What Kills Me

Rated 4.49/5 based on 49 reviews
An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. More
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Price: Free! USD

Words: 63,320
Language: English
ISBN: 9780988105409
About Wynne Channing

Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist.

She started writing horror/fantasy tales as a girl. She still has the first novel that she wrote when she was 10. It’s (unintentionally) hilarious.

Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite).

She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”

Also in What Kills Me

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Chene Sterckx on April 07, 2014 :
4.5 / 5 stars

The first thing that caught me about this book was the beautiful cover. 'What Kills me' is so easy to get into, and even easier to get sucked in - hook, line and sinker!!

Keywords in a glance: Friendship, loyalty, love, adventure

Characters: 4.5/5
Wynne creates great characters. They are easy to like & connect with. One of the small things I loved in the book, and something I got really excited about was the mention of Johannesburg and vuvuzelas! Yes, I am a South African through and through... What can I say!

Zee (Axelia) - I really liked her from the beginning. I could totally imagine being friends with her. She isn't the overly-martyred type of heroine. She is trying to figure out who she is, what she is and why this happened to her. She worries about losing her identify and her character, since the prophecy warns of some scary stuff. She doesn't become a heroine and just kick butt; you are figuring it out with her in this book. I am really excited to see where Wynne takes Zee in the books to come.

Lucas - Lucas is your typical negative anti-change & new-people type guy. I liked him anyway! Even though he was rude to Zee for most of the book and a bit of a grumpy grouch - I still rooted for him (and Zee). I think Lucas will grow into an even more beautiful character as we get to know him better,

Something I liked about Zee & Lucas is that they were not the insta-love type of couple. They have both been through so much, they didn't like each other when they first met - yet all they have is each other.

Lettie & Samira & Kiman - What great minor characters. I loved all of them to pieces. Wynne does a great job with these smaller characters and they have memorable qualities.


Plot, Pace, Writing style: 4.5/5
The plot in What Kills Me is original, even though it is a vampire novel. Wynne's pacing is great and her writing style is easy to follow with great flow. I could easily read more of her books.

Final Thoughts: I can't wait see where Wynne takes Lucas and Zee in this series.
(review of free book)

Review by: Shah Wharton on Sep. 02, 2013 :
This is one talented author, with one helluva Y.A paranormal book. I'll be watching miss Channing and can't wait to read her next book. X
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jordanna East on Nov. 24, 2012 :
Like a great many YA novels, the premise was the tried and true, "Young, ordinary person finds out they're a powerful, supernatural being. They resist, just wanting to be normal. They have to suck it up and grow into their powers so they can defeat the bad guy and the world can be right again." But, as always, the story works. The author's descriptive passages are very impressive, without approaching "purple prose." The ending was a bit iffy for me, but I'm hoping it was only to open the story up for the possibility of a sequel. Enjoyable read. Definitely recommend.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jordanna East on Nov. 24, 2012 : (no rating)
Like a great many YA novels, the premise was the tried and true, "Young, ordinary person finds out they're a powerful, supernatural being. They resist, just wanting to be normal. They have to suck it up and grow into their powers so they can defeat the bad guy and the world can be right again." But, as always, the story works. The author's descriptive passages are very impressive, without approaching "purple prose." The ending was a bit iffy for me, but I'm hoping it was only to open the story up for the possibility of a sequel. Enjoyable read. Definitely recommend.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Maghon Thomas on Nov. 10, 2012 :
So, I normally shy away from Vampire stories. Yeah, I know, WTF is wrong with me! Not loving vampires. Lol BUT I LOVE THE COVER!!! But the schedule was already full, so I was a lil sad to miss it! AND THEN… My lovely ladies from Dark Mind Book Tours sent me a rush email saying a spot had opened last minute-for whatever reason, and I said HELL TO THE YEAH!!! And my quote of this book…

“Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!!!” I mean, I was SOLD when the blurb said a girl would become a vampire and destroy all the vampire race… This is a FANTASTIC twist. It actually follows a mythological/religious way of becoming a vampire. There are no random “turnings”. UNTIL! Until Zee… I LOVE HER NAME!!

Zee’s life becomes absolute chaos upon waking a vampire, which she doesn’t believe she is. And then after a very narrow escape of her newly undead life she meets Lucas… I will say this poor girl holds a lot of guilt. A lot of people are dying around her, and being the good soul she is, feels the burden.

I will say I didn’t fall head over heels over Lucas…. Until the “hot springs” incident, which is well after half of the book starts. I thought he was a major jerk. And then he grew on me. AND NOW I LOVE HIM!!! He’s actually a very well developed and written character

Zee is my favorite kinda heroine. Because she isn’t one. She’s scared, she’s not super-well, at first anyways- she’s actually the good cautious rule following girl who wouldn’t hurt a fly. How can people think she will destroy a whole race. She’s humble, and then all of a sudden she is kick ass, because she has to be to survive!

This story weaved me through a web of action, face paced awesomeness. Way to put something fresh on the vampires! It’s written beautifully and I look forward to more from this author. I’m not sure if this story is going to be part of a series, as it is written like a stand alone, but if it does- HURRY AND GIMME NUMBER 2!!

4.5 PAWS FROM ME!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: lely on Oct. 16, 2012 :
This might be a bit spoiler-ish for some. Please be one with your Spoiler Sensitivity Level and tread carefully.

I have to admit that I was not digging the first couple of chapters, more specifically prior to Axelia becoming a vampire. First, it felt that those chapters were predictable. We have a foreign student out enjoying Italy when she notices someone watching her. She needs to get home and gets lost on the way when stalker person then befriends her and then gets uber scary. It was just all too familiar. Secondly, Axelia wasn’t someone I liked. She was always trying to be funny and I didn’t find her funny. Needless to say, there were a lot of eye rolls coming from me, eye rolls and disappointment when I really wanted to like this book!

BUT, Wynne Channing came through and with amazing colors, AFTER Axelia became a vampire. It was like flipping a switch.

What I liked:

*Axelia becomes more likeable, less trying to be funny but actually is funny at all the right moments. She comes into her abilities and confidence slowly growing into a very believable heroine.

*Axelia never loses her humanity which made her stand out, special and added to that heroine factor.

*Lucas, Axelia’s mentor, was written extremely well. He is well defined and is a strong character from the beginning.

*The multi-cultural cast!

* The vamps and the prophesy. I found it all to be very unique and enjoyed its complexity.

*The lack of romance! I LOVED that romance was not really a focus! This book has a lot going on and busting at the seams with action and it didn’t need the complication of a romance full of angst. Nice balance…Enough said.

* Most of all I loved the feeling that I was watching a movie. It was like Matrix finds the Underworld. It was pretty kick ass. Everything that needed to be seen in your mind's eye was clearly seen. Every scene transitioned nicely and every action scene executed just as nicely.

*Fast paced!

*THE ENDING! I thought the ending was absolutely awesome and I think it was played brilliantly. The more I thought about that ending the more I felt it wasn't as black and white as it appeared but instead walked away with a deeper message.

I’m really glad What Kills Me turned around when it did and that in the end it truly was a great reading experience. I jumped online immediately after finishing in hopes that I could find information on a follow up installment. I didn't find any but hope that there will be another book. This world is one that can easily be explored further in a few more books. In fact, I’d be thoroughly disappointed if there is not a follow up to this read because there are a few ends that need to be cauterized.

Peeps, this book is available RIGHT NOW for .99 at Amazon and Smashwords. Take a chance on this one!

A finished copy was provided by the author via the Goodreads Making Connections Group.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: sherry fundin on Oct. 08, 2012 :
Her description in her bio is appropriate: "Well written by Wynne Channing."

I was walking back to Sofia`s from the bakery and saw a man in the square. He seemed to be eying me, but I was late and hurried on. Somehow I got lost and when I turned around, he was there. I explained what happened, described Sofia's street and he took me there. I joked along the way, but he didn't seem to get it. I do have a sarcastic wit. To repay him, I told him I would buy him a gelato and we agreed to meet at the pizzeria later. His name was Paolo.

