Series: Soul Screamers #1
Published by Harlequin Teen, MIRA
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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Also in this series: My Soul to Save, My Soul to Keep, My Soul to Steal, If I Die, Before I Wake, With All My Soul
Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh.
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...
Thoughts: I really enjoyed My Soul to Take. It had characters that I genuinely liked, a universe that I adored and a focus on family that I found very realistic.
In fact, I found the entire book extremely realistic. For example, there was a great scene where Kaylee decides to Google her supernatural powers and comes to the conclusion that she has a brain tumour. How fantastic is that? I mean, honestly, that is the most logical answer. The idea that she would immediately assume she had inhuman abilities is just silly! As soon as I read that, I knew Kaylee and I were going to get on just fine.
You see, I’d read two of Rachel Vincent’s werecat series (Stray and Rogue) and while I had liked her writing style, I really disliked the main character. It made me apprehensive about starting My Soul to Take, as I was afraid I’d just be in for some more of the same. But I’d needn’t have worried, because Kaylee is fantastic. She stands up for what she believes in, but not to the point where she is making too-stupid-to-live decisions. My Soul to Take proved to me that Vincent can write a main character that I could enjoy – it has made me hopeful for the rest of the werecat series too!
While I liked Kaylee’s boyfriend Nash, I was most intrigued by Tod the teenage grim reaper. Now really, just the phrase “teenage grim reaper” should be enough to get you into this series. I am hoping to see more of him (and Kaylee’s BFF Emma) in the rest of the books.
Bottom Line: An original take on (what has become) the standard paranormal YA action/romance. Great writing, a unique universe and fantastic characters make this book a must for YA readers.
Interview with Rachel Vincent
Rachel was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the Soul Screamers series and her upcoming literary plans. Here’s what she had to say:
Q. First of all, I am very excited to have your YA series released in the UK. What do you think of the UK jacket covers?
I love them! I think the UK covers are gorgeous, and I love that they capture a different aspect of the books than the US covers do. Both fit the series, but in different ways. 😉
Q. Any chance of a tour in the UK?
Oh, that depends entirely on my publisher. I’ll go wherever they want me to, but to my knowledge, there’s currently no plans for me to go overseas. Travel is expensive…
Q. A lot of Urban Fantasy authors have crossed over into the YA market – with great success. What do you think of this trend, and what inspired you to write a novel aimed at young adults?
I think any trend putting good books into the hands of teens who might not otherwise be reading is a good trend. As for why I’m writing YA, I write it because I like to read it. I love being taken back to a more fantastic, exciting version of my own youth.
Q. Could you introduce the Soul Screamers series to UK readers, new to the books?
The Soul Screamers books are about a sixteen year old high school junior who discovers that she’s a bean sidhe (banshee) who knows when someone near her is going to die. Along with her boyfriend, Nash, Tod the rookie reaper, and a growing and assorted cast of friends/family, she saves lives, returns souls, and battles evil hellions bent on owning her, body and soul. Also, there’s kissing. Lots of kissing. 😉
Q. With your werecat series at an end, will your be Young Adult series become your main focus or do you have something else in the works?
I have a new adult series debuting in the fall in the US, and I’ll be splitting my focus between them for as long as I’m fortunate enough to have both on my plate.
Q. What were your favourite reads as a teen? What YA reads have you recently enjoyed?
Oddly enough, as a teen, I read adult books. I was a huge fan of Stephen King, Robert R. McCammon, and Patricia Cornwell. Now, I read adult urban fantasy and YA paranormal and contemporaries. Recently I loved Matched by Ally Condie [see my review here] and Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. Both are well-worth importing, if they aren’t shelved in the UK.