I picked up The Silver Kiss because I enjoy young adult fiction as well as fiction that incorporates vampires. A slim novel, I thought it'd be a nice filler for my weekend reading. It turns out I was right, but even better than that, it was a wonderful story of love, loss, and coping wrapped around a paranormal theme.
Zoe is an emotional teenager whose mother is dying of cancer. Her well-meaning parents have shut her out of the process, keeping her from the hospital and leaving her to manage herself while the endless waiting occurs. To top it off, her best friend is moving. So when an odd but attractive young man begins paying attention to her, Zoe finds herself drawn to him. As the story evolves, Simon, the mysterious stranger, learns to trust Zoe enough to share the fact that he is a vampire with her, and he is tracking his evil vampire brother, Christopher. Christopher not only killed their mother, he turned Simon as well. Not sure what to do, Zoe must decide if she should help Simon fight back, and what will happen if she does?
The vampire theme, while interesting enough in itself, is a terrific metaphor for the battle and loss Zoe is feeling as she sees her mother slowly disappearing from the cancer. As Zoe's feelings for Simon grow, she realizes that perhaps it's not best to live forever, but it is best to know when to let go. I found this novel to be an inventive way to press two ideas, and I felt the ending was what it needed to be. While not a love story in the traditional sense, The Silver Kiss is evocative in a way young adult fiction should be. Recommended.