I had come to Italy to go to the university and study art. I was living with my host, Sofia, and because I was so late, she instituted a 9:00 pm curfew and I was to meet Paolo at 9:15. Now what? I came up with the idea to leave a message for him at the pizzeria and meet him there at 3:30 Monday afternoon.

That night, as I lay in bed, I heard my name. I went to the window, looked out and Paolo was there. He talked me into climbing out the window and trespassing into the church. We stood by the collection box and he whispered in my ear, "I'm going to kill you."

He turned toward the altar and I ran into the office. I saw a door, so I ran through it and down the stairs. The room was lit by candles that ringed a hole in the floor. Paolo kept backing me toward the hole, until someone yelled stop. I lost my balance and fell into the hole. It was so dark and I felt I was drowning. How I climbed out, I don't know.

Uther explained, I was in his quarters in the church. He was the guardian of the sanctum. His niece, Lettie came into the room and asked me if I felt different. Why would I feel different? When I told Uther I had to go home, he said I couldn't ever go home. He went on to explain that when I fell into the well, I had died. He said they were dead too. It was true. I had no pulse, no heartbeat. We were vampires.

When I saw myself in the mirror, my eyes were lit up as if on fire. Uther and Lettie told me I was a miracle. Never before had someone become a vampire without drinking someone's blood. The well I fell into was full of vampire blood.

I didn't think it could get any worse, until the General came. He called me an abomination and was taking me to the Empress. I had been thrown in the back of the truck, alone. I felt no pain and as I licked my lips I tasted blood. Soon I was cleaning blood from my body, lapping it up like a cat.

We arrived at the castle. I was chained and had a bag thrown over my head. I was made to kneel. When the bag was removed I saw hundreds of men and women surrounding me. Paolo was brought in. The Empress called him Transporter. She condemned us both to death.

I didn't know where we were, but I tried to find a way to escape. As the sun moved around the room, I saw Paolo burn and turn to dust. Why didn't I burn in the sun like Paolo? I amazed myself by climbing out of the tower. As I looked around, I saw nothing but rocks and water.

When I dove and began swimming, I realized I didn't need to breathe. Apparently there were some benefits to being a vampire. I woke up and found I had washed up on shore, so I began walking. As I walked, I talked to myself. It was something I did all the time.

I was startled when someone answered me. I thought I was alone. He introduced himself as Noel and said he could remove my chains. He took me home and introduced me to the boys, Lucas and Jerome. I didn't want to, but felt I had to tell them my story.

They said they made weapons for the Aramatta, the Monarchy's guards. They told me the guards would come here, looking for me. Noel said they would take care of me and meant it. We prepared to leave, but had waited too long.

They beheaded Jerome in seconds. Noel fought hard but was outnumbered. I saw the jar of fuel by the sink, rolled it across the floor and threw the lantern. I grabbed Lucas and ran out the door, as the cabin went up in flames.

We decided to hide for the day, then go to see Uther. He had to tell us what was going on, why they wanted me so bad. When we arrived at the church, Lettie told us Uther had gone to Romania to consult the Sacriva, the vampire scripture. It had foretold of her arrival.

She proceeded to tell them about the Ancients, and the prediction. There were seven Ancients with super strength and great powers. They could walk in the sun, read your mind and predict the future. When two Ancients fought and one was killed, any vampires created by the Ancients died, the entire blood line. The Monarchy imprisoned the ancients, dug a well and put all their blood in the well. It was called the Crucivium.

The prophesy became the Sacriva. It says, when the natural world is threatened by the vampire empire, a human girl will be born, a vampire by unholy means. She will restore order.

The Monarchy is afraid of me. They will hunt me down and kill me. I told Lucas to leave, but he put his hand out and I took it.

4 STARS - WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND

The cover is gorgeous and the title led me to learn more about the book.

When the General fought with Lucas, it made me picture Twilight, when Edward fought to save Bella in the church. I could picture them both, flying through the air and bouncing off the walls.

Wynne Channing created Axelia with a sense of humor and a sarcastic wit. She would need it. The trials and tribulations she goes through to save her and Lucas, create a strong character. I was running and climbing with her, as I rooted for her and hoped she'd get what she needs and wants.

The story was unique and creative. Very different from the vampire novels I have read. It captured me from the beginning and I eagerly ate it up. The action was non-stop, keeping me reading to find out what would happen next.

I loved the ending and it left me wanting more, but you will have to read the book to find out for yourself. I am eagerly awaiting the next book.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jeann W on Oct. 05, 2012 :
I really enjoyed What Kills Me, it's just so refreshing and fun to read! With the vampire genre being overdone so many times, the author still managed to breathe some life into the book to make it unique.

Axelia is just a normal girl living abroad when she bumps into a handsome man named Paolo. Looking for a bit of adventure, she decides to meet him for a late night date and unexpectedly gets turned into a vampire. But not just any vampire, it turns out she's the destined one in a prophecy that will mean the death of the vampire race.

What I really liked about this book, was the hilarious, spunky and charming heroine. She's a girl I'd like to be good friends with just from the funny things she says, especially in the midst of a serious situation. She's obviously thrust into a situation that is crazy and she just makes the best of it, while discovering her super strength in the mean time.

Lucas on the other hand, is not your typical prince charming. He pushes and prods the heroine with incessant teasing and snobbery, until she picks up that he might have feelings for her. I didn't much enjoy the typical romance that occurs afterwards but I suppose a bit of love creates meaning for them.

The book wraps the vampire mythology nicely with Vee's discovery of it. Unlike a lot of other urban fantasy books, there isn't a lot of info dumping to jar the story. It's quite fast-paced and hard to put down. I hope there's going to be a sequel!

This is a fun, enjoyable and action-packed read that I would recommend to others. I received a review copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review, thanks for this opportunity!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Marisa on Oct. 01, 2012 :
I’d like to thank the author for giving me a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Let me start off by saying this wasn’t bad. I actually rather liked it, but at the end of the day it didn’t draw me in or instill in me the need to continue reading. I could put it down and go a whole day without picking it up again. Some might take that as a sign that the story was boring, but it wasn’t. It was actually quite fast paced and although it wasn’t wildly intricate, it was entertaining and enjoyable. In fact, the plot was what I liked best about the book.

The characters were also decent, but I failed to connect or care about them. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them either. Zee also came off rather naive to me at times. For instance, Paulo, a complete stranger, asks her to come out in the middle of the night with him. I understand that she wanted to have an adventure, but the only reason she hesitated was because of the curfew enforced by the people she was staying with. It never crossed her mind that it might not be a good idea to wander the streets at night with a person she’s talked to for roughly five minutes at best. Or that it wouldn’t be a good idea to go someplace secluded with them. Maybe these are the thoughts that just instantly come to my mind because I was raised by a paranoid, overprotective mother, but... I don’t know. It would have been nice if she’d at least considered those aspects at some point rather than blindly trusting Paulo. Also, there’s the bit where she’s taken in by Noel and his family. She’s erring on the side of caution by deciding not to tell them about her back story...then goes and picks flowers and cleans the house while the sun is out. To me that was a rather careless move because of course it could only lead to her cover being blown. This isn’t to say Zee grained on my nerves, but, as I stated, it made her come off as naive and it’s not one of my favorite personality traits, though admittedly I’m naive about certain things myself.

In the end, this book is pretty good. It has a fairly solid plot and okay characters that I happened not to connect with, but others might. I was admittedly distracted while reading this book, so in the future I might attempt another go at it and change my opinion then.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: llyramoon on Sep. 24, 2012 :
I absolutely loved this book! I cannot wait for book #2! :) This was one of the best YA vampire books I've read in a long time. Lots of action, a little romance and a mostly unique storyline. Very well written- I will definitely read this series.

Fully recommend for anyone who likes urban supernatural fiction- regardless if its YA or not.

