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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Stiff Kiss by Avery Olive

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Pages: 202

(Released: February 6, 2012)

From the Cover:

Death always hits Xylia Morana too close to home, but she likes it that way. She hangs out with the terminally ill, attends random funerals, and every so often, when the weather is right, she sleeps in open graves.

But after Landon Phoenix, the high school hottie, dies in Xylia's arms, she sneaks into the morgue to say goodbye. How could she know stealing a kiss from his corpse would wake him up?

With Landon returned to the living and suddenly interested in Xylia, life has new meaning. But what Xylia doesn't realize is that by kissing Landon back to life, she's thrown Life and Death off balance. The underworld demands a body, and it might just have to be Xylia's this time.

Xylia Morana doesn't need to the same as everyone, she's unique, a one of a kind. So, she's a little into death, likes to hang out in morgues, cemeteries, works on the terminal ward, and, best of all, attends stranger's funerals. Why is she so preoccupied with death? Maybe it has something to do with losing her mother, or then again, maybe not. But, there's nothing wrong with her, she's not crazy, she doesn't need to be fixed.

Landon Phoenix has the whole world at his feet, literally. He's the star soccer player on his high school team, the Rams. He's one of the cool kids, the in-crowd, he's popular and he could have any girl he wants with a nod of the head. Landon's also a ticking time bomb, he doesn't know when he takes the field for the championship game that it will be his last. No soccer scout's dream, no scholarship, no more life.

Xylia has had a crush on Landon since freshman year, when he enrolled in Silversprings High School. When he goes down on the field, she's one of the first on the scene. As her father begins CPR, he enlists the help of his daughter, to try to save Landon's life. As the minutes tick down, Xylia wishes just one time that she and Landon had talked, and most of all, kissed. So, that's what happens, while Landon's body rests in the morgue, Xylia sneaks in and kisses him with one last kiss goodbye, and that's when he is jerked back to life.

A Stiff Kiss by Avery Olive is a YA paranormal romance about a girl with a definite fetish for death and she's hung up on the hottest guy in school and the star soccer player. Xylia Morana's life has been turbulent. Her mother's death brings a need to understand death, to be closer to death, and to understand why death came so early for her mother. She sneaks into the morgue at the hospital where she and her father, Dr. Morana work, sleeps in open graves and explores cemeteries, goes to stranger's funerals, she even works on the ward for terminally ill patients, all in a bid to understand her mother's death. Her father thinks she needs help, but what she really needs is for him to understand she isn't broken, doesn't need to be fixed, there's no magic pill to cure her. She needs to discover for herself, life, death, and the part in between. Landon Phoenix just found out that his family doesn't have enough money to send him to college, his one hope is to snag a full ride scholarship, and why wouldn't he? He's the star soccer player, scouts have been watching him play, his life should be nothing but sunshine and roses, except death waits for him too. When he collapses on the field, unknown to him, his hopes and dreams come to an end. Death snatches him away from life before it can really begin. It isn't until Xylia kisses him one last goodbye that Landon grabs ahold of life and refuses to let go. But, maybe it isn't his choice or Xylia's. After all, balance has to be maintained, for every death a soul must be retrieved. Can Landon give up life to save another? Can Xylia let go of her one true soul mate?

A Stiff Kiss is a cute play on words, Landon is a stiff and Xylia does give him with one last kiss, I even moved it up on my reading list so I could see how the story would come together with it's title. It's also a great little story, told through the eyes of Xylia and Landon, dual first person POV. Each chapter is labeled with which character is speaking, so it's very easy to follow (which is a complaint when dealing with multiple POVs). I have to say that the story is funny, feels real, at times stalker-ish, and in the end, heart wrenching. Xylia makes discoveries that will change her life, and hopefully, Landon's, even if it's in the great beyond. As Xylia comes to discover what is truly important, she also discovers that life should be lived, death is only a part of it. Landon, with his death and then life, helps her along the way. It's a heart wrenching story because of Landon, and Xylia's mother's, ultimate fate. My eyes prickled with tears for the young Xylia, and then again, for Landon and everything they'll be forced to give up. A Stiff Kiss is an excellent quick read, I finished the book in two quick sittings. I love the cover art and the title with it's fun play on words.  If you're looking for something different from the ordinary, unique like Xylia, you'll find it in A Stiff Kiss. YA paranormal romance/fantasy lovers will want to give this one a try, it's too good to pass by. Five out of five fairy kisses for this reader.

 I received my copy of the ebook for review from the author, Avery Olive. All opinions expressed are my own.


Anonymous said...

Ooh, this is so creepy- and yet intriguing-sounding! :) I love "weirdo" main characters. Definitely going on my TBR list.

Avery Olive said...

Thank so much for taking the time to read and review A Stiff Kiss!!

Pat Lee said...

Congrats on the great review, Avery. Love the premise. It's on my "gotta read" list!!

Carole Rae said...

mhm. Reminds me of a darker version of the book I just read 'Adventures of a Graveyard Girl'. haha. Great review! Sounds like an interesting read!

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