It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.This book was almost really good. With an emphasis on almost. It had so much going for it, but it just didn’t take advantage of it.
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 really liked the premise of the book: girl brings dead boyfriend back to life--only “life” is a relative terms since the boy is a pale, cold reflection of who he used to be. I loved this version of zombies--Danny isn’t the brain-eating kind at all. And I appreciated that this book starts with Wren already having brought Danny back to life and realizing she’s made a mistake. That cut out what would potentially have been a lot of unnecessary plot.
I also really liked the second story line about Wren’s family and her/their magical powers. Her family is pretty messed up, but I loved them anyway. Considering they weren’t in the story that much, I thought the author did a fantastic job making them seem real and building the tension between various members.
Ditto to liking Gabriel, the love interest. I never really thought I’d see a love triangle where one of the boys is dead, but this one worked for me. Gabriel wasn’t my favorite lover boy of all time or anything, but he was pretty likeable. And he doesn’t push Wren--he gives her the space she wants and lets her do things by herself. Both things I can appreciate.
But . . . like I said, there were some things holding this book back, in my opinion:
One, Wren’s whole “I need to solve this problem completely on my own with absolutely no help from anyone” got REALLY tiring after a while. I mean, she has a mom and an aunt who could totally have helped her out with the whole magic thing, but Wren refuses to ask for their help. I’m all for people cleaning up their own messes and taking responsibility, but I though Wren took it way too far.
Two, I thought the resolution was WAAAAY too easy. It was, like, three pages long. Plus, how does Wren, who doesn't really know how to control her magic, turn into such a magic savant at the end?
Three, there’s so much about her family that isn’t explained. Namely, what’s the deal with Wren’s dad? And her aunt? There better be a sequel to this book--otherwise those are some giant, gaping loose ends the author left behind. And even if there is going to be another book, I still feel like there should’ve been a little more explanation going on in this book.
Overall, I did like the book, but I’m kinda disappointed in it because I think it could’ve been so much better. I’d still recommend it, I think, but it’s maybe not one to push to the top of your TBR pile.