I received this book via the Librarything.com member giveaway.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: vanessa eric on Sep. 19, 2012 :
From the first page, this book had me hooked up with its fast-paced and intriguing plot. There was never a dull moment as Zee finds herself hunted by a group of vampire assassins across different continents, from Europe to Asia. That’s another thing about What Kills Me that I loved. I hate being confined in just one place and this book offered an endless adventure I always look forward to. Zee is absolutely one of the best female characters I’ve known. She isn’t too girly yet she never hesitates of showing her romantic side. She’s not too strong or overly independent yet she doesn’t afraid of the uncertainties she will face as an immortal. And Lucas obviously brings out the best in her. Lucas is a great companion and lover as well but I’ll elaborate more on his role as a ‘lover’ once I have a better ‘view’ of their relationship in the second book. Yes, you heard that right. I just found out that the author is working on the sequel, so…yay!

On the other hand, I was kept wondering if Zee will ever have a chance of seeing and saying a proper goodbye to her family and friends. Perhaps in the second installment the author will include the scene as I am eager to find out how her family and friends will react to her ‘demise’ since Zee is very close to them. Throughout the story, she is reminded occasionally of her loved ones and that was without doubt very upsetting. I couldn’t recall the last time I read a YA book with an MC who has a strong bond with her family and friends.

Overall, this book is a great kick-start for a series, full of witty humor, bad-ass villains and lovable protagonists. I’m so anticipating the sequels and I bet other readers are as well. Now I just to need keep fit so I can keep up with Zee and more of her adventures to come…and a lot more smooching with Lucas too!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Johanna on Sep. 15, 2012 :
This book is about an ancient prophecy, claiming that a girl is destined to bring an end to the vampire race. The venue is in Italy, where Axelia happens to meet Paolo, who will change her life forever..

So there´s a teen girl. There´s vampires. You know. But! This is a lot more action packed a book than the vampire books I´ve read before! So it is quite different! There is a little bit of romance there, but that is not what the book revolves around. Maybe those two things are the reasons I did not immediately get into it, I need my books to have romance in them. I began the book with not that interested but later I really liked it! There were characters I would like to learn more about, and there´s definitely more to the story that what this book reveals! Now that I know what kind of a book it is, I think I will like it even more if I read it again. I wish the character Lettie would have had a bigger part in the book, there was something about her that I liked.

I got this book free for an honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jude Henderson on Sep. 14, 2012 :
I Loved the tragic aspect of the book, no, not in a sad way. But how Alexia became a vampire, and what she had to face afterwards was pretty much brutal. I really felt for her from the moment she woke up as a vampire. She had such a short time to grieve what she's lost before she's given a death sentence. Lucky her, she's special. The unlucky part is that she has to learn the hard way.

Speaking of unlucky characters: Meet Lucas. Hot and strong and protective. Did I miss anything? He also had to loose a lot in the beginning. He was a very bitter character in the beginning, his mood softened a little as he got to know Alexia, and together they had great-sarcastic sense of humor, I really enjoyed the interaction between these two. Apart from the great dynamics between the main characters, was all the action. No dull moments. Always on the go and running for their lives.

I was really intrigued by the prophecy in the book. The fact that Alexia is was meant to basically extinguish vampires was a bit funny yet exiting and interesting. Especially if we consider that Alexia feels really bad for stealing someones car... not exactly what I had in mind for a main character with a huge destiny. Alexia was original in this aspect. She's not your typical hero, she's quirky, awkward and she can't seem to shut up x) She's in the stage of trying to find out who she is as a vampire and who she is to the vampire race. By the end she became stronger and braver. I really enjoyed the ending and the shocking aspects of it. Looking forward to the sequel :D!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kirstyn Hoffman on Sep. 13, 2012 :
What Kills Me is an awesome book! It is very well written; the plot was unique and the vampires are awesome! I like to see authors' interpretations of vampires, and Ms. Channing's version didn't disappoint! I loved the suspense and the banter between Zee and Lucas throughout the book. What Kills Me is a must-read for anyone who loves the paranormal genre or great fiction reads! So happy there will be a sequel; can't wait to read what happens next! =)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mary Elizabeth Dulaney on Sep. 11, 2012 : (no rating)
I fell in love with this book from the start! Not only is it detailed, it's interesting. Rarely does a book grab me from the start. You know how that is, the book starts out all boring and then BAM! Something happens that makes reading it worthwhile. Well, that was not the case for What Kills Me. I was completely submerged in the plot that I had to come up for air at some point. Thank you for sending this my way, I really enjoyed it, and hope to read more from you in the future!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sadie S. Forsythe on Sep. 09, 2012 :
What Kills Me was a pleasure to read. The very beginning left me wondering if 'Zee' was going to be one of those ultra goody-two shoes that are simply too pure to stomach, but she wasn't. I liked her immensely. She was strong, without being cold; sarcastic, without being irreverent; and vulnerable without being a snivelling weakling in constant need of protection. Don't get me wrong, she needed protecting, but she wasn't one of those useless female leads who just flails about waiting for the hero to do all of the work. The hero, by the way, is also fabulous. Lucas is just as strong as you would expect him to be, but shows a surprising depth of emotion, despite his gruff exterior. Yummy!

What I loved most, however, was the witty repartee between the two of them. It was done very well and I think warranted five stars all by itself. It was often used to lighten a tense moment, without making either character appear oblivious to danger or overly flippant. I did think Uther's timely arrival there at the end was a little too convenient, but by that point I was so afraid the whole thing wasn't going to wrap up and be a cliff-hanger that I has too happy to care.

After reading the book and Channing's bio I have to admit to feeling a little inadequate. Apparently she is an awesome writer with an awesome job. I would ask how any one person could be so lucky, but it would be naive to think that there is no connection. I am definitely up for reading another of her novels in the future.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Aa'Ishah on Sep. 09, 2012 :
Isn’t it weird how you can read two books completely different and yet award them the same rating? This was something I was thinking about earlier when I finished this book. Thinking about my five star books, some of them I knew from the beginning that it was going to be an awesome read. With What Kills Me, this wasn’t the case. But after a bit of trouble with the opening, this book did a 180 and took me completely by surprise.

Axelia, otherwise known as Zee, is on a two month stay in Rome studying Italian. In a rush to get home one night, having lost track of time, she meets a guy called Paolo. That one incident is to be her downfall, because Paolo isn’t interested in dating girls, as she finds out the following evening. He’s more interested in murdering them. His plans go awry however, and she ends up a vampire...through unconventional means. From then Zee is on the run from the entire vampire race, because according to prophecy, she isn’t just any vampire. She’s the one that’s going to bring the destruction of all vampires.

If The Immortal Rules didn’t kill my belief that the vampire genre has been exhausted, What Kills Me certainly did. Seriously, if you still think that, you need to read this. Think words like Monarchy, Crucivium, Sacriva. Have you ever heard of vampires worshipping gods? No? Well, they do now. Wynne Channing impressed me with the fresh ideas she’s brought to the table. I loved seeing this new side to vampires, one where an actual empire has been created, its very foundations built on something so superstitious as a prophecy. Quite frankly, I’ve never been convinced by the idea of a prophecy. There’s something so...convenient about it, something almost intangible that makes me want to roll my eyes. In this case, however, it worked, perhaps because of the context.

Zee went through a pretty extensive, not to mention impressive, transformation. At the beginning, I had one word to describe her: stupid. What kind of girl tells her whole life story to and goes on a date with a guy she met only the night before? A guy who is so obviously trouble? But then when she became a vampire, she didn’t spend very long being self-pitying and railing at Paolo. Faced with death together with him soon after, her survival instinct rears its head and she doesn’t just talk about saving herself, she talks about saving them. Zee toughens and wisens up. Just a little. In later fight scenes I got a little tired of her screaming and not actually kicking butt, but she did find small ways to help. Then she learns to fight and eventually she’s a badass vampire you do not want to mess with. There is true development in her character that was a pleasure to see. Not to mention the fact that she is hilarious.

Now, two things in this book that are conspicuously absent: insta-love and love triangle. Yes, I see the relieved faces. Here we have Lucas, a vampire highly skilled in martial arts and weapons handling. Unless you want your head cut off, I suggest you stay on his good side. It’s quite easy, really. Just don’t try to kill him. Lucas starts off as wanting nothing to do with Zee; he quite clearly puts a wall between them. The relationship between them is incredibly gradual. I loved the banter between them, it was subtle, but witty. It was so sweet to see him help Zee when she was struggling with her acts and morals as a vampire, and see her lightening the mood when he became concerned. Their feelings for each other weren’t revealed until the last possible minute and their fight for each other was just moving; it’s then you see their depth of feeling for the other.

