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Burden of the Soul

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Clara never asked to be special. She was perfectly happy e-stalking her crush's blog, avoiding the attention of the Bronze Brigade clique at school, awaiting the next visit from her avant-garde Aunt Grace, and dreaming of a strange young man ... who feels too real to be only a dream. But then her world literally separates at the seams, as a blinding light rips her mother away right before her eyes. In one, inexplicable moment, Clara loses the life and family she had known and is thrown into a transcendental battle being fought between Fallen Souls and Guardians. The Guardians have protected her from the shadows while waiting for her to awaken and remember a promise she made in another world. When Clara learns what is expected of her, and the price she must pay to restore order, she can only hope that the still dormant ancient soul that lives inside of her is truly fighting on the side of Good. Burden of the Soul grapples not only with the battle between Good and Evil, and Action and Complacency, but pits its unlikely heroine squarely against herself. Half of Clara is an ancient soul who made a promise to fight a war, the other half is an adolescent girl who never asked to be special.

328 pages, Paperback

First published July 26, 2011

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About the author

Kate Grace

1 book27 followers
A born and bred Michagander, Kate Grace traveled through Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City in order to find her way back home to Detroit. We’ll call it a VERY scenic route. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor for various regional publications and Web-based zines for years. She received her BA from Columbia College in Chicago and her MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

She is author of the dark, Paranormal Young Adult/New Adult novel Burden of the Soul, the first in a series.

Kate also works as a Copywriter at Goodby Silverstein & Partners in Detroit, Creative Agency of Record for Chevrolet. She’s contributed to creative works for vehicles such as Corvette, Sonic, Cruze, Volt and Chevy.com (site and mobile, thank you very much), and was half of the creative mind behind the new Chevy.com Culture online space. (Art Director extraordinaire, Rachel Madrigal, was the other half… and designer of the Burden of the Soul book cover… she’s a big deal, check her out!)

Apart from writing, she has stretched her creative legs by performing improv with groups based out of The Peoples Improv Theater in New York City and Go! Comedy Improv Theater in Ferndale, Michigan.

She currently resides on the outskirts of Detroit with her partner in crime Maddie, the most fabulous and sneaky Lab/Hound mix you will ever find. Seriously… she’s got ninja moves. She likes red wine and whiskey. She’s always looking for the next good read and more sleep. Kate, that is… not Maddie. Particularly about the red wine and whiskey. Maddie loves sleeping.

You can follow Kate on Twitter (@kategraceauthor) or connect with her and other Burden of the Soul readers on Facebook. She also Skypes (kategraceauthor) and responds to all the emails she receives.

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5 stars
61 (22%)
4 stars
79 (29%)
3 stars
76 (28%)
2 stars
31 (11%)
1 star
21 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews
Profile Image for Annabeth.
71 reviews3 followers
March 11, 2012
FUN story, PATHETIC ending!!! In fact, the book doesn't end. **(I guess I'm supposed to put a spoiler alert in here, if you think this constitutes a spoiler) ** There is no closure to the story. Which is a terrible shame, because the plot is very intriguing and very well written. But having 2 characters suddenly emerge from "limbo" where they were sent, does NOT constitute that the story is done.

I GET the fact that people like cliff-hangers. And it's fine to have a cliff-hanger book, but this seriously has problems.

Her relationship between the 2 main men is not resolved.
Where her parents are is not resolved.
What the white light is is not resolved.
What she's going to do, or why she choose to 'come back' is not resolved.
The main plot is not resolved.
Two characters suddenly return, and the author calls that the end. Pathetic!

There is just NO closure to this book! REALLY frustrating, after getting so attached to the story.
Profile Image for Rubina.
137 reviews88 followers
February 17, 2012
What I appreciated most about this novel was its originality. It shared some of the elements of other young adult books (teenage female lead, love triangle, war between good and evil, fantasy elements, etc.) But what stood out about it was that it didn't follow a predictable story arc. I wasn't sure how it would end, and that kept me intrigued until the last page.

I also appreciated that it delved into the religious and spiritual realm. It was a risk on the part of the author, one I believe paid off. It gave the novel a depth that most novels in this genre don't have.

As other reviewers mentioned, the ending did leave a few loose ends. But I didn't think that was a bad thing. It just left me hoping for a sequel.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
44 reviews
February 17, 2012
So I recieved a free copy of this book through firstreads. I'll be honest, when I started the book, I wasn't real hopeful. The writing at the beginning of the book wasn't the best and I was prepared to be disappointed. It started out making me think it was going to be a cheesy young adult book that wuoldn't be worth a second glance. That being said... I was wrong.

The writing isn't spectacular, but the characters make up for it. As the story unfolds I was pulled into the mystery of it and into the world of Clara. Clara's charachter is a good one. she is full of faults, uncertainties, and mystery. She is an average teenager with an extraordinary destiny.

Now while I came to like the story, and can't wait to see where the next installment will take it, alot of the story was rushed. The backstory of the Guardians, the whole Twin Flames and soul mates thing, as well as the "Other Side" was smushed together, rushed and very confusing. Maybe this was on purpose since the main charachter was completely confused as well.

The end of the book was told from Grace's point of view. That actually cleared up some of my questions about the Guardians, though, truth be told, I am still a little lost.

I loved the way the author described Clara's reaction to Devin and to Dave. I was a little frustrated at the easy acceptance of Clara and Dave that they were thrown together and their lives were manipulated for the greater good. But that's more of a personal opinion to what was happening than a critique against the author. I did like how she described the great level of comfort the two felt together and how she didn't make that connection overtly sexual.

I can't wait to see how Clara grows into who and what she is meant to be. I truly hope to see a sequel to this book in the near future.

If I were to compair this book to another young adult novel I have read, it would be Hunger Games. The idea of a teenager dealing with two loves, dealing with being the "savior" and with not knowing who to trust, all of these are parallels between the two books. If Kate Grace can keep the realness alive in her characters while spinning a fantastical story, she will have an amazing series on her hands.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1 review3 followers
July 30, 2011
This book has the ability to make your mind race, your heart pound, your eyes water and your heart break. Absolutely fantastic.

Cannot wait for the next instalment. Rowling, Meyer and now Grace. YA is truly alive and well.

A MUST read.
Profile Image for Caitlin.
19 reviews
February 12, 2012
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway and I am happy to say I enjoyed it, though I wasn't so sure at first. The writing in the first few chapters is a bit uneven, with snappy dialogue and well flowing pros one sentence to... not so great the next sentence. And there were a number of annoying typos.

However, once I got past the first few chapters, the writing evened out and, with the exception of the occasional challenging sentence, the writing is fairly engaging. The plot is decent and the concept is original and absorbing.

Now, on to the characters. For the most part, I really liked the characters in Burden of the Soul. The love interests are good, the main character's Aunt is really fun, and the main character (Clara), despite her idea that she is mediocre, is smart, funny, fairly tough, and anything but mediocre. Most of the time. But then she goes and does something stupid or says something stupid or fails to understand something that is right in front of her nose. Don't get me wrong, this only happens a few times and not in crucial areas. Over all, I think her character is well developed and, apart from her occasional oblivious moments, I really do like her.

So, I'm glad I read this book and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
191 reviews
December 30, 2011
I read this book on a recomendation from a friend of mine - and was intrigued because it was an author from my local area. I was not disappointed. What a unique idea for a book! I thought it was very well written - despite the fact that I did get a little irritated with the main character's constant belittling of herself. I know why the author did it, but after a while - I wanted to shake her and go... Stop ragging on yourself, girl! But once you hit the middle of the book, she seems to start to find her strength along with a very believeable and witty group of other characters. I read "Burden" within a day - couldn't put it down!
Profile Image for Alyssa Greatbanks.
336 reviews4 followers
November 30, 2013
I was thinking something totally different for the story-line. Which turned out to be a good thing, it went in a different direction than I was thinking it was going to, and I had a hard time putting it down. I really liked this book, and I hope it's the first of many great novels from this author.

