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It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.If you had the power to bring back a loved one, would you do it? Wren did. When her boyfriend, Danny Greer, was killed in a tragic car accident, Wren used her extraordinary powers to bring him back to life. But it didn't go exactly as she planned. Danny was different. He was cold. Obsessive. A little scary. It was Wren who returned him to life and so it was Wren who Danny felt tethered to. Unable to think of anyone, anything else, unable to function unless he had her. It was an obsessive need spurred by the dark magic she used to bring him back and it was tragic to see what this had done to Danny, in comparison to the boy he once was.
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.
I liked that Wren could recognise her mistakes and while she wasn't entirely sure how to fix them, she realised she needed to find a way and she was proactive in that. Despite the grief over losing Danny again, she knew he wasn't the same boy she fell in love with. I adored Danny. The breathing, artistic, laughing Danny, not the undead one. Through flashbacks, we got to see the boy that Wren fell in love with and it was understandable to see why she did what she did - out of love and desperation, because he was a boy that glowed with life and they were so in love. It tore her apart when he died. The flashbacks of living Danny were beautiful in colour, while the reality of Undead Danny were shocking in their strokes of black and gray. Wren made a mistake bringing him back and she knows it, but that doesn't make it any easier.
Gabriel was the new boy in town, but that's not all that's different about him. He also has abilities of his own and can sense the power that lay within Wren. I liked both these characters as individuals, but when a romance began to develop between them, I just didn't buy it. I couldn't feel that chemistry or attraction. I felt they would have been better off as friends and just focus on Wren dealing with Danny.
I do wish we could have learnt more about Wren's family and their magic. Obviously the main point of this novel was the emotional journey for Wren, learning how to let go and grieve, because she hasn't exactly done that in the most healthiest of ways and now she's in an even bigger mess because of it. But when magic and powers like these are involved, I love delving deep into the how and why and history of it all and we only skimmed the surface. The lack of information on the magic and the disbelieving romance were the only things I was slightly disappointed over.
Cold Kiss isn't an explosive, action-packed tale, but a quietly powerful journey of love. Of first love and the pain of losing that love and of what you do after. You can never forget, but you have to learn to move on, for yourself and the one you're holding onto. Amy Garvey paints it all with beautiful prose that draws you into this touching journey.
3.5/5 Golden Apples!