The writing, without being overly descriptive, was vivid enough for me to have consistently clear images in my head – not just images, but mood and atmosphere. The fight scenes were fast-paced and action-packed and this made a nice contrast with, for example, the temple in Taiwan (at least until all hell broke loose). Nor is the story predictable. While I was a teeny bit suspicious of one particular character, she still managed to surprise me. Not to mention the plot twist. Channing has no qualms about taking her time: she leaves you comfortable in the knowledge of one thing and then springs a surprise on you at the last minute.

While this wasn’t perfect, I was incredibly immersed in the story. I was a bit wary starting it but the author soon dispelled that. I don’t know if there’s a sequel in the works, though I can, in a way, see potential for one. In any case, there are no questions left unanswered, the story is wrapped up nicely and I will most definitely be on the lookout for further work from this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Leigh on Sep. 08, 2012 :
"What Kills Me" is a beautifully wrapped package whose content is just as stunning.

Alexia, a seventeen year old girl, meets a tall, dark, and handsome young man while studying abroad. First dates can be a killer, when she falls down a well full of blood and comes out a vampire. While running for her life, she meets a reluctant partner in Lucas. He will protect Alexia and help her embrace her new life. This is a perilous journey where both family and friends will be lost.

This story is a perfect mix of mystery, intrigue, action, and humor with a touch of romance. I enjoyed the banter between Alexia and Lucas and watching their relationship develop. I would definitely recommend it and am looking forward to see what happens next.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jacy Resendez on Sep. 07, 2012 :
"This book was amazing. Beautiful told and totally brilliant. Axelia is an awesome character and is so easy to relate to. I love the all characters and found it hard not to feel betrayed, lost and hurt like Axelia. Every great heroine has an equally terrific hero and Lucas is no different. My favorite part had to be the ending, of course, and I enjoyed getting there. A really great book and a must read for any vampire fan!"
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Regina Brookman on Aug. 31, 2012 :
Zee has always been the good girl and has decided that for once in her life she's gonna live a litte, too bad she died in the process. This is a fast paced story of her fight for survival when the vampire empire is looking for her death. Unlike a lot of the vampire stories out there Zee is not immediately excited at her new undead statis and the power that comes with it and grieves for the loss of her previous life and family. As she comes to accept her new reality we get to see the strength and courage that she's always had as she learns to let go of her fear.

I'm really hoping to see more of Zee, literally did not put the book down from start to finish!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Liz on Aug. 29, 2012 :
This book caught me entirely by surprise, and in a terrific way. If you like Hostel (without the gore) or Kill Bill… heck, if you like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, add some vampires and a whole lot more, and you will like this book. There is so much that happens within this story that I am shocked that the author fit it all in there. And furthermore, it doesn’t feel like anything is glossed over. At just over 200 pages, you get a whole story – with room for a sequel, I believe. From the very first page to the very last page I was enthralled and could barely put it down.

The beginning has all the makings of a classic girl meets boy and falls in love story, but of course there is a twist. And the twists just keep on coming. This is the life of Axelia, Zee for short. And her life has just gotten flipped and turned upside down, nothing will ever be the same. Ever. And she will probably never eat a fishball again. Ha, I bet you want to see what the heck I am talking about there, don’t ya??

People are dying left and right, and Zee is suddenly on the run, and with someone who seemingly can’t stand her - Lucas. Just great. Of all the blessed luck in the world! When you are a new vampire and you are being hunted down, you don’t exactly get to choose your running mate. There is so much going on underneath the top layer, that you can’t help but sit and watch. First, Zee – she is awesome. If I was a newly turned abomination to the vampire race, I would certainly want to be her. She is witty and intelligent, clumsy and awkward. She is just fabulous. And then her accomplice on the run, Lucas. There is so much more to Lucas than meets the eye, I found myself under his spell right away. I wanted to yell at Zee, “kiss him!!!”. Sigh. The struggles we go through as a reader when we can’t get our favorite characters to listen to us.

On top of an action and drama packed storyline you also get some of the most beautiful and descriptive imagery. At times it is dreamy and swoon worthy, while at others it is rough and edgey, and even more, you get serenity, fear, and pleasure. And I’m only talking about the landscape. This book reads fast, there is a steady rhythm to events, and they keep you moving. I am an instant fan of Wynne Channing’s, and I am on pins and needles waiting for the next book in this series.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Hazel G on Aug. 29, 2012 :
Awesome start! Keep them coming!

What Kills Me is a YA Paranormal Romance written by Wynne Channing.

The Rundown:
Axelia, or Zee as is her nickname, is in Italy for the summer to go to school and hopefully have an adventure or two, but when she meets a handsome boy, things go from a night out on the town to very bad in a split second. She wanted a little excitement on her summer away from home, but life just got real complicated and now she’s a changed girl, people are trying to kill her and a brand new horrifying world has just revealed itself. Being chased all over the country by sword wielding psychos doesn’t leave much time for Axelia to become adjusted to her new world, but things could be worse as she makes new friends and might even find love.

The Review:
This was a nifty little read. Coming in at about 200 or so pages, this story starts out with Zee as a normal girl living a normal life who finds herself in a dire situation that changes her and her future forever. This story was very well written. It was thrilling, creative and adventurous. I was impressed with Axelia’s character. She was an ever-evolving heroine who started out shy and scared but grew into a brave warrior. The hero, Lucas, was strong, courageous and I liked his devotion to Zee. I also liked how they didn’t get along in the beginning but grew to care about one another as the adventure and journey continued. They were cute and sweet together and a force to go up against!

The idea of how Axelia came to be changed was terrific. I love the lore the author creates and the world she builds is very interesting and colorful.

My only complaint… it was too short and I wanted more!

The Wrap Up:
I’d suggest this book to anyone looking for a quick and exciting YA paranormal read. I really hope there are more books in the works because it left off with an eye popping cliffy and I want to know what’s next for Zee and Lucas! They definitely have more adventures ahead!

NOTE: I read this as a R2R with Making Connections YA Edition at Goodreads. As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Angie Lenkevich on Aug. 28, 2012 :
Axelia or Zee as she's called is in Rome to study abroad and is a native of Canada. She loves to take pictures and often loses track of time when she's exploring. She finds herself lost in the city and doesn't have her host family's address or telephone number with her. When an attractive young man asks if she's lost and she honestly admits that yes she is lost. Paolo is very interested in Zee but not for the reasons anyone would expect. Zee agrees to meet with Paolo for the next night but her plans are thwarted by her host family instituting a curfew. Zee's best friend Ryka tells Zee to take a chance to do something risky. Zee decides to take a risk with meeting Paolo yet her world is shattered by what he reveals. Vampires are not myth like Zee has been led to believe and Paolo happens to be one of them. Zee runs from Paolo and ends up falling into a well filled with blood. When Zee climbs out of the well nothing makes any sense to her. The well's guardian Uther tells Zee that she can never she her family again. Zee cries that this isn't fair and why can't she go because you're now a vampire says Uther. Zee is taken before The Monarchy where she is condemned to death right along with Paolo. She escapes with her life and stumbles upon a family. Noel, Jerome, and Lucas are swordsmiths for the Aramatta. Lucas wants nothing to do with Zee. Noel wants to protect Zee from The Monarchy. Can Zee really escape The Monarchy? What is so different about Zee? Can Noel and family protect Zee? What does The Monarchy really fear? Your answers await you in What Kills Me.

This book from the get go hooks you in and doesn't let go. The action in the plot moves the story along nicely as well as making you want more of it. I thought the characters both major and minor were well thought out leaving no gaps in the plot. Each character had it's significance and blended well in the ebb and flow of the story. This is why I rated the book four stars out of five stars.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sheri on Aug. 26, 2012 :
What Kills Me is not just another vampire story…I promise. The story is unique, fast paced, action packed, suspenseful in all the right places, and laugh out loud funny.

