19 August 2010

Review: The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause

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.

The Silver Kiss at Powell's
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Published by Random House / Delacorte for Young Readers, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780375857829

Challenges: 100+
YTD: 73
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: C
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Sandy Nawrot 8/19/10, 6:25 AM  

I think you are right...I could totally see my daughter liking this. Of course at her age, life is one big drama, so all of this would seem completely normal. Sometimes, a mediocre book can be pulled up to another level with a great narrator but unfortunately too many of them DO get into autopilot, male and female voices be damned.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 8/19/10, 7:01 AM  

Sorry this one did not work out for you!

Unknown 8/19/10, 7:45 AM  

I read this one sometime back and found it a much less depressing read than Blood and Chocolate.

But, her other novel Freaks is excellent.

Unknown 8/19/10, 7:48 AM  

ETA. And why do they have to give everything a Twilightesque cover? I thought covers were designed to stand out on the shelves?

Beth F 8/19/10, 7:55 AM  

Darren: About those covers -- I have no clue. And the covers for Silver Kiss were particularly bad. This was the nicest of the bunch.

Julie P. 8/19/10, 8:08 AM  

Often times, I find that I have to remind myself that I'm not the target audience for some YA books. This might be the case with this novel.

Violet 8/19/10, 8:29 AM  

I usually don't like depressing reads. I was so hoping you loved this because the cover is gorgeous.

bermudaonion 8/19/10, 9:44 AM  

I don't think this is for me - I don't need dark and depressing right now.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 8/19/10, 11:25 AM  

Dark and depressing, indeed!

I'm having a hard time getting into the audio I'm listening to now. I know many people who really liked the print edition, but I'm finding the narrator's voice to be too 'reedy' and whispery/breathless. What a difference the narrator can make in an audio!

Dorte H 8/19/10, 4:49 PM  

I think I could cope with a vampire or two if they were fun - or dramatic. But no depressing books for me; life is too short for that.

Beth Hoffman 8/20/10, 9:17 AM  

I steer clear of depressing...Lord, life can be too tough as it is.

Alice 8/21/10, 10:32 AM  

I could see myself liking this too. Simon appeals to me and so does Zoë.

Andi 8/23/10, 5:24 AM  

I've had a really hard time reading Klause in general. I liked Blood and Chocolate, but some of her others have been pure slogs. Sounds like this one is more of the same, sadly.

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