Girls*Heart* Books: 'Before I Wake' by Rachel Vincent: Review

Friday, June 29, 2012

'Before I Wake' by Rachel Vincent: Review

Soul Screamers Book #6 
Before I Wake 
By Rachel Vincent
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...(from Goodreads)

Before I Wake is the 6th book in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent.  Let me warn you all that if you haven't read If I Die yet, you should not be reading this, there will be spoilers, I'm sorry, it's unavoidable.  Let's get down to it now. I came home from a LONG day at work last Friday and found this book in my mailbox from the lovely folks at Mira Ink. There was some jumping up and down, I can admit that without shame.  I love this series & Rachel Vincent. I'd been counting down the days til the book released here in the US and  as a lovely late birthday present and I got it for free & by surprise. It was serendipitous. 

The story picks up a month after If I Die ends and we find Kaylee struggling to accept some pretty massive changes in her life. Not just Kaylee, either. It seems everyone who loves Kaylee (or loves someone who loves her) is battling some literal or figurative demon. No one is having an easy time of it.  Kaylee continues to be one of the most interesting characters in the young adult genre today.  She is just one of the many reasons why I can't get enough of  this series. 

So much happened in this book I'm glad we don't reveal spoilers on this blog because I honestly wouldn't know where to begin.  I was on the edge of my seat through the entire thing. I caught myself biting my nails at least three times. Twice, I scared my husband by gasping out loud.  I went from crying to laughing and back to crying all within a few chapters. This might be the most emotionally charged installment of this series yet.  I didn't want it to ever end.

I mentioned how much I love this series already; each book is better than the last. It was impossible to put this book down. I keep waiting for the story to get stale (like it has with other series I've read) and it never happens. Kaylee grows more with every installment and you can't help but but admire her strength of character as you follow her story.   The depth and vitality of each and every character is amazing to me and I'm simply in awe of Vincent's brilliance in her craft. She weaves spellbinding stories with intriguing, suspenseful plots that are riddled with wit, humor and romance.  She has writing the 'perfect' novel down to a science. 

Kaylee's strength, loyalty, bravery and just flat out goodness make her an amazing character. I have been saying it since the first book, and I'll say it again, we need more heroines like her. When she gets into trouble, she doesn't look to the men in her life to save her. She does her damnedest to save herself and anyone else who may be in danger. She is awesome. 

While Kaylee is definitely my favorite character, there are others who have grown quite interesting through the progression of the series. First off, there's Tod. I loved getting to see more of his true character. His strength and devotion are sweet, yes, but he is more than that. He is the one person who can make Kaylee truly feel like herself during this transition in her life.  Next, and I really can't believe I'm saying this, but Sabine has really grown on me.  The depth of her love for Nash  shows how truly vulnerable she is. Not that she'd ever admit to being vulnerable, of course. It's there, though.  She's always good for comic relief as well.  

If you read Never To Sleep, you've already met Luca. I am sort of in shock; he makes Sophie more human, in my opinion and brings out the good qualities she does possess. You have to like him for that! He's also funny and dependable and a wonderful addition to an already stellar cast of characters. Sophie hasn't quite grown on me as of yet, but the possibility is definitely there. 
Before I Wake is an expertly crafted blend of action, romance, humor and terror.  Vincent is a master storyteller and I have yet to dislike something she's created.  This is what I consider a perfect book. 
My Rating: 

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