Axelia (Zee) is a 17-year-old girl studying abroad for a few months. She takes a chance on a guy who she figures she'll probably never see again, and it ends badly. Now thrown into the world of the paranormal, Zee must figure out how to survive as a vampire; not an easy task when just about everyone you meet is trying to kill you.

I love the characters, especially Zee and Lucas. I really loved their relationship and how it evolved over time. There was no love at first site, no instant attraction. The way the author brought them together slowly made everything seem more realistic, and the back and forth between Zee and Lucas was hilarious. I loved Zee's personality. She was a great character and easily likable. I am looking forward to the next book in the series to find out what happens!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shah Wharton on Aug. 24, 2012 : (no rating)
...and the elderly woman standing behind the steaming cart grinned a toothless grin, her face folding like an accordion.

The line above is a small example of Wynnes' use of language. I love the image this brings to mind, it does it so simply. I wished I'd highlighted more for you, but I was too interested in read the book. Along with her use of language and original descriptions, the two main characters and their story arc, the overall plot and the character arcs were all excellently done.

The heroine managed to be both feminine, charming and cute, as well as kick-ass when circumstances required it. The hero came around slowly, but finally fell for the charms of Axelia, including her strength and capacity for compassion. I loved watching how their relationship unfolded, and how they bounded, steadily, by the end of the novel. It wasn't romance in the slushy, love at 1st sight sense. These guys were thrown together and `found' they had feelings for one another through friendship, sparks of repartee and mutual respect.

I enjoyed the vampire lore and prophesy too. And the twist at the end which I didn't see coming was a great closer.

If I had to be picky, I'd say that although well written, there were a few too many and too long fight scenes. I found myself flicking through to the end of them on occassion. But this is mainly because I prefer short punchy action scenes. Those of you who love well written fight scenes will love the frequency and length of these, though. It's a subjective thing, certainly nothing else.

For a debut novel (although you'd never know) this was an all-round great read by a rising star in fiction.

I recommend it and will follow this author eagerly.

I recieved this book from the author for review here - http://shahwharton.com - and received no payment for doing so.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth Barbarick on Aug. 16, 2012 :
What is the book about?
Axelia, or better better known as Zee, is a seventeen year old Canadian who has adventured out to study in Rome but has never returned back home because she is now dead. She wakes to find that she's beautiful, with no flaws to be seen, and power that is unimaginable, just like a vampire should be. She's more powerful then a regular newbie vampire because she has been turned by an ancient vampire and his blood pumps through her body. Unfortunately the vampire world thinks that due to her unconventional means on becoming a vampire, causing them to think that she will be the downfall of the entire vampire race. Now they want her dead.
What did I think of the book?
You really relate to the main character even when she makes silly mistakes. You find yourself really sympathizing with her as she learns to become a vampire. This book is filled with violence, action and drama and will keep your hands glued to the book. This is not a "I'll put the book down after this chapter" type of book. I found myself saying this all throughout the book, and I never ended up laying the book down, reading in all in one sitting. I hope that Channing has decided to write a sequel to this book because even after I finished the last chapter, I was hoping for more!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Shay Hardman on Aug. 15, 2012 :
What can I say, What Kills Me is an amazing and fun novel! I received this novel in ebook format from a LibraryThing giveaway, and I can't say that I'm disappointed. I simply loved the book and the characters are fantastic! Though the book is kind of short, it was still a really great one. I couldn't stop reading until I had finished. I only wish there had been more to the story and I hope there will be more! What Kills Me is a refreshing take on vampires, giving new blood to the 'legends of vampires'
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: K Vixen on Aug. 12, 2012 :
I enjoyed What Kills Me a lot. I'll admit, I had a rough time in the beginning. I felt the opening was kind of dull and didn't grab my attention like I hoped it would. But once things starting getting interesting I was hooked. And then Lucas happened.

Lucas... I don't know what it is about that name. I've never met a Lucas I didn't like. And this one was no exception. Axelia, or Zee, was a good character who evolved a lot.. She was kind of weak at first, but she turned it around and became a total badass.

The action scenes were great, especially the final chapters. The betrayals and twists took me by surprise, which is unusual for me. And I was pretty satisfied with the ending. I would have liked a little more of the romance, but it didn't really take away from the story line.

I really liked this book and I will definitely be on the lookout for another book by this author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: K Vixen on Aug. 12, 2012 :
I enjoyed What Kills Me a lot. I'll admit, I had a rough time in the beginning. I felt the opening was kind of dull and didn't grab my attention like I hoped it would. But once things starting getting interesting I was hooked. And then Lucas happened.

Lucas... I don't know what it is about that name. I've never met a Lucas I didn't like. And this one was no exception. Axelia, or Zee, was a good character who evolved a lot.. She was kind of weak at first, but she turned it around and became a total badass.

The action scenes were great, especially the final chapters. The betrayals and twists took me by surprise, which is unusual for me. And I was pretty satisfied with the ending. I would have liked a little more of the romance, but it didn't really take away from the story line.

I really liked this book and I will definitely be on the lookout for another book by this author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Danielle Smiley on Aug. 11, 2012 :
This was such a great read!!! **happy squeals** This was crazy hard to put down, the action just hits you from get get-go. We barely meet Axelia, whose friends call her Zee, before she meets a mysterious and quite yummy looking stranger, but all is not what it seems. Then like tsunami waves, the action just keeps coming. Insane crap keeps happening to this girl, she just CANNOT catch a break! And you are left in shock going, "NO FREAKIN' WAY!!!"

Axelia is believable and super easy to connect with. You like her right away, even when she does something stupid. Then your heart breaks for her as she copes with becoming a vampire and the severing of human ties. You're outraged at the unfairness of it all. Her reactions are in perfect tune with how you'd think someone would react; she's brave but not suddenly a kick-butt heroine out of nowhere.

Then there's Lucas. Perfect! Sure he's a jerk at first and stays pretty abrasive, but you understand who he is and where he's coming from and what type of man he is underneath the burliness. There's a good amount of back story letting you ...and Axelia... warm to him. There's some great chemistry between the two!

I love all the crazy and creative happening in this book. I love that I kept thinking that it just couldn't get any worse and then it would. I love how surprised I was throughout the book. I love the great twist that comes at the end and how it's open to more, but enough closure that you can sigh that happy sigh of a book well concluded.

The only complaint I could make is that everything happened so quickly, that I wish I could've gotten to know all the characters, especially the peripheral ones, better. I'm torn on this point. On one hand, if Axelia spent a few days at each location, we would all know each other much better and the feeling between our MCs could grow at a more natural pace. On the other hand, the crazy pace is what makes this book special. Hmmm. Guess I can't have my cake and eat it too, can I?

See more of my reviews on my blog, Known to Read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Tiffany on Aug. 11, 2012 :
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is such a unique and interesting vampire story. Vampires have been done over and over again in young adult paranormal lit but Wynne brings in a totally different spin. Her 'history' of how vampires came to be and the prophecy was original and entertaining.

I loved the main character, Zee. She is tough and loyal. I also loved her 'relationship' to Lucas, who by the way is a total hottie. The banter they had going and the tension between them was smoldering. I loved how he called her "school girl" and "killer".

Wynne weaves an interesting and suspenseful plot. I found that I had to keep reading and there were no 'slow' parts that some books have.

And, Wynne can still make you laugh. Below is one of my favourite short scenes from the novel.

**I stood on the couch, its plush cushion swallowing my feet, and pointed to the floor with my empty bottle. The insect scuttled across the tiles and under the fridge. I looked up at Lucas and Kinman. No one spoke. I relaxed my expression. "Sorry," I said. "It tried to get into my pants."**

I also loved the setting being in Italy. The descriptions were fun to read about.

Overall, this is a great young adult paranormal romance that I highly recommend.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: mandy sickle on Aug. 10, 2012 :
I received this book from the author in return for a honest review. The book is about a 17 year old girl Alexia aka Zee to her friends. She's spending the summer in Rome, as luck would have it the first cute boy she meets just happens to be a vampire who wants to drink her blood. She gets away from him only to fall down a well to her death but to climb out a sire-less vampire. A sire-less vampire is prophesied to bring about the end of all the vampires, so the empress the leader of the vampires sends out her guards to bring her back to be put to death.

