Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review: My Soul to Take

My Soul to Take
Rachel Vincent
Fantasy/Young Adult

Soul Screamers/Book 1
Harlequin Teen/August 2009
Library book

From the back cover ~


She doesn't see dead people, but...

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...


The last thing you hear before you die...

Before reading My Soul to Take I would strongly recommend reading the free online prequel novella, My Soul to Lose. You can go to Rachel Vincent's website and read it or it can be downloaded free (as of this writing) from Amazon for the Kindle. It's an excellent read and gives you a healthy taste of Vincent's writing style. I got pulled into Kaylee's world when I read My Soul to Lose and was thrilled I had My Soul to Take on the library tbr pile. (yeah, I have a library tbr pile too!)

Do you ever feel like you want to scream? Need to scream? Have to scream? Kaylee Cavanaugh knows exactly how that feels because it happens to her whenever she's near someone who's about to die. And this girl can scream. She screams until she loses her voice and people around her think she's gone crazy. Even Kaylee thinks she might just go crazy when it happens. It's like she goes into another world or dimension and no one else understands just how scary it is.

The story is told in Kaylee's POV but I thought Vincent did a good job giving the reader enough insight into the other characters through their words and actions. It was good that I liked Kaylee's voice. There were a couple of times when she got a little to into the "pity me" mode but she had good reason to. Thinking that you're going crazy and finding out there is an explanation, not matter how strange, can give anyone a little attitude.

I felt this odd connection to Kaylee right away. It's odd because she's a teen and I haven't seen my teen years for a very long time and yet there was something there. Maybe it was the way Kaylee wasn't exactly a loner but she wasn't with the "in-crowd" either. She has the usual teenage angst, adults who don't get her and a dysfunctional family thrown into the mix. She still has this inner core of strength and maturity. No doubt from everything she's lived through with her "panic attacks" and the losses she has faced in her 17 years. I really liked her and the way Vincent wrote her to be true to her experiences and her age. She felt like a teenager, not like an adult trying to act like a teenager.

When Kaylee and her best friend Emma decide to sneak into a dance club the night ends with Kaylee falling fast towards another scream fest and Nash Hudson, her secret crush, there to witness it. With Nash's help, Kaylee is just barely able to keep it together. But what's with Nash's sudden interested in Kaylee? Yeah, Nash is hiding something, it's pretty obviously but what is he hiding? I asked my teen daughter, she had already read MStT, but she just smiled and told me "you'll find out." So I'll tell you the same thing. Read the book and you'll find out. LOL

Nash is a popular guy at school. He hangs with the in crowd but he's not a snob. He's what I would call a mature 18. I liked Nash too! I liked him and Kaylee together. I thought they made a great couple once I got to know Nash. At first I had to wonder what his motives were because as Kaylee points out, they don't really travel in the same social circles. ~

If Eastlake High School were the universe, I would be one of the moons circling Planet Emma, constantly hidden by her shadow, and glad to be there. Nash Hudson would be one of the stars: too bright to look at, too hot to touch and at the center of his own solar system. page 11

I do think Kaylee tends to downplay her importance in her friends lives. She finds out that she is far more important than she ever thought when her friends come through for her. The small circle of her friends widens a bit and an interesting character named Tod comes into Kaylee's world. He's one secondary character that I look forward to reading more about. In fact all the secondary characters, Kaylee's family and friends, Nash's family, are all well written and add dimension to the story without taking away from Kaylee's and to a lesser extent Nash's spotlight.

As Kaylee and Nash grow closer together, Kaylee begins to discover the reason for her attacks and the history behind them. I loved, loved, loved the way Vincent incorporated myths, legends and fantasy into the story. She gives a new twist to the myths and adds a unique touch to the legends, creating a fantasy world that pulls the reader in and holds them tight.

This is definitely a YA series I would recommend for teens and adults. And just in case you're wondering, My Soul to Take and the second book, My Soul to Save both get teen daughter's seal of approval. :) I still need to read My Soul to Save. I had to return it to the library before I could read it so I'm back on the request list. It gives me something to look forward to and I'll still have time to read it before book 3, My Soul to Keep which comes out June 1.

Rating: A


  1. This one is in my TBR pile. I've only recently gotten back into her 'Werecats' series - so I'd be interested to see how she handles a YA.
    Great review - a very promising 'A', I'll have to push this one up in the pile.

  2. Nice review! I always love feeling a connection to the character. It makes reading more engrossing. I'm looking for more YA, so this one will be going on my list.

  3. Danielle ~ I haven't read her Werecats yet, have the 1st book on the tbr pile. :)

    Brie ~ I sort of have an "in house" YA tester, LOL, so she helps me pick the good ones. :)

  4. Leslie, great review! I think if I were to read YA, it would be fantasy, UF or PNR. This certainly sounds like a good one. :)

  5. I really liked this book, too! I agree with you in that Vincent did a great job of making Kaylee and her world a pretty normal teenage one--as much as it could be given the fact that Kaylee is a soul screamer. It was also really refreshing to read about Kaylee and Nash's relationship blossoming at a normal slow-ish pace. Thank you, Ms. Vincent!

    I really need to check if my library has My Soul To Save! And I can't believe the next one is due out in June already!!!

    One more thing. Leslie, how did I not realize you had a teenage daughter??! So sorry that I didn't pick up on that. For some reason, I was under the impression you had two younger boys? We need to compare teenage parenting notes more often!!!

  6. Great review, Leslie :D It sounds like a very interesting book :)

    LOL, you're lucky to have a YA tester :P

  7. Christine ~ it was normal with the cheerleaders & football players and the general high school drama. Yep, Vincent did a great job!

    I've got all three - 15 yr old daughter and 9 & 8 yr old boys. Notes?! I'm suppose to take notes? LOL

    nath ~ I'm the supplier and she's the tester. I know it's a good book when she asks me if I can get the next book or another book by the author. :)

  8. You're not taking notes?!?! Don't we get graded on this at some point? ;p

    Now I'm thinking we DID discuss the fact that we both have teen daughters and I simply forgot. *embarrassed!*

  9. Christine ~ oh, crap. We get graded? As long as they're not in prison and move out before they're 30, I figure I've done well. :)

  10. LOL, so Leslie, does your daughter plan to start reading romance soon? and will you let her or do you think she's too young? (She's 15-16 y.o. right?)