Review: My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
Published February 1st 2011 by Mira Ink
It seems Rachel Vincent is just a hit or miss author for me. The first in her urban-fantasy series, Stray, I didn’t like very much. But the first book in her YA series, My Soul to Take, was an enjoyable and engaging read. I was looking forward to reading the second book in the Soul Screamers series, My Soul to Save, but it seems that excitement was good for nothing.
Kaylee’s banshee powers are needed when Tod’s ex-girlfriend has sells her soul, and they need to get it back from the hellion that holds it now. Together with her boyfriend Nash and his brother Tod, she has to venture into the Netherworld and get it back.
The first problem is quite evident while reading the summary. Why in the nine rings of hell does Kaylee have to risk her life to help some random chick that sold her own soul. I don’t care that she did it to provide for her little sister, but you know you could also get a job, or something else less drastic. The entire plot hinges on an unbelievable premise, and I didn’t buy for a second that she’d risk her life just because she felt guilty over not saving those girls in My Soul to Take. Girls getting killed by a rogue reaper is something completely different than girls selling their soul for fame and fortune.
Getting back to the selling of souls part, I feel the message of “celebrities have to give up their souls” very heavy-handed and repeated too much. Yes, we get it. The big media corporate CEO guy basically has a deal with the devil (and and Decker Media doesn’t resemble Disney at all, oh nooo). Mrs Vincent also never explains just how the demons can provide fame and fortune. If they can have that much influence on the real world, why don’t they create massive chaos and rampage?
I was impressed by how My Soul to Take stayed away from a few common YA clichés. For example, the wiser and more experienced parents were involved with the plot. Kaylee had a best friend that was actually present throughout the plot. In My Soul to Save, these positive points are completely thrown out of the window. Parents aren’t even told what’s going on, for no reason whatsoever. Why wouldn’t the parents want to help a poor girl that was facing eternal torture in the hands of a demon? Why wouldn’t Harmony want to help the ex-girlfriend of her son? It makes absolutely no sense. Emma, the best friend, becomes nothing more than a convenient prop in My Soul to Save. She’s only there to provide a ride towards an important plot point, and that’s it. Kaylee has no other friends. She spends all of her time with Nash, and spends no time mentioned with her BFF, or any other person of her age. This is so unrealistic, not even to mention unhealthy.
The characters take a turn for the worst in this book. Nash becomes even more picture perfect. He’s extremely popular, plays footbal, is hot, has tons of friends, and it’s just because he doesn’t care but otherwise he’d be valedictorian. Really? He has absolutely no flaw (except that he keeps screaming at his brother – but apparently I’m the only one that finds that rude). I hope he’s secretly a demon too, because I can’t stand him as he is. Also, if he’s a footbal player, how come he never has practice? To play competitions you have to at least train three times a week, yet there is never a mention of him actually attending a practice. He spends all his time with Kaylee. I smell bad writing. Kaylee, on the other hand, is the standard YA heroine. She has a omg-I-must-save-everyone-including-people-I-don’t-even-know complex, feels seriously bad for herself, and thinks there is no way in heaven her boyfriend could be into her for herself. Blah blah, we’ve seen this before. There is nothing that makes her interesting. She doesn’t even have a hobby, for god’s sake. What does she do when Nash isn’t around? Nobody knows.
Kaylee and Nash’s romance in My Soul to Save is easily abridged into one short paragraph. They cling to each other. Constantly. Spending ALL their time together. Smooching. Nash wants to have sex. Kaylee doesn’t. More smooching. But does want to. Doesn’t want to. They don’t talk about it. Ever.
Communication, people. Is that so hard?
I will probably read the third book in the Soul Screamers series, My Soul to Keep, mostly because I already bought it. Plus, I’ve been told that things happen, so I’m interested to see what it is.
One more thing before I end this terribly long review. These people shouldn’t be allowed to drive. There are three scenes in which they swerve over roads, people gripping steering wheels because drivers can’t keep control over them, people calling while trying to steer and failing and apparently they all want to get into a car crash. Worst thing is, they constantly joke about it, like “oh, I’d like to get out of this car alive! ha-ha! *swerve swerve, nearly avoiding uncoming trucks*. GEE, HOW FUNNY.
When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.
The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld–a consequence they can’t possibly understand.
Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk…