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The Silver Kiss

The Silver Kiss

4.1 359
by Annette Curtis Klause

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Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house.  Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe's brooding thoughts of her dying mother.

Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before.  Does Simon dare ask


Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house.  Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe's brooding thoughts of her dying mother.

Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before.  Does Simon dare ask Zoe to help free him from this lifeless chase and its insufferable loneliness?

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Strangely persuasive...at once a grisly and graphic tale of monstrous death and a sweet and compelling story of love."
--Entertainment Weekly

ò "A mesmerizing first novel...with lyrical writing and a rich sensibility...a fascinating story."
--Kirkus Reviews, pointer

*"A well-drawn, powerful, and seductive novel."
--School Library Journal, starred

*"Both sensuous and suspenseful."
--Booklist, starred

"Move over, Anne Rice."
--Publishers Weekly

*"...Blood and Chocolate is gripping, thrilling and original. It is delicious and smooth, like chocolate, but only a good novel, like good chocolate, is this satisfying."
--School Library Journal, starred

From the Paperback edition.

Entertainment Weekly
Strangely persuasive...at once a grisly and graphic tale of monstrous death and a sweet and compelling story of love.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW praised the ``often striking prose'' in this compelling tale of a modern-day vampire who preys on a lonely teenaged girl. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Zoe, a lonely teenager, is trying to cope with her best friend moving, her hospital-bound mother, and an overprotective father who believes his daughter is not strong enough to handle her mother's illness or imminent death. One evening she meets Simon, a three-hundred-year-old vampire. An absorbing tale with a touch of suspense, horror, and romance. Black-eyed Susan Book Award winner.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
The Silver Kiss is a haunting, tender, and romantic YA novel. While her mother is dying, a grief-stricken Zoe finds comfort in the presence of a pale, mysterious young man, the only one who truly understands the pain she is experiencing. 300 years ago, Simon's mother was murdered by his brother and he is determined to exact revenge from his brother, the personification of evil. All of the universal themes are in this popular book.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year old Zoe's mother has cancer, her dad is barely coping with his wife's impending death, and her best friend is moving in Annette Curtis Klause's debut ovel (Delacorte, 1990). Enter Simon, a vampire who has learned that he can love. Simon is willing to listen, to protect, and to help Zoe navigate her own emotions about her mother's illness. Zoe joins with Simon as he seeks to avenge the death of his own mother three centuries earlier. While packaged as a vampire tale, this novel is primarily about Zoe's experiences with loss and death. Also included are two short stories by Klause: "The Summer of Love," which tells of Simon's life before he meets Zoe, and "The Christmas Cat," which focuses on Zoe's life after Simon leaves. Ali Ahn's vocal tone maintains the darkness, intensity, and mystery of the story. At times her accent for Simon is not true or consistent, but this does not detract from her narration overall. Unlike the author's excellent later novel, Blood for Chocolate (Delacorte, 1997), this one is a mediocre tale for fans of fantasy and the vampiric genre.—Amy Olson, formerly Lexington Public Library, KY

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The house was empty. Zoe knew as soon as she walked through the front door. Only a clock ticking in the kitchen challenged the silence.

Fear uncurled within her. Mommy, she though like a child. Is it the hospital again- or worse? She dropped her schoolbag in the hall, forgetting the open door, and walked slowly into the kitchen, afriad of what message might await her. There was a note on the refridgerator:

Gone to the hospital. Don’t worry. Make your dinner. Be back when I can.
Love, Dad.
P.S. Don’t wait up.

She crumpled the note and flung it at the trash can. It missed. She snorted in disgust. It seemed that lately all her conversations with her father had ben carried on with a banana refridgerator magnet as intermediary. The banana speaks, she thought. It defended the refridgerator, stopped her from opening the door. She couldn’t eat.