In her quest to get away she meets Lucas a vampire living with his father and a younger boy vampire they help her out as well as offer to help her get away from the guards but that proves impossible when the general shows up with his guards and Lucas and Zee are the last one standing he promises to protect her as his father would want him too. The pair is sets out on a quest to find Lucas sire in hopes that she will be able to save them from the General and his men who want to hunt her down.

I loved Zee she's just so innocent it's refreshing to read about getting used to being a vampire as well as the trouble that follows her in. I like the chemistry between Zee and Lucas there is so much potential, it's really sweet. The story instantly sucks you in with action, than keeps you wanting more as the story progresses. There are a few twists I didn't see coming and I love that the book kept me guessing. I found the characters well developed, that I had a good feel of who they are as well as what they look like. I found the story a unique twist on the vampires and I really liked that aspect of the story. I’ve always been a sucker for a vampire book since I was a kid so this book was right up my alley. Overall I loved the book, but I want more, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for another chapter in the story. Plus I love the cover it's beautiful.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brianna Lee Book Reviews on Aug. 10, 2012 :
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I will give this book 4 STARS! I really liked this book and I will read more of Wynne Channing’s work. I read this book extremely fast. It was a quick read, but I thought it was a good read. I think it would be cool if she had a sequel (or epilogue type short story) to “What Kills Me” so that we could see what happens in the next chapter of Zee’s life. I would recommend this book to anyone whom enjoys Young Adult, Paranormal Romance.

Zee is a very untraditional vampire and that scares the rest of the vampire empire. All vampires have a creator, except Zee. When she fell in to a well of Ancient Vampire blood, she emerged a vampire. A long ago prophecy predicted Zee’s arrival, but also said that Zee would be the destroyer of the entire vampire race. Zee knows she is really strong but she doesn’t feel like a danger to anyone. The vampire empire can’t take that risk so Zee has been ordered to die. Could the prophecy possibly be true? Can Zee survive when the entire vampire race wants her dead? Find out in “What Kills Me” by Wynne Channing!

I loved the characters and everything they did. I found myself laughing out loud a few times with things that Axelia (Zee) would do. I mean come on! A super strong vampire screaming out of fear of bugs? That’s funny! Zee didn’t really consider herself a dangerous vampire though, she thought of herself the same way she always did. She was just a shy 17 year old girl that preferred playing scrabble with her parents than partying with kids her age. One trait she definitely held onto through her transition into a vampire was her motor-mouth. Whenever Zee got nervous she would talk so much and just ramble on and on.

I liked the relationship between Zee and Lucas. It was clear in the beginning Lucas couldn’t stand Zee, and Zee thought Lucas was a jerk. With everything that they experienced together though, they developed a strong bond. They began caring for each other. I found myself routing for their love, wanting them to kiss, wanting someone to confess their feelings for the other! I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw progress in their relationship. Lucas was always so serious, so whenever he would crack a smile, I found myself smiling too.

Overall, I think that this was a fun and exciting read. The only downside was that it was pretty short. BUT! That is only because I liked it so much I didn’t want it to end, though I wanted to see what happened next. I also thought that the cover was really beautiful – this book was just the total package! I think that everyone should go out and read “What Kills Me” by Wynne Channing. I know that I am definitely going to check out more of her work and add it to my ‘to be read’ list.

Brianna Lee Book Reviews
http://www.briannaleereviews.blogspot.com
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jasmin Burke on Aug. 10, 2012 :
A very enjoyable read. It took me a bit to get into it but then I couldn't put it down. A nice twist to a well beaten genre. If you like the paranormal and more specifically vampire stories then I thoroughly recommend this one. It is an easy and quick read that would be suitable for teens through to adult. It ticks all the boxes. I look forward to more from this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Adriana Noriega on Aug. 09, 2012 :
It starts off with Axelia aka Zee, she is from Canada and is studying in Rome. One day she forgets to take her map of were she is staying so she gets lost and meets gorgeous guy named Paolo, he helps her find her way home,she also agrees to meet up with him the next night. The next night they decide to go out for gelato but this so called perfect guy and this so called perfect date was never to be as he has a hidden agenda and as soon as he has Zee alone and with no-one to hear her he tells he is a vampire and he is going to kill her. When she finally escapes from his grasp she accidently falls into a well but not just any well this well is filled with the Ancient blood of the first Vampires. When she finally wakes up she finds her self is someones house and they tell her when she fell into the well she died and that is not the only bad news now she is a vampire. And as vampire legends are told she is supposed to cause the extintion of the vampire race.
Want to know what happens next read it. I loved this action packed vampire tale. I havent enjoyed a vampire book in a while as much as i enjoyed this one :)

Lets just say this story is action packed from start to finish. I enjoyed every second of it. I cannot wait for the second one to be released i am dying to see what happens next.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kimberly (Sliced Open Reviews) on Aug. 08, 2012 :
Wow – I love coming across awesome indie reads like this one! I didn’t have the “insta-connect” that I usually do when I enjoy a book. Wait, I take that back, the opening scene is pretty freaking amazing but after that it took me a couple of chapters to get into it. Everything starts with Axelia or “Zee” for short (you try saying her name, I’m sure I mangle it every time), she’s studying abroad, staying with a host family and this beginning “getting to know you” part was a little rushed for me. I felt like maybe we could have gotten a bit more out of this section, but it was still enjoyable. The juicy stuff comes when Zee accepts a date with the hot mysterious guy she meets in afore-mentioned opening scene. Well, said date starts and ends with peril (oh and some excellently written intensity!) after that, the real story begins.

WHAT KILLS ME gave me a definite moment of having “cover lust” – it’s freaking excellent – dark, beautiful and intense! So, does the writing, story and characters live up to its pretty packaging? SURE DOES! This is Wynne Channing’s debut novel, but she is a reporter/journalist so she is no stranger to putting words to paper and that shows! I was entrapped in scenes, fell in love with the flow and didn’t want to leave the world she built around me with her words. I also loved the uniqueness of the plot, far from any vampire read I’ve come across so far. I loved each character (though I wanted a little more). Zee to me was definitely an interesting character. She had a little bit of everything brains, power and blatant disregard for female safety (aka a heaping helping of “innocent girl”). Lucas, dear Sweet Jesus, Lucas. I’ve got two words for you ladies and if you know me you know I got it bad for him during this read. Bad. Boy. THANK YOU. Not only is Lucas my ideal male character, but also has a good character background that so much could be built off of (another reason I need more *hint hint* *Cough*SERIES PLEASE*Cough*).

Unfortunately there were some things that just didn’t quite spark for me:

Again, the beginning “getting to know you” was a little rushed. Not that I wanted to see it drawn out, but a little more background on Zee and who she is before being thrust into the main plot would have helped. (not a game killer for me)

Zee was a little naive for me. I get that we sometimes like our female leads to be innocent. But, I’m going to tell all my female YA readers this; If you are ever studying abroad and you meet someone like Zee did – Group Date! Yes, be smart…never run off with someone you don’t know. This one wasn’t a game killer for me either, just really rubbed me wrong.

Oh how I wish this will be written to be a series (I looked around for deets on that with no luck). I fell in love with the plot and characters and as I said before it was unique and intense. As the story goes on there was so much going on and people to grow and develop as characters, that by the end it was a bit hurried to wrap up. Leaving me feel that not everything got pulled together.

Overall, I’m not disappointed I read – at all – it will have me looking out for new Wynne Channing books and maybe just maybe she will pick Zee back up in the future…

Review by SlicedOpenReviews(dot)com
Received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shanon Stidham on Aug. 03, 2012 :
What Kills Me is a truly sensational read that is centered around a remarkable girl named Axelia, A.K.A. Zee. Her life changes one night when she falls into a well while running for her life, only to emerge as something she never dreamed could be real. I tore through this book so fast because I just couldn't get enough of Zee's story, and when I was finished there was no doubt in my mind that this book will continue to stick with me for quite some time! I have always been a huge fan of vampires, and Wynne Channing has managed to take this genre and make it her own; producing an addictive and mind-blowing plot that is unlike any other story involving vampires I've ever read. I find it very refreshing that this author added new rules and circumstances to my favorite group of paranormals.

