Synopsis: 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. (from the inside cover of the book)
Review: I found this book at a thrift shop for about 15 cents. The premise intrigued me. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows how desperately we want them back, how we wish we had the ability to erase death. But in Wren’s case, she has that power.
Unfortunately, the intriguing premise did not carry through the story. The idea of a family-linked power (think electric witchcraft) and an undead boyfriend couldn’t make Wren likable. Granted she is 17 and just lost her first love in a car accident. Being likeable isn’t always possible for a person in that condition. But she spent so much time whining about the wrong things.
And Gabriel – what was his point? As a character, he was flat and clichéd. He felt like a plot device more than a person. He could’ve been replaced with a cardboard cutout and nothing in the story would have changed.
The Paranormal aspect is only hinted at, for the most part. Wren is a witch, of sorts, like most of the women in her family. But the focus isn’t her magic or family heritage, so little is explained. This is also used as a plot-point, Wren’s frustration with her Mother’s refuse to speak about the family trait.
Four-Fifths of the book is just Wren rambling. Very little action happens. There is some drama with friends, with her family, with her job, with Gabriel, but for the most part, there is little plot and point. I’m skimmed whole pages and when I settled back into the story, nothing had happened.
The one redeeming quality of the book was the end. Garvey did a fine job of expressing grief, loss, and love. She captured well the emotions we go through when we let someone go, someone we loved. This doesn’t make the rest of the book any better, but it did make me less annoyed at having read the entire novel.
Bookmarks: 6 of 10
Year Published: 2011
Date Finished: 12-29-2016