Kereesa's Reviews > My Soul to Take

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
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's review
Oct 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: giveaways, own, 2012, demons-magic, friendship, paranormal, necromancy-ghosts-and-the-dead, paranormal-romance, witches-wizards-powers, young-adult, own-softcovers
Recommended to Kereesa by: The Internet in general
Recommended for: YA Paranormal Romance Fans
Read from May 30 to June 02, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

***A big thank you to Mira for this copy!!***

My Soul to Take was like a mix of a lot of good YA paranormal romances and the more formulaic kind that sometimes grates on my nerves. A good portion of the novel really does feel like your typical YA paranormal romance, and features quite a few tropes that define said genre. Most prominently (and perhaps most aggravating) were the use of suspense, the 'hot' guy, and Kaylee's whiny, self-doubting and insecure heroine traits. In spite of this, however, the story is interesting and grabbed hold of me instantly. I was never bored while reading, and while I did roll my eyes a few times at Kaylee, My Soul to Take was definitely one of the better YA novels I've read.

The story follows Kaylee, a sixteen year old gal living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin after her father basically abandoned her after her mother's death, who suffers from what she describes as 'panic attacks' and what her doctor and relatives tell her are delusions. Kaylee's uncontrollable screaming is much more than that, however, and when a girl at a local night club mysteriously dies, it's up to her, her BFF Emma, and her potential boyfriend Nash to figure out what's really going on before Kaylee's next! DUN DUN DUN okay, not really.

As I've said before, My Soul to Take follows a pretty basic paranormal premise. Crazy things are happening, in the world and in Kaylee, mysterious jerk bad boy love interest offers clues and answers, yada yada bigger things for that bigger plot. But, surprisingly perhaps, there is a nugget of originally within the formula. Namely the species and otherworld Vincent brings into play (no spoilers sorry!) and utilizes within both the tiny novel-length plot and perhaps even for the larger happenings within the series. That, for me, was one of my favorite parts of the novel, because the otherworld Vincent wrote about was both complex and (seemingly at this point anyway) well thought out as a foundation for the rest of the series, and because it was so different from the usual crap YA stuff I tend to indulge in.

Side Note: I really liked the idea of (and I'm borrowing this expression from FMA) equivalent exchange that's a huge portion of how this world works. I loved this concept in FMA (obviously), and whenever this kind of eye-for-an-eye magic goes into play I'm always secretly thrilled. Most of the time it's because I'm curious to see how the author plays with it, to be honest, but sometimes I just like the idea of a malicious magic/world system. I'm wacky like that.

One of the more formulaic things within My Soul to Take, however, did turn me off to some parts. To be specific (and this is where fangirls of this series will probably hate me) I really, really don't like Nash.

Not even a bit.

And it's actually not about the insta-love syndrome you could accuse this book of having. (Which I was pretty okay with, since there was NO mention of the word LOVE! and the fact that their relationship is mostly physical/lust-filled anyway. So yeah, totally fine with that.) I don't like Nash, because deep down we all know he's a(n) asshole who's going to break-break-break Kaylee's heart bad boy. And bad boys? I don't like them. They always have ulterior motives, they always are angry/emotion/jealous, they always are gorgeous and don't mind having girls fawn all over them, and they always bring out the worst in their love interests. Kaylee, for instance, is kind of paranoid about Nash's intentions and second-guesses if he really likes her, etc...

Maybe I just don't like the heroines that are paired up with these guys? Or maybe just how they act around them? I mean Kaylee's not exactly Miss Confident, but I really can't stand her self-doubt about her relationship with Nash that does take up a huge portion of the story. I mean yeah guys do that to you and I can't say that I haven't been self-conscious of my own worth in relation to a guy, but seeing this kind of relationship throughout YA has made me more than a bit annoyed. Yes you can be self-conscious, but grow a little backbone at least.

As this is the first in a series of like 7 planned books (I think it's seven...maybe it's 6? Whatever like a lot), however, I won't blame the novel that much. There is, after all, plenty of time for Kaylee to grow, mature, and become confident enough to kick Nash's ass to the curb and hook up with Todd

In other fangirl news I am totes on Team Todd. (Is there a Team Todd? I hope so) I usually don't condone this whole team thing, but this novel reminds me what it was like to be 16 for a little while, and 16-year-old me? Definitely would've been on teams.

I don't have much to say about the other characters (except for Todd-God I love Todd). Most of them were stereotypical, at first glance anyway, but there was definitely some growth and expansion for a few of them (view spoiler) that I hope continues to happen throughout the series.

Vincent's writing, as stated, is engaging and keeps you entertained even when Kaylee's described Nash's abs/biceps/some-other-sexy-muscular-part-of-his-body for the fifteenth time parts of the novel made me feel a bit too ehhh. The story is fast paced, interesting, and will hook you in quickly.

All in all, I really did enjoy My Soul to Take. While at first I rolled my eyes and started predicting outcomes like a maniac, Vincent snared me with more than a few surprises and got me really intrigued about the world and large plot that's only hinted at in this first in a series. 3.5-4/5

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