To say that Zee's journey is very transformative is kind of an understatement. As I said before, she's human one day, and then the next she wakes up to realize that she is a vampire and her old life no longer exists from this point on. But then she soon finds out that the Empress, the leader of the vampires, wants her dead because Zee is a part of an ancient prophecy stating that she is going to be the destroyer of the vampire race. From that point on the book is all about Zee running for her life while the Monarchy's soldiers and mercenaries try to capture her so she can meet her swift demise.

Fortunately, Zee has the help of an incredibly handsome, yet seriously moody, vampire named Lucas. Together they kick some serious butt and leave a trail of bodies in their wake while they come up with a plan to save Zee. Lucas is deadly with a sword, and I must say that I quite enjoyed his intensity. Plus, I can't even tell you how much I adored the blossoming relationship between him and Zee! They had a very sarcastic and witty banter at times that had me laughing out loud, and they never failed to put a grin on my face when they were together. I also like how their romance didn't feel rushed at all; it took time for them to recognize and sort out their feelings for one another, especially because they were both dealing with a lot of personal tragedy.

Something I enjoyed even more than the romance, though, was Zee's growing power and confidence. When she started to really defend herself against those who tried to take her down, she did it with a fierceness that was almost palpable, and I did several fist pumps in her honor out of excitement while reading this book. I'm pretty sure I even shouted something along the lines of, "IN YOUR FACE!" at the end of the book when some outrageously climactic events took place! The ending had me reeling due to the profound information that was revealed. I'm told that there is going to be a follow-up book to this one and I am so incredibly excited to hear it! I'm getting lost in my own thoughts just imagining what the future holds for Zee!

Please do yourself a favor and get your hands on What Kills Me, because it is such a thrilling read and you will not be disappointed. I definitely look forward to reading anything else this author writes!

*Special thanks to Wynne Channing for providing me with a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review!*

My reviews can also be found at: http://escapingwithfiction.blogspot.com/
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shanon Stidham on Aug. 03, 2012 : (no rating)
What Kills Me is a truly sensational read that is centered around a remarkable girl named Axelia, A.K.A. Zee. Her life changes one night when she falls into a well while running for her life, only to emerge as something she never dreamed could be real. I tore through this book so fast because I just couldn't get enough of Zee's story, and when I was finished there was no doubt in my mind that this book will continue to stick with me for quite some time! I have always been a huge fan of vampires, and Wynne Channing has managed to take this genre and make it her own; producing an addictive and mind-blowing plot that is unlike any other story involving vampires I've ever read. I find it very refreshing that this author added new rules and circumstances to my favorite group of paranormals.

To say that Zee's journey is very transformative is kind of an understatement. As I said before, she's human one day, and then the next she wakes up to realize that she is a vampire and her old life no longer exists from this point on. But then she soon finds out that the Empress, the leader of the vampires, wants her dead because Zee is a part of an ancient prophecy stating that she is going to be the destroyer of the vampire race. From that point on the book is all about Zee running for her life while the Monarchy's soldiers and mercenaries try to capture her so she can meet her swift demise.

Fortunately, Zee has the help of an incredibly handsome, yet seriously moody, vampire named Lucas. Together they kick some serious butt and leave a trail of bodies in their wake while they come up with a plan to save Zee. Lucas is deadly with a sword, and I must say that I quite enjoyed his intensity. Plus, I can't even tell you how much I adored the blossoming relationship between him and Zee! They had a very sarcastic and witty banter at times that had me laughing out loud, and they never failed to put a grin on my face when they were together. I also like how their romance didn't feel rushed at all; it took time for them to recognize and sort out their feelings for one another, especially because they were both dealing with a lot of personal tragedy.

Something I enjoyed even more than the romance, though, was Zee's growing power and confidence. When she started to really defend herself against those who tried to take her down, she did it with a fierceness that was almost palpable, and I did several fist pumps in her honor out of excitement while reading this book. I'm pretty sure I even shouted something along the lines of, "IN YOUR FACE!" at the end of the book when some outrageously climactic events took place! The ending had me reeling due to the profound information that was revealed. I'm told that there is going to be a follow-up book to this one and I am so incredibly excited to hear it! I'm getting lost in my own thoughts just imagining what the future holds for Zee!

Please do yourself a favor and get your hands on What Kills Me, because it is such a thrilling read and you will not be disappointed. I definitely look forward to reading anything else this author writes!

*Special thanks to Wynne Channing for providing me with a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review!*

My reviews can also be found at: http://escapingwithfiction.blogspot.com/
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Deea A. on Aug. 03, 2012 :
This book was so bad@ss! That's the best way to describe it if you want a one-word description. Filled with wit, adventure, suspense, drama, romance, kickbutt characters, lots of twists and turns and non-stop action, What Kills Me is a one-sit-read that keeps you on the edge of your seat and gives you a great, interesting story and awesome characters that you will definitely get attached to and want to read more and more about.

The beginning of the story may be a little misleading: we have a teenage girl who goes to Italy to study for the summer. All is nice and dreamy - beautiful setting, summery atmosphere, witty heroine trying to have some fun and a sweet romance in vacation. She even meets the perfect, handsome, gallant boy and everything seems too good to be true. Well, that's because it is - soon her dreamy adventure turns into a nightmare she can't escape.

As if someone trying to kill her wasn't bad enough, Axelia wakes up in a scary place with some weird people who claim she's now a vampire. She doesn't even get a chance to come to terms with that crazy idea and to make her escape, because suddenly some dangerous looking men barge in and take her away for being "an abomination". Her becoming a vampire was very unusual and apparently poses a danger for the entire vampire race, so she must answer to the Empress, their ruler, immediately.

She's much stronger that she realized, so she manages to escape the blood sucking soldiers the first time, but then they're always after her. And that's when the true adventure begins. Always on the run, scared, far away from her family and with no way to contact them, surviving and evading all the soldiers and mercenaries who are after her is a real struggle. But she runs into Lucas and though they don't meet under the best circumstances, he becomes the only person she can rely on. They both set out on a journey filled with tension, danger, action, unpredictable situations and thrills that will change them and get them really close to each other.

>> He always looked brooding and preoccupied, but I could never tell what was going through his head. I didn’t know how he was dealing with this ordeal. I chose to interpret his silence as strength. I needed something to believe in. He was all I had left. > I should have never trusted Paolo. My entire life I had been a good, cautious person. Just this once I had wanted a little adventure—and now this. Why? Why me? > I expected to crash onto the pavement, the concrete scraping off patches of skin. Except that time seemed to slow while I was in mid air. Landing with one foot on the street and letting the momentum carry me forward, I put my right hand down and did a frontward flip. I stood and turned to look at the truck speeding away. > Desperate, I searched for a weapon, a distraction, and I picked up the car door. They [the mercenaries] were closing in on me. With a cry, I launched the door at them. It sailed through the air like a disk. They both leaped to avoid it, but it caught one of them in the midsection. The vampire appeared to jump over it, but just his top half flopped over and he fell to the ground in two parts. The door kept flying through the air, and a split second later embedded itself into the side of the black sedan with a crash.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Raizza Cinco on July 31, 2012 :
Here I am in school, lunch break, just had siopao and iced coffee, and I keep on thinking what else to review. Sucks because I share my kindle with my older sister and she has it right now so I don’t have anything to read. But I remembered a book, which I feel my previous review for it did not do justice on just how awesome it is. So I’m here to correct what I have done and to thank the author again for giving me the chance to read and review her novel.

Wynne Channing’s debut novel, What Kills Me, just really killed me! The comedy, sarcasm, action, suspense, and romance packed in this book made me laugh, leave me in awe, grit my teeth, and drool over Lucas. The only problem with this book is that it had to end so abruptly. It left me in a very crucial moment, where you MUST know what will happen next, where you will wonder what happened to the next chapter. And then you realize there is no next chapter, but the next installment of the series. And Ms. Channing clarified to me and just made me uber happy and excited that there is another upcoming book of What Kills Me.

