Rummanah Aasi
  When the Twilight phenomenon was just starting, many librarians on the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) listserve began discussing their favorite vampire stories. Many had listed The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (who also wrote the book Blood and Chocolate) as their favorite for YA. I bought a copy of the book in a used library book sale for about fifty cents and figured I'd give it a try.

Description: Zoe is 16 and going through an extremely rough time. Her mother is dying of cancer, and her father seems to be excluding her from her mother's hospital bedside. No one dares speak to Zoe about the family tragedy. She is isolated by grief, anger and fear. When Zoe meets the alluring, enigmatic, and frightening Simon, she is surprised yet comforted that he has an uncanny ability to recognize her feelings because he too lost his mother and wants to avenge his mother's death.

Review: I'm not sure why this book is often listed in Twilight readalikes. Yes, both contain protagonists who are teens and feature vampires, but that's the extent of the similarities. The Silver Kiss is much darker in its ambiance, tone, and plot. Readers going in and expecting a romance like Twilight, as I did, will be disappointed in the book.
   Zoe is a character that I sympathized right from the start. Her mother is dying from cancer and any day could be her last. Zoe's father has grown more distant towards his daughter and spending all his time at the hospital. None of Zoe's friends want to talk about her mother either which results in Zoe keeping her grief and anger to herself. Klause does a good job in exploring the multilayer emotions that are battling inside of Zoe, which comes across as genuine.
  Unlike Zoe, I had a difficult time liking Simon. I didn't find him interesting at all. He sulks around for the most time and is probably the most passive aggressive vampire I have met so far. Like most of the vampires, I've met in books, Simon was changed against his will. He succumbs to his vampire state once he realizes that he can either die or use his new found powers to seek the one who has murdered his mother several years ago. He reminded me very much of a younger version of Louis from The Vampire Chronicles, who is also very broody and unhappy with what he is. I think the difference, for me at least, between Simon and Louis is that Simon knows what he needs to do yet is incapable of doing it. He knows and has followed the murderer for several years yet still has done nothing about it until he meets Zoe.
  There are several themes and genres that Klause plays around in The Silver Kiss, which makes the suspense uneven, the so-called love story pretty much nonexistent. There is a resolution to the book, though it does seem a bit rushed and too conveniently solved. I did love how she used the vampire figure to exorcise Zoe's complex feelings but I needed something else to balance the off kilter story.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and a  few gory scenes in the book, kinda like in the Vampire Diaries Tv series. Suitable for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try:  Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice or Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde
4 Responses
  1. Annette Says:

    I haven't read this one, but I think Blood and Chocolate is more of a Twilight read-alike than this one. Great review!


  2. Jenny Says:

    Sometimes the broody vampire really works for me and sometimes it doesn't. Simon sounds like one of those characters who would frustrate me with his passive aggressive nature, so I think I'll be passing on this one. Thanks for the review Rummanah!


  3. I enjoyed this review! I like Louis, I always felt so badly for him. I don't like a conflict resolution that's too conveniently solved. Takes the thrill away, you know?


  4. I read this a long time ago and I remember not liking Simon either...but I do remember the novel being very sad and the ending had such an empty feeling...;(


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