Kiss Me Dead is a great book that tells the stories of two characters-- a reaper and a girl who can see reapers. While, in some respects, it follows the paranormal formula, the beautiful writing really sets it apart. The stories are told in parallel, and intertwine in the present-day thread of the story, where the reaper enters the life of the girl. Romance and numerous questions follow. Can the guy be trusted? The answer is "probably not", which makes for an interesting tale as the two characters navigate through this strange relationship.
Dale Ibitz has a definite gift for description. As a person who appreciates writing for *writing*, I was just *wowed* by the beautiful use of language and fresh, interesting way she has of putting things across. From my perspective, that was the most awesome thing about this book. There are a lot of teen paranormal books out there, and only a few of them with writing anything like this.
Things that held me back (note that these are personal opinion):
- I just didn't *feel* the characters, especially the girl. She was kind of "meh" to me. I'm honestly not quite sure why I felt this way, because the character is fairly well-developed. I think maybe it was because she was kind of in-your-face, but then she didn't *do* much about it. And then she was also described as angelic, but I didn't see that shine through in her actions. I liked the reaper character better-- he was tragic and I *love* tragic characters.
- The other thing that bothered me was the insta-love. I personally need more from characters than a couple of meetings before they declare undying love. But then, I'm not a teenager, either. I don't imagine that the book's target audience will have a problem with this. So yeah, both of these things are just opinions and I doubt they would hold true for a lot of readers.
- The writing. I can't say this enough. Beautiful writing.
- The portrait of Giltine, goddess of death. She was awesome. Actually, the whole otherworld was awesome, but especially Giltine. Ibitz created this amazing visual of the goddess. I was frightened and intrigued. I wanted more of her, but she scared the hell out of me.
- This is related to the previous comment, but there was a freshness about some of this story that was great. Even some of the expected elements had a fresh take on them. Ibitz took the paranormal reaper thing and gave it her own spin so it is not just another paranormal book by any stretch.
- Tension-- sexual and otherwise. There are a lot of what-ifs and OMGs in this story. The characters obviously want to be together, but it looks like a really bad idea. And then you never know if the reaper is good or bad. For that matter, one of the supporting characters is also deliciously indiscernible. Bad guy? OK guy? Hell, even the goddess of death leaves you wondering. I definitely enjoyed that about the characters. Also, there are a lot of high stakes in the storyline. So yeah, tension. Tons of it.