Book Review: Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss #1) by Amy Garvey

Author: Amy Garvey

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release date: September 20, 2011

Rating: – 5 stars: I LOVED THIS TO PIECES!

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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. — Goodreads


Beautifully insightful. Cold Kiss will remind you of first loves and what it means to let them go.

If you think that the book is entirely predictable judging by the synopsis, you’re wrong. I was wrong too. Instead, Garvey uses exposition – giving us a little bit of knowledge of how Wren’s life used to be before a car accident claimed Danny’s life and left one of her friends’ crippled. Heartbroken she uses powerful magic to bring Danny back to life, but the consequences are dire. Danny is the shell of the boy she used to know.

When Gabriel walks into her life, he immediately senses her power. Gabriel wants to help Wren right things, but it is up to Wren to undo what has been done. But can she send Danny back to a peaceful grave or will she unwilling to let go?

Throughout the book, Amy Garvey writes with heartbreaking passion. There were times where I just wanted to break down and cry because I remembered my first love and how hard it is to let go. Wren’s only ever been in love once with Danny and when he is unfairly taken away from her…well it’s heart wrenching. She’s broken. So what’s the most logical (in her mind) thing to do when you have unexplained magical abilities? Try to bring the love of your life back to life.

Wren is successful. She didn’t even believe that she could after the incantations and spell she cast over his grave. Danny is brought back to the land of the living as a sort of zombie. I saw this because he’s not like your typical zombie who wants to EAT YOUR BRAINS. No. Danny needs Wren. She binds him to her. He can’t think when she’s away from him.

The spell that Wren cast somehow bonded Danny to her. He can’t think when Wren is away from him; he fully expresses this more than once in the novel. This has it’s own ramifications. When Wren meets Gabriel – she slowly begins to start living again. She tries to rekindle her friendship with her best friends that had turned detached and distant when Danny died. Wren also begins to have feelings for Gabriel.

This is what I liked most about Cold Kiss – Wren’s characterization. I really liked that she was real. I could connect to her, to her feelings, to her inner struggle. Those times when she told herself that it was wrong to be with Gabriel, but it also felt right – those were the times I related to. I think any one could; to be in love with one person, someone who has long been gone, and start falling for someone else, even though you are still in love with the first.

If there is one life lesson that I got from reading this novel it’s that you can never forget your first love. They will always have a special place in your heart. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t love again.

When Garvey uses exposition – the retelling of facts before the beginning of the novel – I got a sense of who Danny was. He was this sweet, loveable guy. He was a talented artist and was funny. It’s so…disconcerting how he is when we met him. He’s not fully there. He’s just a shell of his former self. The way Danny is described is so…remarkably uncanny. I felt sad and very sympathetic because… well, he didn’t deserve it. And I’m glad that Wren realizes this. She realizes that she was selfish which made me like her even more because she was self-aware. Wren has great depth to her.

Ahh…and I can’t forget about Gabriel! I loved him. Just…EVERYTHING. He was sweet, strong, a wee bit Me-Tarzan-You-Jane. He was your classic chivalrous knight. Always wanting to help Wren, to save her. But Wren wouldn’t have it. Wren wouldn’t let him push her around even when his intentions were good. She got sassy with him and didn’t apologize for the things that would come out of her mouth. (She has no filter.) He advised her and stated his own opinion even if it was in direct contrast to Wren. THIS is what I LOVED about their relationship. They fought. They collided. There were times when Wren wanted to hit him. I liked this. Very much. I also loved that he was loyal. He was always there for Wren and he didn’t complain whenever Danny was around her. He understood. He respected her relationship with him. To me, it’s a sign of a really great guy because he was just *sigh* I’m a sucker for sweetness.

I really liked this book and I am definitely going to pick up the sequel, Glass Heart, from my library in a few weeks. I want to see what misadventure Wren journeys on next. I wonder if she’ll learn more about her power and the secret surrounding her father’s leave. There were so many questions left unanswered, but I hope that it’ll be revealed in the next installment!

Cold Kiss was a great read. It was predictable (to some extent), but overall I enjoyed it. Like I said, I loved the characterization, the premise, the story line. EVERYTHING. Plus, I love how Amy Garvey created a different kind of zombie.

Memorable quotes:

Love doesn’t break easily, I found. But people do.

It wasn’t love right away, because nothing ever is, no matter what the songs say, but it was the start of it. A beginning in one way, and the end in another. I think that might always be true of love.

I saw you, Wren,” Gabriel says, and his voice is so soft, a feather drifting on the air, that I close my eyes to listen. “I saw this girl with these dark eyes and this crazy hair and this fuck you look on her face, and I wanted to talk to you.”

Are you kidding? Who are you, my knight in faded denim? I am not some lame princess in a tower who needs to be rescued, thank you very much.

What I wanted was to blow a hole in the sky, explode a star, let the burning embers scorch me and everything they touched.

It seemed so right. Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn’t going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead, anymore

Leave a comment


  1. What do you mean, he isn’t all there? Is he like a zombie? Or like Khal Drogo when the witch brought him back, alive, but not there.

    • He’s like…there but it’s not him. He’s just a shell of who he used to be. Not entirely like Drogo. Not like a zombie. Different. He’s needs Wren because she bonded him to her.


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