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I Belong


Early Review: Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Kiss Kill VanishTitle: Kiss Kill Vanish

Author: Jessica Martinez

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages

ISBN-10: 006227449X (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062274496 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & Dirty: Unique, heartwarming story that kept me intrigued the entire time. While it was slower paced, that in no way deterred me devouring this from start to finish.

Opening Sentence: “Jane, darling, you have to keep still.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Valentina Cruz’s world was turned upside down when she realized everyone she loved wasn’t what they seemed. She grew up in a very privileged home with a lot of money. Her mother left her when she was just a little girl, so her father raised her and her two older sisters by himself. She had a happy life with a wonderful boyfriend. She always thought that her father was a wealthy arts trader and she loved him unconditionally. Her boyfriend, Emilio, was older then her and worked for her father. Valentina always had a very close relationship with her father until one dreaded night when she witnessed her father ordering a murder that her boyfriend carried out.

Valentina did the only thing she could think of, she ran. At first she had no idea what to do, but eventually she found herself in Montreal, Canada. It has been 3 months since she left and while it hasn’t been easy she is getting by. She lives in a crappy apartment with a bunch of roommates and works as a model for a weird, but very rich artist. She now goes by the name of Jane and for the time being she is content. But Valentina can only run so far before the past catches up to her, and eventually she will have to face what she saw that night. The two people she trusted most in the world aren’t what they seemed, but who are they really?

Valentina was a very interesting girl that was lost. She is a young girl that just realized her entire life was a lie; I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating that would be. All the people she loved betrayed her and really she has nothing left.   Throughout the story she goes on a journey of self discovery and while she makes a lot of mistakes she eventually finds herself. Because I got to experience so much with her, I developed a very strong connection with her. She is a smart girl even though there are times she lets her heart guide her to making some poor decisions, but this is a very normal for teenage girls. I know when I was a teenager I made a lot of stupid mistakes because I listened to how I was feeling instead of doing what I knew was right. But eventually, Valentina becomes a woman that I could admire and cheer for.

Kiss, Kill, Vanish was a very unique story that I really enjoyed. It was a slower paced novel, but it still kept my interest the whole time. From the very beginning, I was hooked and I found that it was almost impossible to put it down. When I wasn’t reading I kept wishing I was. Personally, I have always found the Mafia fascinating so I knew when I read the synopsis of this story I was going to like it and it did not disappoint me. The plot was interesting and there was an air of mystery throughout the whole story that keeps you intrigued. There is also a large group of secondary characters that play a big role in the story, but I’m not going to go into detail about them because I don’t want to spoil anything. I really loved some of the secondary characters and Martinez did a wonderful job creating all of them. While there wasn’t a lot of romance in the story the little there was, was done perfectly. Overall, this was just a well written story that was both heartwarming and entertaining. I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys young adult contemporary/mystery novels!

Notable Scene:

Plop.

I don’t turn to the sound. It’s coming from the en suite bathroom, which, I sense without seeing, is open wide. For one moment, I let myself notice how satisfying the sound is, before it has meaning. It’s round and crisp with its own tiny echo.

Plop.

Another drop. Except it’s not the metallic ping of a leaky faucet where water meets metal, or the splat of a washcloth dripping on a marble countertop. It’s water meets water. I shouldn’t be here.

Plop.

But the same dread that pushed me into Marcel’s room turns my head now, drags me toward the perfect, echoing sound, pulls my eyes into the yellowed bath room light where a painting has been brought to life. It’s a grotesque version of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Half of it, at least. Just Adam, no God.

Plop.

An arm, thin and purplish, juts out over the edge of the bathtub, manicured fingers dangling in the air, life less. His rippling torso is not the muscled perfection Michelangelo painted, but sallow skin stretched over rows of ribs, slumped sideways, marred with nipples like bruises.

Plop.

FTC Advisory:  HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Kiss, Kill, Vanish. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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