Zoe the Bird they called her at school. She had always been thin, but now her bones seemed hollow. Her wrists and joints were bruised with shadows. She was almost as thin as her mother, wasting away with cancer in the hospital. A sympathy death perhaps, she wondering half seriously. She had always been compared to her mother. She had the same gray eyes, long black hair with a slight curl, and deceptively pale skin that tanned quickly at the slightest encouragement. Wouldn’t it be ironic if she died, too, fading out suddenly when her look-alike went?

Zoe drifted from the kitchen, not sure what to do. How could she wash dishes or wipe counters when God knows what was happening with her mother at the hospital? She shrugged off her coat, leaving it on a chair. Dad kept on saying everything would be all right, but what if something happened and she wasn’t even there, all because he couldn’t admit to her that Mom might be dying?

She tugged at her sweater, twisted a lock of hair; her hands couldn’t keep still. I should be used to this by now, she thought. It had been going on for over a year: the long stays in the hospital, short stays home, weeks of hope, then sudden relapses, and the cures that made her mother sicker than the pain. But it would be a sin to be used to something like that, she thought. Unnatural. You can’t let yourself get used to it, because that’s like giving in.

She paused in the dining room. It was sparsely furnished with a long antique trestle table and chairs that almost all matched, but the walls were a fanfare to her mother’s life. They gave a home to the large, bright, splashy oils that Anne Sutcliff painted; pictures charged with bold emotions, full of laughing people who leapt and swirled and sang. Like Mom, Zoe thought–like Mom used to. And that’s where they differed, for Zoe wrote quiet poetry suffused with twilight and questions. It’s not even good poetry, she thought. I don’t have talent, it’s her. I should be the one ill; she has so much to offer, so much life. “You’re a dark one,” her mother said sometimes with amused wonder. “You’re a mystery.”

I want to be like them, she thought almost pleadingly as she stroked the crimson paint to feel the brush strokes, hoping maybe to absorb its warmth.

The living room was cool and shadowed. The glints of sunlight on the roof she could see through the window resembled light playing on the surface of water, and the room’s aqua colors hinted at undersea worlds. Perhaps she’d find peace here. She sank into the couch.

Just enjoy the room, she told herself; the room that has always been here, and always will; the room that hasn’t changed. I am five, she pretended. Mom is in the kitchen making an early dinner. They are going out tonight to a party, and Sarah is coming over to baby-sit. I’l go and play with my dollhouse soon.

But it wouldn’t last, she she opened her eyes and stretched. Her fingers touched the sleek cheapness of newsprint. The morning paper was still spread on the couch. She glanced at it with little interest, but the headline glared: Mother of Two Found Dead. Her stomach lurched. Everone’s mother found dead, she thought bitterly. Why not everyone’s? But she couldn’t help reading the next few lines. Throat slashed, the article said, drained dry of blood.

“That’s absurd,” she said aloud. Her fingers tightened in disgust, crumpling the page. “What is this–the National Enquirer?” She tossed the paper away, wrenched herself to her feet, and headed for her room.

