Date of Publication: September 20th, 2011
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
I'm having a hard time finding something to say about this book. It's just sort of ... meh. The prose is pretty, the characters seems real, but are maybe a little bland and generic. The plot was well thought out, but nothing I haven't seen before. In fact, I didn't really care for anyone in the book. Wren ressurects her boyfriend? Cool. She now wants to make him un-undead again? Okay. It just didn't grip me, it didn't make me want to find out what would happen to the characters.
Maybe this was because the whole zombie aspect of the zombie was missing: the brain-eating part. If executed well, this could have taken this book to a whole new level. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it might have attracted more readers than a sort of mushy book that's neither fish nor fowl. I kept hoping it would get better, maybe some action or something. But Garvey stayed in the pre-defined boundaries of a contemporary novel turned slightly supernatural. It had something of an If I Stay vibe, there were passages where I was truly heartbroken for Wren and wanted everything to work out.
The most interesting character is definitely Wren's mother. I still want to know what her story is, because I don't think we find out. Unless I missed something, she hints at this uber secret concerning Wren's father but never actually tells her daughter anything. It seems like this is supposed to build up tension - which it does - but the author fails to release said tensions, which makes the reader feel sort of cheated.
Danny's whole persona was too unclear for my liking. The reader - or I at least - never got the feel for the cute nice boy he apparently was in life. That's the same for most characters. They are not ... in a defined skin yet, you could say. Especially Gabriel's sister Olivia and her weird witch friend. Both didn't have a necessary function, I believe. At least, it could easily have been replaced by someone else. In my opinion, this book is in need of either a complete rewrite - not because the writing itself is bad, remember, the prose is good! - or some serious editing. But that's just my honest opinion.
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