Monday, January 7, 2013
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my review of My Soul to Lose, but dude. It would suck to be a banshee. True, it's not often that one is around someone who is about to die, but still. All of that uncontrollable screaming? That would be awful.
My Soul to Take picks up with Kaylee post-mental hospital visit and jumps right into the action. Kaylee and her best friend Emma sneak into a club where Emma's older sister works and with zero ado, we're introduced to Nash - an uber hot, popular jock who starts making eyes at Kaylee. While they flirt and dance,Kaylee wonders why Nash is showing her the slightest interest. She is not Emma or her cousin Sophie - boys like Nash don't go for girls like her.
Struck by the stirrings of another 'panic attack' as she's dancing with Nash, Kaylee fears another trip to the mental institution is on the horizon. Nash, however, proves surprisingly adept at calming her down and they leave the club without incident. The next morning, however, she learns via a news report that the girl at the club who seemed to be the source of her panic wasn't so lucky.
She was dead.
And thus begins the mystery that leads Kaylee to learn the truth about who and what she is, what role Nash plays in all of it and that the world is not nearly so black and white as she once thought.
Vincent had already sucked me into Kaylee's world with My Soul to Lose and in My Soul to Take she continued to build on the world of banshees, reapers and other things that go bump in the night. The plot is engaging with plenty of well-executed surprises, the teens are teens and while Kaylee is definitely a good girl, she's got spirit and doesn't just roll over when she feels that she's been wronged or lied to. Especially when she feels she's been lied to.
Given the 4-star review, you can rightly assume that what quibbles I have with this book in no way affected my enjoyment. I would have liked to know more about Nash and his interest in Kaylee. Supposedly, he's a player, but aside from Kaylee's concerns over the matter, they never have that conversation where she voices her fears that he might just see her as another conquest - the fact that they're the same species merely a nice bonus. In a few ways, Nash is almost too good for a supposedly super popular jock, surrounded by typical jock friends.
As I read one YA novel after another, I try to keep in mind that teens are inherently insecure and would question why a guy or girl that they considered above them on the social/looks hierarchy would be interested in them, but I am really tired of the trope. Vincent does well with it in that Kaylee doesn't allow herself to be crippled by these insecurities, so aside from my initial eyeroll, I let it go.
Kaylee is also one of those characters who I feel suffers from a little of the Bella Swan/Katniss Everdeen Syndrome in that she's almost unbearably selfless. Her willingness to put herself at risk for the sake of others wasn't as ridiculous as Bella or Katniss and I do understand why she'd want to save nameless/faceless girls. Living with the guilt of 'letting' someone die isn't something I'd look forward to experiencing myself. Still, there were times when I would have appreciated more of a sense of self-preservation from Kaylee.
Like I said, though, minor quibbles. I've already read the next book in the series and unless something drastic happens, I'm looking forward to reading them all.