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Annette Curtis Klause – The Silver Kiss

April 30, 2012

44. The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (1992)

Length: 244 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Started: 14 April 2012
Finished: 18 April 2012

Where did it come from? The library booksale.
Why do I have it? I enjoyed most of Blood and Chocolate, so when I saw this one, I picked it up.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 27 October 2007.

What’s one vampire
more or less when you’re always
surrounded by death?

Summary: Zoe’s life is falling apart, and she has no one to share it with: her mother is dying from cancer, her father is growing increasingly distant in his grief, and her best friend is moving away. When she meets a strange, pale boy named Simon, she’s instinctively drawn to him, and even though she knows she shouldn’t trust him, she feels like he really gets her, and understands the losses she’s going through. And she’s right, Simon does understand death… because he’s a vampire, and has been alone on his quest to track a savage murderer through the centuries.

Review: Maybe if I had read this in junior high, shortly after it was published, I would have had an easier time identifying with the characters. Maybe if I had read this before I got so thoroughly burnt out on vampires, I would have found it more interesting. Maybe if I had read this before I started reading critically (or cynically, take your pick), I would have found the writing style easier to deal with. Maybe a lot of things… but maybe not.

This book does do one thing very well, namely portray Zoe’s mix of emotions in the face of her mother’s illness. I didn’t identify with it personally (thank god!) but it felt very real and very raw, and I can see how it would really resonate with a reader who has lost a loved one to illness, especially at a young age.

But all of the rest of the story, all of the vampire stuff and the “romance”, does not hold up particularly well. It may have been new and interesting when it first came out, but it’s showing its age in a world that is flooded with teen paranormal romances. Simon wasn’t a particularly intriguing character to me, and their relationship felt rather forced and not particularly romantic.

I also really didn’t care for the writing style. I didn’t notice it so much in Blood and Chocolate, the other one of Klause’s books that I’ve read, but in The Silver Kiss the prose is weirdly blunt and choppy, with a lot of short, declarative sentences, and basically no nuance. It made it feel like it was written for a younger audience than teens, which created some cognitive dissonance with some of the more violent and bloody behavior it portrayed.

“Simon wiped the rat’s blood from around his mouth. It was not as satisfying as human blood, but it would do. There had been no food at the park, except the girl, of course. She had surprised him. He didn’t like surprises. –pg. 41

This book is short, so it was a fast read, but in the final analysis it just didn’t do enough for me. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: It’s one of the starting points of the current craze for teen vampire fiction, so it might be worth checking out for historical interest, but on its own merits as a vampire story, it hasn’t aged well.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Bart’s Bookshelf, Beth Fish Reads, Ink and Paper, My Overstuffed Bookshelf, and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: The house was empty.

Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • p. 66: “He didn’t smoke weed, he smoked green.” – I would have thought that “smoking green” and “smoking weed” were the same thing, and apparently the internet agrees with me, but the same character is later referred to as a “duster”, so maybe in this case “green” is marijuana laced with PCP?

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