October 2, 2014

Kiss Kill Vanish - Jessica Martinez

Kiss Kill Vanish Jessica Martinez book cover
Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Source/Format: Edelweiss (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

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 is a contemporary novel rife with surprising, unexpected twists. Valentina Cruz and her story are a mishmash of contradictory elements and characters, pieced together in a way that seems absurdly messy. And yet, Martinez’ deft hand weaves a compelling tale – and one that really reeled me in, hook, line and sinker. 

What’s most fascinating, personally, is the mystery. It does start off a bit slow, mostly because there are just too many questions and they all remain unanswered for some time. But as Kiss Kill Vanish progresses, readers will start putting things together to come up with their own theories. I actually thought I’d figured things out more than once, but my theories were often toppled by the next chapter or two. It definitely made for a fascinating brain exercise, even as it entertained.

The characters – Valentina, Emilio, Marcel being the most memorable – were impossible to form decent personal connections with. However, they were still interesting. Martinez portrays most of these characters as being morally gray, instead of stark black and white. She reveals motives, desires, and feelings with ease, and that definitely managed to keep me invested in discovering what would happen to them all. 

Kiss Kill Vanish reminds me of a good action film, one where the heroine faces life-or-death situations and high stakes. It was thrilling, dramatic and well, it was really easy to get swept up in it all, in spite of my personal reservations. I was consumed in Valentina’s story from start to finish, and can definitely endorse Kiss Kill Vanish as a worthwhile reading experience.
If you had to give yourself a new identity, what would your name be and what would you be doing?

It's easy for me to pick a name, as I've always said I would have an alter ego named Genevieve Isabelle. As for what I'd be doing, I'd be an official backpacker - traveling everywhere and anywhere I wanted to go, blogging about it, and doing odd jobs here and there.


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