***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Kiss Kill Vanish while fun, is actually a pretty weak novel overall. It’s entertaining and in spite of its length, a pretty quick read, yet it lacks a lot of things to make it more. More than just a fun quick read. It lacks good characterization and a strong believable plot.
The sad thing is that all of us who had buddy read this (Glass,Tanja and Emma) were majorly disappointed. We all had high expectations and while all of us gave it 3 stars after reading, once we got to discussing, we all kind of just exploded and ranted and it turned out, we had more bad things to say than good.
Instead of writing a review though, we wanted to go with discussion questions to help us organize our thoughts more. This will serve also as a way to reflect more on the discussion we had.
How did you feel about Valentina as a character?
Valentina was one of the most annoying characters I have ever encountered. She was confused about what she wanted and in all honesty, no matter what her situation was, I'd always think of her as a spoilt brat. She seemed to be not only very condescending and judgmental but also largely hypocritical. Plus, I really just couldn't understand her. It made sense for her to run away within hours of experiencing a certain event, abandoning her family in the process, yet she found it hard to wrap her head around certain other things. She was such a messed-up character and worse, she never underwent any character development. At the end of the day, she was the same as she had been before. Not changed for the better or for the worse… and definitely not likeable.
Also, as someone who believed in justice, her character... really rubbed me the wrong way. She was a teenager and she needed to get off her high horse. SERIOUSLY. Her actions were childish and ugh I had to resist the urge to slap her in the face…. (I am not sure how that would be possible but still).
Was the plot well developed and believable?
NOT AT ALL. It was all over the place and not nearly as well developed as it could have been. Of course it was fun, books with the ‘on the run’ trope tend to be, but it wasn’t the least bit believable and that was what killed the book. There were too many loop-holes and too many conveniences and not enough explanations. Plus, Valentina was a pretty sheltered female lead in spite of her circumstances and she always figured everything would work out. She never bothered to actually think things through or flesh out her plans properly. She jumped into things without thinking and that really bothered me.
On top of everything, the ending was rushed. We got to the juicy bits and then BAM it’s over.
Was the romance more than a plot device?
Nope. The romance in this book was a total plot device. My feelings towards the love interest were pretty 'eh', too. It went from ‘omg please don’t tell me he’s the love interest’ to ‘awww how cute’ to ‘how pathetic’. This guy seemed to be too involved with a girl he knew almost nothing about. It was ridiculous. Plus, he did seem like her puppet: she would say jump and he’ll ask, "how high?" Some of his actions were clear indicators of that, but I cannot go into more detail without spoiling. Really, the only purpose his character served was to help the story progress and their romance was basically a plot device in my opinion. Well, it would be more appropriate to say Marcel’s character was a plot device. He didn’t really have any purpose aside from helping the story progress. He underwent one huge chunk of development, but now that I think back, I am not sure how believable that was, either. You cannot change overnight… even if it’s a result of a tragedy.
Describe Emilio in one word.
ZOMG (SEE TANJA.. I DID IT!)
To sum up?
Read this book if you’re not too concerned about the believability of some things and are just looking for something fun.