Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review: Before I Wake

BIW Mini Challenge

The Before I Wake Mini-Reading Challenge is hosted by Rachel @ Fiktshun. Review below is of the sixth book in the Soul Screamers series and has spoilers from the previous book If I Die

Before I Wake
(Soul Screamers #6)
by Rachel Vincent
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback ~339 pages
Source: Library Loan

I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul.

The good news? He didn't get it.

The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school...

Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life....

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Cover: Beautiful cover as usual! The pink dress that swirls around her like smoke tendrils reminds me of the ways the souls travel from their bodies when Kaylee sings for them.

My Thoughts:
Kaylee Cavanaugh’s death was fated to happen, but being dead doesn’t mean she has to go gently into the good night. Kaylee still has a life to live…even if she isn’t technically ‘alive’. She has eternity to look forward to, but she can’t seem to get through the first month without feeling what death is really like…lonely. And even though she has Tod, the one person that makes her feel alive, she can’t stop the all-consuming hopelessness that seeps into her mind every night.

At the end of If I Die Kaylee is offered the chance to work for the soul retrieval department where she will work recapturing souls from rogue reapers. On her first assignment Kaylee is shocked to find out exactly who the rogue reaper is, but that is just the beginning of the shocking revelations that Kaylee will encounter. Kaylee can’t fight everything alone – even though she may try- and will need the help of her friends and family, but Nash isn’t exactly speaking to her and refuses to be anywhere near Tod. Frenemy Sabine’s loyalty is subject to her feelings for Nash and Kaylee’s best friend Emma is just human. Luca, a necromancer is sent in to help out, but no one could guess what they are about to face.

Before I Wake is the best book in the Soul Screamers series thus far, in my opinion. I could not put this book down and read it in one night – sleep be damned! When I finished the last book If I Die, I thought that it was the end of the series. I was ecstatic to see that I was wrong plus two! Since this is the second to last book, the stakes are raised for Kaylee and friends. This book is the epitome of a rollercoaster read. I laughed, cried, and was completely heartbroken.

Rachel Vincent not only wrote about the characters, but delved into their psyches too. She reveals so much about each character that I would never have thought of or looked past the surface to find. I feel sorry for Nash. He has lost so many people in his life and while he made mistakes, I wish he would stop punishing himself. I want him to turn to Sabine and find happiness, but like he said, he can’t turn feelings on and off. I appreciate that characters evolve in the Soul Screamers’ world slowly and deliberately; not having instant feelings or actions.

The heat level is turned up a notch…times 10! My knees went weak reading the swoony scenes between Kaylee and Tod. The love they have for one another is a beautiful and satisfying selfless love. Without being too overt and wordy, we can see and feel the chemistry between the couple. Neither one wants to spend the rest of their forever without the other and they would happily die for each other without a thought of themselves. I never thought too much of Tod’s character before, but he is the kind of man that every girl deserves.

Before I Wake is a gut-wrenching, suspenseful, thrilling book that will surprise readers with all the twists and turns. To those who lost their lives, you will be missed. I don’t want to think about what may happen in the next book, but I am excited to read the series finale knowing that it will be that much more heart-stopping than this one. Ms. Vincent has created a world that is terrifying and alluring; one that will be missed. Before I Wake left me breathless and in anticipation of being completely blown away by With All My Soul.

Favorite Quote:
“It’s just… I feel so good when I’m with you. I feel alive, and normal, and real. But then you go to the hospital every night, and my dad goes to bed, and I can’t sleep, and I start feeling like I’m all alone, and that feeling gets stronger and stronger. It feels like the air around me is heavy, and it takes too much effort to breathe, much less move. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to watch anything. I don’t want to eat anything. I’m alone with my thoughts, and my head feels like a radio playing at top volume, while everything else around me is just…dead.”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
One of the best series ever! Before I Wake is a must read!

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