with the romance. The last is the plot and plot progression. As I mentioned earlier, the beginning was slow, that's the reason why I took half a star off. It took 100 pages to really get into the novel and get hooked. However after the 100 page mark, things got crazy with a capital C. I'm not even kidding. Deaths, conspiracy, murder plotting, ambushing, everything you can think of. It was so addicting. however there are also the sweet moments with Valentina and another person that I can't help but gush about. All in all, this book took me by complete surprise and I loved it. I couldn't stop reading it and ended up marathoning the last 250 pages on a friday night. Kiss Kill Vanish is definitely worth the buy and read! 
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) 17-year-old Valencia ran away to Montreal after witnessing something she never expected to see. Something that rightfully shocked her, and left her doubting who her father and boyfriend really were. Now Valencia is struggling to make rent, and barely surviving on her own. What did Valencia witness? And what are her father and boyfriend mixed up in? This was an okay story, but it dragged. Valencia was an okay character, and I understood why she ran away from home, even if leaving without any money was a little short-sighted. She could have been a bit smarter, but it was clear that she had acted on a fight or flight response rather than anything logical, so fair enough. The storyline in this was okay, but the book was just too long. I liked the mystery aspect of the story, but the whole thing just dragged, and dragged, and dragged a bit more. I could have edited out about half of this story without it losing anything important. There were a couple of interesting twists that I didn’t see coming, and I did appreciate those, but again, the rest of the story just dragged too much in between. There was some romance in this, and it was okay, but I didn’t really love it. The ending was okay, and we got a bit of a happily ever after, but mostly I was just pleased that the book was over. At 432 pages this was way longer than it needed to be. Overall; okay story, but dragged too much, 6.25 out of 10.
DahlELama More than 1 year ago
An honest-to-goodness YA Suspense novel the likes of which I really can't recall having read before. I loved the writing here, and all the ways it twisted and turned until I stopped even bothering to guess what was happening; it was way more fun to let Martinez take me along for the ride. It's not as fast-paced a read as you might expect, given the subject matter, but it's an enjoyable and well-crafted one and I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book thinking the summery was a good description. IT IS NOT! The girl starts off in Montreal After she has fled Miami and is whiny about sitting for an artist who pays her a ton of money for it yet she lives in a dump (no explanation as to how she pulled that off) yet can't afford food. She doesn't have a brain in her body and the whole book I wanted to slap her and tell her to think things through! I felt like the book was dragging out her misery and it wasn't until the last quarter of the book that it even remotely is even remotely interesting.