The characters of this book are hilarious, especially Axelia. I’m glad she’s the speaker of this novel and not some kind of overbearing, air-head heroine I read in most YA novels. Axelia, or Zee, for short, changed from a normal, 17-year-old girl from Canada into a dangerously monstrous mistake of the Vampire clan, whom they must destroy. Yes, there was the initial drama of Zee not having a normal life again and the how to escape those badass captors, but (and this is why I love Zee) she got over that drama and quickly did something so she could escape and find refuge. From a useless marionette into a powerful vampire, that is Zee.

The typical prince charming in every YA novel is an unbelievably handsome, sexy, mysterious, snobby young man, who has a penchant for insulting, humiliating, and pushing the heroine away until he finally declares he is in love with her, but their budding romance must be stopped because he is very different or from the opposite side where the heroine stands. Lucas, as described in the book, is handsome, sexy, somewhat mysterious, and somewhat broody. But he is just the same as Zee. He is sarcastic and funny. He had me drooling and wanting him!

What I loved in their romance was that it didn’t start with love at first sight. Their romance went through a roller coaster ride, a very long ride, where after all those loops, they realized they were in love with each other. See? It gave readers ample time to believe there really was a spark between them. And I was really waiting for that moment where they would finally profess their love for one another.

I very much enjoyed this book and would love to reread it. And this is totally recommended! What Kills Me is an all-new, one of a kind, original, and refreshing vampire novel (minus the sparkles) that will just leave you begging and needing for more!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tona Cruz Dominguez on July 31, 2012 :
I won this book through a Librarything's giveaway.

I read this book by the pool this weekend and liked it. I think this is a great summer read for anyone that likes vampires. Alexia's character is funny and Lucas' character is stoic. The race to find help and protect themselves from the Monarchy is filled with action. It definitely keeps your attention.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: lucieparis on July 29, 2012 :
I liked the realistic aspect of this fantasy story.
At the beginning, the author could almost tell the story of a teenager who goes abroad on holiday and that will exercise poor judgment.
Axelia wants to be different from the good girl she is for all to see. She wants to be daring and adventurous, and what better than a fling in Italy, far from her parents and habits, to try new things. Except when one crosses paths with a vampire who wants to empty your body from your blood...

I liked the simplicity of the heroin. She just wanted to live a little dangerously and she finds herself the star of an apocalyptic prophecy. Immortal, sentenced to death, forced to drink blood to survive, hunted by mercenaries, her life radically changed and will never be the same again.

Between the lines, the reader can decipher the moral weight of an impulsive decision that seemed, at first, innocent and inconsequential. The situation will deteriorate, faster than in a blink of an eye, into a radically transformed life.
Throughout the story, it is the feeling I had. Under the first layer of the rather dark fantasy hides the lines of life lessons about trust, betrayal, courage and strength to stay in the light.

I also appreciated the brevity of the meetings like in real life ... Sometimes you meet people without getting to know them but that does not prevent you from being emotionaly marked by them. Some will reach you out, others will stick a knife in your back.
Thus apart from Axelia and Lucas, all the other characters are crossing briefly the reader's path inside the story or make occasional appearances. As a result, the novel is constantly moving with a lot of rhythm, action and the fights. There are many deaths too. So, If you are looking for a love story like in "Twilight", you are not in the good novel.

However, the author without pressing heavily on the romantic card manages to keep you alert and play with your emotions. The ending is also a nice surprise that makes you want to put your hands on the further adventures of Alexia that promises to be radically different.

A nice dynamical story that takes you into a crazy race.

Lucie
newbooksonmyselves.blogspot.fr
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mineliz Medina on July 28, 2012 :
Wynne Channing’s debut novel, “What Kills Me,” is to die for. I’m not being cute here; this vampire novel kicks the you-know-what out of most other vampire novels out there.

The premise is original. The characters are well developed. The settings are beautifully described. The story is fluid and fast-paced. The action is almost non-stop, but never over the top. Most importantly, the series’ potential is unlimited.

The main characters, Zee and Lucas, make you want to cheer. They’re damaged, yet determined. They’re also a great team, whether working in tandem to remove heads and limbs from enemies or supporting each other through a never-ending series of betrayals and heartbreak. Thankfully, Channing depicts how they deal with their burgeoning feelings for each other with style and finesse, instead of overwhelming the reader with endless prose about physical attraction and pseudo-narcissism.

The ending was one of the best I can recall. While bringing the story to a satisfying, albeit surprise, conclusion, the information revealed has the potential to turn the entire series on its ear.

I eagerly—but not very patiently—await the next installment.

I highly recommend “What Kills Me” for fans of YA, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy … although I firmly believe it should be on the must-read list for anyone who loves great fiction
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Erika A on July 25, 2012 :
I received an ebook version of this book from the author. Thank you Wynne Channing!

What if you were destined to cause the extinction of the entire vampire race?
Axelia is your average seventeen year old girl. She's on her way home when she gets lost but luckily (or maybe not) a boy named Paolo helps her find her way home. Later that night she sneaks out of the house to go see him but instead of a romantic date, Paolo tries to kill her. This leads to Axelia accidentally falling into a well while she was trying to get away from him. Later she emerges from the well as a vampire but she's not a normal vampire. The Monarchy believes that she is the vampire from the prophecy so they are determined to hunter her down and kill her. While on the run Axelia meets Lucas, he helps her escape from the Monarchy numerous times while Axelia is still getting used to being a vampire.

It took me only three chapters to get into this book. By the fourth one I was hooked. What Kills Me was a nice break from the normal vampire books. It was really entertaining and it had almost nonstop action while Axelia and Lucas were running from the Monarchy.

Axelia is an extremely loyal character who would do almost anything to help Lucas and her friends. I really liked reading the action scenes. I could picture everything that was happening so clearly in my mind and it was refreshing to read about a heroine who actually could defend herself. I also really liked reading about Lucas and Axelia. It was a little bit frustrating when they didn't really acknowledge their feelings for each other until the end. But I also liked how she didn't immediately like him and how it took some time for her to actually grow feelings for him and she didn't obsess over him.

My only complaint is that there isn't a sequel yet. Please someone tell me there is a sequel!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: laurice nicole villarino on July 17, 2012 :
Brilliant! Thrilling! Breathtaking!


Honestly, these are understatements. They don't at all give justice to this noteworthy piece of literature! Let's use them nonetheless, for lack of a better term.

This slashing-beheading-burning-action-filled fiction will keep your hands and eyes gripped on your e-readers because you'll never want to miss what'll happen next! :) Is there a sequel? No news so far, but there should definitely be one! :]
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Scarlette D'Noire on July 14, 2012 :
Wynne Channing's debut novel What Kills Me is an action packed adventure! I love the fast pace and flowing dialogue full of witty little comments. The romance works very nicely in this story. As a writer of vampire fiction I will say this is one I wish I had wrote myself! :) Great work Wynn!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: A. A. Omer on July 07, 2012 :
What Kills Me is the debut novel of author Wynne Channing. It's a refreshing take on the vampire lore that will have you laughing your socks off and emotionally invested in the heroine. The writing is splendid, the pacing is right on and the chemistry between the characters bring a tinge of realism to this fantastical world.

A definite must read and addition to your e-shelves.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Vicki So on July 06, 2012 :
I'm not the biggest fan of vampire books, but Wynne Channing's debut novel was fast-paced, action packed, and full of witty dialog, sweeping me up in a mad chase across the globe that made me forget much about the blood-suckers (though that plays a big part, too.) I can't wait to see what comes next for Axelia. Eagerly awaiting a sequel!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Christie Rich on June 28, 2012 :
So I'm a sucker for a beautiful cover. Sometimes you don't know what you will get when you open the pages, but I am pleased to say the inside of What Kills Me matches the beautiful shell. Sometimes I am leary to read another vampire story, but recently the genre seems to have a new face. I'm glad I didn't pass on this one especially. It's fresh and the mythology is intriguing. The action makes the story flow at a fast pace and the romance between Lucas and Zee developes in a realistic way throughout. I was actually a little frustrated with them for not figuring things out a little sooner. LOL. The ending was spectacular and leaves me wanting more.

Wynne Channing is a seasoned writer and it shows in her prose. She has sparked my interest, and I will definitely be following her writing. I can't wait for more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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