But the phone rang before she reached the stairs. She flinched but darted for the hall extension and picked it up. It was a familiar voice, but not her father’s.
“Zoe, it’s horrible.” Lorraine, her best friend, wailed across the phone lines with typical drama. It should have been comforting.
“What’s horrible?” Zoe gasped with a pounding heart. Had the hospital phoned Lorraine’s house because she wasn’t home?
“We’re moving.”
“What?” A moment’s confusion.
“Dad got that job in Oregon.”
“Oregon? My God, Lorraine. Venus.”
Zoe sat down in the straight-backed chair beside the phone table. It wasn’t her father. It wasn’t death calling, but…”When?” she asked.
“Two weeks.”
“So soon?” Zoe wrapped and unwrapped the phone cord around her fist. This isn’t happening, she thought.
“They want him right away. He’s flying out tonight. Can you believe it? He’s going to look for a house when he gets there. I got home and Diane was calling up moving companies.”
“But you said he wasn’t serious.”
“Shows how much he tells me, doesn’t it? Diane knew.”
Zoe grasped for soomething to say. Couldn’t something stop this? “Isn’t she freaked at the rush?”
“Oh, she thinks it’s great. It’s a place nuclear fallout will miss, and she can grow lots of zucchini.”
“What about your mom?”
“She wouldn’t care if he moved to Australia. But she’s pretty pissed that he’s taking me.”
“Can’t you stay with her?” Please, please, Zoe begged silently.
“Oh, you know. That’s a lost battle. Cramp her style.”
“Lorraine! She’s not that bad.”
“She moved out, didn’t she?”
No use fighting that argument again, Zoe thought. “Oregon.” She sighed.
Lorraine groaned. “Yeah! This is hideous. It’s the wilderness or something. I’m not reading for the great trek. I could stay with you,” she added hopefully.
“I’ll ask,” Zoe said, although there wasn’t a chance. They both knew that was impossible right now.
“What will I do? Zoe thought. “You can visit.” It seemed like a pathetic suggestion.
“Big deal!”
“Can you come over?” Lorraine asked.
“No, I better stay here for now.”
“Uh-oh! Something wrong?”
“She’s in the hospital again.”
“Oh, hell.”

This is where Lorraine shuts down, Zoe thought. Why can’t she talk to me about it? Why does she have to back off every time? She’s my best friend, damn it, not like those nerds at school who are too embarrassed even to look at me anymore. She searched for what she wanted to say. Something to keep Lorraine on the line.
There was silence.

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The Silver Kiss (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 357 reviews.
Emilybaka More than 1 year ago
The Silver Kiss, by Annette Curtis Klause, was one of the books that I have been wanting to get for over a couple months now. I just got it for Christmas and, as soon as I got it, I dived in.

One of the reasons why I really liked this book was because of Zoe, the main character, reminded me of myself. Zoe, in the book, had a couple of on the side problems going on; her best friend, Lorraine, was moving, her mom had cancer, and her Dad was barely there because he was at the hospital along side of her mother's hospital bed. Throughout the book, Zoe was struggling with all these problems and she was more turning over the pessimistic side of every situation. That, until Simon, the mysterious boy she saw in the park, came along.

I'm not going to give away the end of the story, but when Zoe and Simon finally start talking, Zoe finally starts inching towards the optimistic sides of every situation.

