This book and I have a bit of a history. I bought My Soul to Take and tried to read it when it first came out. After trying (and failing) a few times I decided that it just wasn’t for me and never really gave it much thought afterwards. Then I started hearing a lot of positive buzz about subsequent books in the series and my interest was piqued once more. I had read Rachel Vincent’s Shifter series and although I had found it enjoyable I had never really been caught up too much (I had difficulty relating to Faythe – the main protagonist). I decided to hold off and wait until more books in the Soul Screamers series were released to see if opinions changed.
By the time the sixth book Before I Wake was released, I realised that I was perhaps missing out on something really good and bought the rest of the books in the series with a view to read them as soon as I could. That never really worked out until recently. I was in a bit of a book lull and decided to pick up My Soul to Take again – and boy am I glad I did!
My Soul to Take centres on Kaylee Cavanaugh, a high school girl who fears she may be going crazy. Recently she has started to sense when people around her are going to die – and when this happens she cannot control the ear-splitting scream that she unleashes. Kaylee lives with her Aunt Val, Uncle Brendan and Cousin Sophie (after being left with them by her father after her mother was killed in an accident when she was three years old). She doesn’t want them to know when this begins happening to her again after the last time she lost control ended up with her being committed to a psych ward.
However, one night she is at a club with her best friend Emma when she begins to see shadows surrounding a young girl on the dance floor. The shriek building up inside her forces her to abandon Nash, the guy she is dancing with, and run out the nearest exist. Kaylee is surprised when Nash, who is a popular senior from her school, follows her outside and seems to know what she is going through. It turns out that Kaylee is a bean sidhe (or banshee) – and so is Nash. She can see when death is approaching and her wail is a song for the soul of the dead (or soon-to-be-dead.
Once she realises she is not going crazy, Kaylee is determined to discover why young girls have been dying unexpectedly. The girl in the club was only the first. Other local girls have been dying before their time and Kaylee is determined to discover why. Although Nash explains to her that everyone is allotted a certain amount of time and when their time is up death will soon come calling, Kaylee is sure that something more nefarious is going on.
Agreeing to help her, Nash introduces Kaylee to Tod, a ‘grim reaper’ who works at the local hospital. Although Tod is reluctant to help them at first, he agrees to investigate further. What he discovers backs up Kaylee’s theory that these girls were not meant to die yet, and the danger may be even closer to home than Kaylee realises…
Well, once I finally got into reading My Soul to Take I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed the story (banshees being very different from the usual young adult urban-fantasy fare). Kaylee was a really relatable protagonist. I liked the fact that despite her ‘bean sidhe’ abilities she was just a regular girl full of insecurities and vulnerabilities. She is brave yet not fearless. I think the two of us are going to get along just fine.
I liked the love interest Nash but did feel that they ended up in a relationship a little too quickly. They never really seemed to get to know each other before they started going out and I would have liked a little more build-up. I liked Emma a lot – it great to see an actual functioning friendship in the ya genre as too many novels have best friends that are complete bitches. Tod was a character I am hoping we see more of. He was just the right amount of mysterious and snarky to catch my attention.
I didn’t like her Aunt Val or Cousin Sophie very much though her Uncle Brendan seems to be ok. I was glad to see Kaylee’s dad at the end too and happy he will be sticking around.
Overall this was an entertaining start to a series. I have heard it gets even better so looking forward to diving into the rest of the books.
Blog review: here