By Amy Garvey
Sept. 20, 2011
HarperTeen, 304 pages
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.
— Amazon.com description
The dead are raised! Witchy things go on! But no no no, this is not your average zombie book. There's no gore, no brain-eating, no arms outstretched and chasing you.
Sure, there's zombification. A girl raises her dead boyfriend from the grave and has to deal with the consequences.
But beneath all that, it's a sad and touching story about loss and the struggle to move on. It's surprisingly relatable in that sense -- most of us know how hard it is to let go of first love. The emotions involved here were handled with delicacy and realism that was oh-so-painful.
It's a more emotionally intriguing story than I expected, but I have to admit: I did want at least SOME brain-eating. Just a taste.
Anyone wary of zombies and more interested in tales of struggle and loss will find this book an intriguing compromise.