Publication Date: October 7th 2014
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.
Rashika's review at The Social Potato and
Emma's review at Never Judge a Book by Its Cover.
And now, it's time for us to answer those questions!
How did you feel about Valentina as a character?
Tanja: I was devoid of any feelings for her. Basically annoyance was there at the start but as soon as I got to be in her head for some time, I lost interest. I couldn't care less for that spoiled brat. Even though you could find justifications for her behavior as she is raised as that, it was hard to understand that during her so-called exile. Basically she was lacking logic and often compassion for others. Not to mention her blind love for certain someone.
I never felt any character growth either. That and her lack of feelings for any sort of justice, bothered me the most.
Glass: I honestly do not remember last time when one of the young adult characters made me want to scream out of complete frustration like Valentina. She wants to be a child and the gown up at the same time. She thinks that the whole world owes her something (but pretends that she is selfless and different from other little snobs). Daddy's little girl. Spoiled brat. Miss Know It All. I didn't like her at all.
Was the plot well developed and believable?
Tanja: No and NO! About the development, basically the first half of the book was at times even too slow and then everything started going places and in the meantime creating plenty of loop-holes. About this story being believable - it's a bit complex. Yes the whole idea was there and something existing in this world. It's something I can see happening, but the problem is that non of the characters fit the role they play. They are too young and with all that too naive for everything that's going on. So they don't tell the story in believable way.
Glass: Kiss Kill Vanish was based on great idea, but unfortunately it failed to deliver equally great story. As Tanja said, it is probably because characters are too young, but maybe that wouldn't be such a big problem if the whole thing wasn't told from perspective of one character. I wanted to know much more about her father and sisters, I felt like they didn't get enough attention and a lot of plot holes would have been explained if we got to hear their side of the story too.
Was the romance more than a plot device?
Glass: In my opinion, no. There were few scenes that were kind of romantic, but they failed to make me feel anything other than one short swoon-moment and that is that. Things are going too slow in one minute and in the other way too fast. I had a feeling like I missed something because of the way characters were portrayed at the beginning and the middle of the book.
Tanja: Depends which one, as yes this book also has some sort of love triangle. One is definitely just a plot device. It was without feelings and utterly emotionless, at least from my side. The one I refer to is with how I like to call him - Valentina's puppy. The other one was a plot device but it's the point of it. But still in any case, the answer is no.
Describe Emilo in one word.
Tanja: Mysterious. (I wanted to say Rashika totally has a crush on him, but that's more than one word. Did I just say that? OOPS!)
To sum up?
Tanja: If right now you're asking yourself Where the heck did she find that one star? here's the answer - writing. That and page-turning. Let me put it this way - the writing was nothing extraordinary or something you'll remember the rest of your life, but it was to the point and neatly done. I see that Ms. Martinez has the talent but with characters as this it's not enough.
Glass: I believe that a lot of YA fans will enjoy this book, especially younger readers. Jessica Martinez has captivating writing style and I loved her previous novels, but unfortunately, this one didn't work out for me. On the plus side, Kiss Kill Vanish is fun and quick read despite all of the things I didn't like.
Rating: We need to say that after the reading we book gave this book 3 starts, but after our discussion we counted pros and cons and it turned out to be not so good. So our rating at the end is:
Until the next time,
*NOTE: Copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, Harper Collins, via Edelweiss. Thank you!