Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cold Kiss ~ Amy Garvey & Bad Taste in Boys ~ Carrie Harris reviews

Here are Halloween book reviews two and three . . .

Cold Kiss
Amy Garvey
September 20, 2011
304 pages

Feeling alone after her boyfriend Danny dies, Wren does something about it. What Wren wants is Danny back and with some research into some musty old books, an incantation said at Danny's grave under a full moon, Wren has what she wants.

Or what she thought she wanted.

Undead Danny isn't quite the same as the fun, happy alive Danny that Wren remembered. The Danny that Wren fell in love with. And now, unable to tell anyone what she's done - not even her mother who won't discuss the powers she and Wren seem to have - Wren is hiding Danny in a neighbor's garage. Wren's life is slowly coming apart.

Then transfer student Gabriel starts paying a lot of attention to Wren. Certainly more than she would like. Somehow Gabriel can sense not only Wren's power, but also what she's done. And he wants to make it right.

It's up to Wren, though, to undo what she's done . . . no matter what.

Cold Kiss is a zombie book without being a zombie book. It's much less about Danny being a zombie, if he even really is a zombie, he's actually just lacking a heartbeat - and much, much more about Wren and her dealing with losing her boyfriend.

It's definitely a different take on how not to react when your boyfriend dies but it's great to see Wren's growth both in understanding her powers, grieving for Danny and learning how to deal with the friends and living the rest of her life without Danny in it (at least publicly).

It might have been nice to see a glimpse into Danny and Wren's relationship while he was still alive, early in the book to really understand just why she was so willing to bring him back. To really see the love that they had for each other, but seeing things solely from Wren's perspective has its own merits as well.

The book really picks up and develops more depth about half way through. As things get trickier for Wren, we get to see more development in her character and more characters are introduced to help her - and really aid the story.

A fun story for anyone who thinks zombie books are too gory or scary and would prefer something more introspective.

Bad Taste in Boys
Carrie Harris
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
July 12, 2011
208 pages

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris is probably the most fun zombie book you'll read. Kate Grable dreams of being a doctor. One way she's working towards that is by being her high school football team's trainer. Everything's going fine until she finds out the coach is giving the team steroids.

Even worse than that? The steroids are turning the team into zombies. That's right: (even more) mindless, flesh-eating zombies. With everyone - from her brother, Jonah, her crush, Aaron, her friends, Kate, the rest of the students, everyone - in danger, Kate's going to have to find an antidote.

With time running out, Kate, Rocky (her best friend), Jonah, and Aaron will have to battle to save their town . . . or risk turning zombie.

What's great about Bad Taste in Boys is that while it is incredibly fun - and funny - it also has some serious plot points, it doesn't move entirely to satire to be funny. Funny books are great when they have enough serious to have a real story to them as well.

The relationship between Kate and her brother Jonah (not to mention Jonah's character on his own) is fantastic and a really amazing addition to the story.

Bad Taste in Boys is a short book, but the characters still feel very real. They're very well written and portrayed so that, even without pages of back story or other interaction between the characters, they all fit well together and are believable.

The only thing that did seem short or quick was how easily Kate accepted the zombies.

The humor in this story is great and the ideas are incredibly unique and also make a lot of sense - they don't just pop out of nowhere at the end.

Rating: 8/10 for both


  1. I'm not so sure what to think of Cold Kiss. I really love the cover and zombies, but it sounds so different than I thought it would be. Maybe I will give it a try. :)

  2. Nina -

    It was different than I what I thought it was going to be, too actually . . . I think maybe I thought it was going to be more like Jeri Smith Ready's Shade series but with zombies? It was enjoyable, though.

    Thanks so much for commenting!


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