Simon is a 300-year-old vampire trapped in a 19-year-old body. He is mostly alone and lonely, having been betrayed by someone he loved into immortality. Zoë, just 16 years old, is facing very human problems: Her mother is dying of cancer, her best friend is moving away, and her father barely talks to her.
The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause and the two short stories included in the volume--"The Summer of Love" and "The Christmas Cat"--explore loss, loneliness, and death. Zoë and Simon are drawn together, each seeking support and friendship. In the end, however, they realize the resolution to their personal troubles comes with a heavy price.
The Silver Kiss is a very dark and depressing book, and neither Zoë nor Simon finds much joy or hope in the world. The majority of the book is introspective, and by the time the principal action takes place, it's too late to save the novel. The final story is somewhat magical and is likely meant to be a peaceful and uplifting conclusion to the teens' tale.
The book was not improved by the audio edition (Recorded Books), which was read by Ali Ahn. Her voice was too feminine for Simon, and I had a hard time remembering I was supposed to be listening to a boy. Ahn seemed to become locked into a steady rhythm and inflection pattern that soon became tedious. The full audio review is available on the AudioFile magazine website.
If you decide to pick up The Silver Kiss, I recommend the print edition. It is possible that this YA novel will appeal more strongly to a younger audience. For more on Annette Curtis Klause, visit her blog.
Published by Random House / Delacorte for Young Readers, 2009
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: CCopyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)