Monday, May 14, 2012

My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers #4) by Rachel Vincent

Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants

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Rachel Vincent:

Shelley's Review
Ugh! This is such a difficult review to write. I started My Soul to Steal while right in the middle of a very adult series. Very adult issues and emotions. Very soul shaking. Stepping back in to the Soul Screamers felt kind of, well, juvenile. Rachel keeps things moving with her usual flair, but I really struggled with this book. With liking my favorite characters and the direction they were going. With accepting new characters and how they influenced or interacted with said favorite characters. As well as with the situations they all find themselves in...There is no end to the chaos in Kaylee's world...she is constantly in danger, constantly in conflict with Nash and her feelings for him, constantly at odds with an enemy or supposed rival...constantly second guessing EVERYTHING and constantly WHINING! Double UGH! Ok, ok...I'm fine. Really. *wipes brow*
Kaylee shows us in this one how much of a teenager she really is. Sometimes annoyingly so. She is full to the brim with angst, insecurity and fear. FEAR is what drives My Soul to Steal...fear of the past, the unknown, the unexpected, of loss and failure, of losing yourself and never belonging. Fear of your deepest fear and NIGHTMARES. Rachel introduces an interesting and trying new character in Sabine. She drops in like a tornado and sends Kaylee into a tail spin with her "gift" and manipulations. I like a lot of things about Sabine's character. She has the makings of great "bad" girl. Just what she is, is a very cool concept and brings so many possibilities. For me though, she falls short with her petty teenage exploits in an atmosphere that is obviously already volatile. Knowing what she knows, she should've been aware of what she was walking in to. UGH!
Kaylee continues to struggle with Nash. Can she ever forgive him? Does she love him enough? So much of what she feels is what any girl who is hurt and feels betrayed would feel, but she rehashes things so many times I began to lose my sympathy for her and her situations. Many of which she created herself. Yep, another UGH! She has high and unrealistic expectations of everyone. I relate to that, I do...but for me in this just translated to poor little Kaylee. Her focus on controlling everyone and everything really took away from what I love about her character. She's still strong, resourceful and insightful, yet she manages to come off self centered and insecure.
Well, here it is...I struggled just as much as Kaylee, but for very different reasons. Kaylee's angst over everything Nash overrides the real dangers master manipulator Avari and the Netherworld. She sees so much and yet misses everything. Reading this was much like watching a B horror movie. You know what's coming next and you're helpless to save the poor fool before you.
With Kaylee so focused on what's wrong in her personal life, it was difficult to get caught up in the havoc so carefully crafted by our favorite hellion. Perhaps it was all part of his grand scheme...creating so much doubt and mistrust among Kaylee, her family and friends. It should have made me feel for her. It should have made me want to steer her back to hope and possibility. Mostly, it made me pull away from her...and Nash. I love Nash. He's been a great hero. He's sacrificed and loved Kaylee, no questions asked. He's suffered greatly for her, and still does. But he has also lied to (neglected to disclose) and manipulated her. How do you love someone so...beautiful and flawed? Is loving them enough?
I think that may be the whole point here. You make a choice to accept people for who they are...mistakes and all. You have to forgive and/or forget and move on. walk away. And walking away is rarely easy.
As much as i struggled with giving Kaylee and Nash my undying devotion, I found several things I did love in this installment; another secondary character plays a cool role, Avari is frightening as ever, Alex gets more interesting and Tod...well, well, well...I think our favorite Reaper may have something no so much "hiding up his sleeve".
I'm really interested to see where Rachel takes us all from here. So much still to discover. So much to resolve. So far to go.


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