This book was a good, emotional read that possibly everyone can relate to in some way.
mary_123 More than 1 year ago
Okay, this book was really good. I recommend it. It was a little short for my taste. It seemed like once they were given a problem, they were solving it ten pages later. If you like quick reads this is for you. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an emotional story about a girl who feels very alone and angry (though she won't admit it). Her mother is dying from cancer. Her father has grown distant from her; and is either at the hospital attending to her mother or at work. Then to top it all off her best and only friend is moving away to another state. Simon, the vampire, comes on the scene as an outlet of sorts to the fears and anger she holds inside. This is not a book for everyone because of the depressing undertones concerning cancer and death. If you are looking for a good love story, Silver Kiss is not for you. If you're looking for a "feel good" kind of book, then keep looking. I would recommend Silver Kiss for those who enjoy reading about relationship dynamics. It reminded me of a Sarah Dessen book with a few vampires thrown into the mix. I thought the book was well written. Klause created a story and characters that were emotionally charged and were beautiful because of it. It will bring you to tears more than once.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book six times, and its an official favorite! I first read it in junior high, and I was surprised at how dark and enticing it was, compared to Anne Rice. This is a love story that's confronted by an anicent evil, and it will suck you in within the first two chapters. This is one of the best vampire novels you read, besides Interview with the Vamipre.
CrashNitro More than 1 year ago
After reading Blood and Chocolate, I had to read this book. I have to say both stories were very good. Silver Kiss is much more depressing than Blood and Chocolate, though. However, I would absolutely recommend the read. The characters are compelling and so tangible. You will love Annette Curtis Klause!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Zoë feels alone,her mother is dying, her father is always at the hospital, and her best friend is moving away-then she meets a beautiful young man in the park late at night. He seems to understand all that she is going through. What she doesn't know is he is really a three hundred year old vampire on a quest for revenge. This is one of my favorite books. I read a lot of werewolf and vampire books, because they are all very exciting. This book has everything needed in a book for me Action, love, and real problems that people can really go though in life. I would tell lots of people to read this book if their looking for a quick thriller to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book, I didn't think it was going to be very good. But, as time progressed. The book became so good, that I couldn't put it down. Considering I don't usually find books interesting, I thought I might share the fact that I thought it was an excellent book and I would recomend it to anyone who likes romance and/or fiction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much I couldn't put it down. If you are into romantic and tragic stories this is the book to read. You can almost relate to the characters in the book, and the ending is so touching it'll make you want to cry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very sad but wonderful story. I loved every moment of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such an amazing book I loveit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it as a kid n still amazes me!!!
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
In high school, there was a lot of books I remembered reading, faintly, but recall reading them. And this one was when I was getting into vampire reads. This, wow was this weird. Slowly its coming back to me but still. Makes me want to re read some of the books I read back then. I don't know. A weird but good vampire read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really want to read this book but i dont have any more money plus i have to read it for a 9th grade summer reading can someone lend me this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a really good book and that says something because im not big with vampire books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sweetcatastropheAS More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 8th grade (many moons ago) before vampire stories were very popular. I remember liking the book, however, I also remember that some of the events did not fall into place properly. The writing was mediocre, making the story hard to get through. I felt the writing was dry, and lacked the emotional portrayal the writer was going for. Then ending was very blah; when it was finished, I found myself saying, "THAT'S IT?!" I would not call this book totally hopeless, however, it would not be a book I recommend for the "serious vampire lover." There are many other great books other than this one. However, it was also not the worst book I've read, so it's not a totally loss :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this as a teenager in the 90's and love it. I still own the orginal paperback and read it once a year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not read the introduction its basically spoils the entire book for you. I was so mad i didnt even bother to purchase the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book of the world! So suspenseful and awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PanolaJD More than 1 year ago
Zoe is 16 and facing bereavement: her mother is dying of cancer, and her father seems to be excluding her from her mother's hospital bedside. No one dares speak to Zoe about the family tragedy, and she is isolated by grief, anger and fear. Then she meets the alluring, enigmatic Simon, who has an uncanny ability to recognize her feelings. After a series of nocturnal meetings, Zoe learns that Simon is a vampire kept alive by his thirst to avenge the death of his own mother three centuries ago. Drawn to him by an empathy charged with both longing and fear, Zoe agrees to participate in a dangerous scheme to trap Simon's mother's supernatural killer. The two emerge from their encounter able to mourn and acknowledge their losses. Zoe is struggling and trying to cope with her mother's illness. Her father (consumed with his own grief) doesn't want Zoe disturbing or stressing out her mother in the hospital, so she's often alone at home falling deeper and deeper into an isolated depression/anger. Then she meets Simon one night in the park. He's the first person who relates to her dark & numbing feelings and together, throughout the book, they begin to share each others company. On the flip side, throughout Zoe's town, young women are being brutally murdered and Zoe begins to realize Simon's true intent of being there as well. It's odd thinking this book is a good 20 years old, written back in the day (1990) before the 'vampire craze' took over. Yet, there were definitely some creepy/gory parts throughout The Silver Kiss and sadly some down right predictable ones. For example, I guessed the killer right from the beginning! It's a quick emotional read and you flip back and forth between the characters, but overall I felt the tale was weak. Nothing really stood out, the villain was under developed, it's got a sad climax, and when I finished . . . I was hoping for a better read overall. Likes: It's a quick vampy read, if you don't have very high standards. Dislikes: The whole story carries such a dark heavy tone of death, that it's hard to get past it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago