I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on October 7th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Family, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher
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Valentina Cruz no longer exists.
One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.
She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.
She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.
Kiss Kill Vanish was one of my most anticipated Fall release titles. I can’t say what exactly piqued my interest and raised my expectations, but I was under the impression I was going to be blow away by this book. And well, that’s not exactly how it happened. Now, this could be because I am currently suffering from one of the largest reading funks I have EVER been in, but I just couldn’t jump completely on board with this story.
There were things that I did thoroughly enjoy, but ultimately, my dislike for the main character, the slow pacing and unrealistic plot just didn’t cut it for me.
First, the good.
The plot twists. There were several of them, and I was blow away by each one. I was almost disappointed in myself for not seeing them sooner. I was on the edge of my seat anticipating the next twist, and although I felt one in particular was off the wall, Martinez did an amazing job with them all and tying everything together.
The romance…. kinda. I knew right when the character was introduced that there was going to be some sort of THING going on. While I normally wouldn’t be looking to the romance to keep me entertained, it was one things that made this book bearable. It’s not all-consuming, it’s slow, sweet and realistic (even though he was a douche in the beginning). Since I wasn’t a huge fan of Valentina solo (more on that later) I loved the way the love interest made her open her eyes and THINK.
Valentina’s character growth. I will rant here in a minute about her overall – but she did come along way in the end. I gotta hand it to her – she is pretty brave (albeit stupid) to do what she did and stick to her guns about the revelations in her family. Ultimately, she did give up a lot and I am glad her moral compass was still intact at the end.
The end. It was a little rushed, but I felt everything came to a close nicely; leaving us with just enough information to see how things turned out, without an extremely long drawn out epilogue. This book was sitting at over 400 pages as it was, and short it sweet was perfect.
What didn’t work.
Valentina 1.0. For most of the book, I was hoping that Martinez made her dense and stupid on purpose, but the end I am just not convinced that was the case. And when I say dense, I am talking DENSE. Who in their right mind thinks they can run away to another country and be surprised when someone from her “past” shows up. View Spoiler » HI. you can track cell phones these days. Just saying. « Hide Spoiler I can overlook the fact that she had issues getting a job and earning money, since she was a spoiled rich girl, but c’mon. I don’t like to judge, but she is the typical sheltered rich kid that thinks nothing can touch them and they have all the answers. I just couldn’t help but think that she was throwing a tantrum verses actually trying to “start over”. Like I said before, it was brave but it was also completely stupid. Yet, at the same time, I was sympathetic to her situation, so I couldn’t bring myself to completely write her off. Ya know?
But don’t get my started on how naive she was about the “family business”.
Emilio and Valentina. It really frustrates me when woman (or I guess a man could too. Lets not be sexist) gets all weak and woe is me when the LOVE OF THEIR LIFE is gone. Betrayal hurts, I get it. But that person doesn’t necessarily make you YOU, so find a way to move on. And of course she believes everything that comes out of that man’s mouth. Her denseness knows no bounds. View Spoiler » You really think a MAN is going to move his family, betray one of the most powerful men in the world, for YOU?! HOW PRECIOUS. « Hide Spoiler Call me a pessimist.
In the grand scheme of things, I guess you can say I was entertained enough to finish the book, and rather quickly, I might add.. Yet I wasn’t blown away either. Just okay for me.
Tell me your thoughts –
Have your read KISS KILL VANISH? What did you think?
If not, does it sounds like something you would enjoy, based on the blurb alone? Why or why not?
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter & Instagram for random shenanigans.