Title: My Soul To Lose (Soul Screamers #0.5)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Soul to Lose was a short, sweet introductory to Kaylee Cavanaugh and the strange premonitions that finally force her aunt and uncle to commit her to a mental ward.
As with any story where the main character is questioning their sanity I found myself gripping the pages in frustration and urging Kaylee to just keep her mouth shut, play ‘sane’ and do whatever it took to get the hell out of the mental ward. That’s not good advice in terms of her getting help, but it’s how I think.
Vincent’s description of Kaylee’s premonition in the mall was visceral and I couldn’t blame her family for committing her – especially given the fact that she couldn’t quit screaming to speak for herself. In those few brief moments as Kaylee fought the inevitable, Vincent gave her readers an incredibly glimpse of her heroine’s strength of character as well as her best friend Emma’s loyalty and understanding. I found myself loving Emma even more than Kaylee for the way she changed her plans without qualm and stayed by Kaylee’s side while she completely lost it.
The situation in the mental ward was frustratingly bleak and as usual the adult authority figures were just a few shades above useless. Kudos to Vincent for making me feel the hopelessness of Kaylee’s situation and mental state. I was as heartbroken as she was when her aunt dropped off her clothes and left without even seeing her.
In terms of plot, My Soul to Lose doesn’t have much – it’s mostly a lot of exposition and setting up the main attraction that is My Soul to Take. Basically, Kaylee is committed for having an hysterical meltdown in the middle of a mall and during the course of her stay in the mental ward, she comes to realize that her ‘problem’ isn’t psychological or physical. We also meet an interesting character named Lydia who may or may not have died at the end of the novella. Everything is a little hazy as Lydia’s gift of taking Kaylee’s pain leaves her a little hazy on the details – and effectively ‘resets’ Kaylee for the next book.
My Soul to Lose is a nice prequel to My Soul to Take. It gives the readers a taste of Kaylee and whets the appetite for more of her world and experience. I wouldn’t call it a page turner, but it was compelling and the characters were fully realized.