I'm really hoping there is going to be a sequel (or more). I'd hate to see this be the only story with these characters (as I really enjoyed them), and a lot was left unanswered.

I recieved this book through the GoodReads First Reads Giveaway. This has not affected my review in any way.
Profile Image for Selina.
13 reviews13 followers
March 6, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I was so hooked on it.
There are many typos and it gets a bit frustrating.
but its such a great book.

The ending is a different story.
I hope it was just the start for a second book.
because the ending left off at an unusual place.
There are many unanswered questions.
So that's why I hope shes coming out with a part two.

Also I cannot find anything on the author.
I have looked and can only find the book on Amazon.
Profile Image for Kate Grace.
Author 1 book27 followers
July 30, 2011
I wrote it, so I'm not exactly unbiased. But I am anxious to hear what all of you think about it. So get to adding it and reading it!
Profile Image for Shannon.
3 reviews8 followers
October 18, 2011
All I have to say is ... when do I get to read the next one?
Profile Image for Ana.
94 reviews51 followers
July 3, 2012
Burden of the Soul is a fun and unique debut to a series about an ordinary girl with an extraordinary destiny.

Is it wrong of me to say that I enjoyed Burden of the Soul not for the sarcastic nature of its characters or for its amazing setting, but for the escape this novel became? Kate Grace’s characters may not be deepest, and her romancing may be a little far-fetched, but I find this book to be utterly delightful because of its escapist concept and fun and unique ideas.

The whole soul mate thing has been done before, but Twin Flames? I’ve never heard of that. Grace’s idea of the Other Side, along with that of its members, is also a fresh addition to an overly-wrought notion.

However, I feel as though the first hundred pages of this book were not only unneeded plot-wise, but derogatory to the complete novel because they involved so many typos and grammatical errors. Kate could easily have condensed every event in this section of Burden of the Soul to one fifth of its length and created a much lighter and easier read.

This being said, after its first hundred pages, Burden of the Soul picked up the pace and grew into an intense page-turner. A few key elements were finally explained, which led me to really appreciate Burden of the Soul‘s original concept. The writing became clearer and the annoying typos thinned out.

It’s important to note that most self-published books will contain typos, and they will include grammatical errors, and it’s wrong to expect them not to because these books have no editors. That’s fine with me.

As for the characters, I had quite a hard time relating to Clara. Miss Grace really tried to portray her as an average teenager girl, and I get that. However, most teenage girls don’t strive to be mediocre. They don’t make every attempt to stay out of their high school’s social scene. And they most certainly do not separate their split ends for fun. Grossness. Again, after the first third of Burden of the Soul, Clara pulled her act together and became the stronger heroine who most of this book’s reviewers praise. She did make a few stupid mistakes, but… don’t we all?

The truth is that I couldn’t care less which angle of Burden of the Soul‘s love triangle Clara ends up choosing. Both guys seem great and supportive and loving. However, we never really discover any defining qualities attributed to the two potential boyfriends—other than someone’s love for music and a certain United Kingdom accent—but we never discover any negative qualities either. So. I guess this point is moot. I wish that these characters had been more fully developed and rounded, but, again, I really appreciate Burden of the Soul’s romance without that.

My favourite character is actually Clara’s aunt Grace. She’s spunky, hilarious, and humiliates Clara in the most enjoyable of ways. I’m glad that we were able to discover some of her history towards the end of the novel, and can’t wait to see more of her in the next installment.

I’m conflicted when it comes to Burden of the Soul’s ending. I really didn’t see it coming, nor do I understand why it did. It provided a lot of information crucial to this book’s world building, and the change in narration was awesome. Nonetheless, the events seemed really random, coming to place without an apparent cause and being cut off before having the chance to display any consequences. Many loose ends were left untied, which is a good thing if you like cliff-hangers—but not so great if you don’t. I don’t.

In any case, I really have to hand it to Miss Grace for publishing paperback copies of her book. I’ve found that in the self-publishing industry, this rare, but I really, really appreciate it. As you may have guessed, I’m not the biggest fan of eReaders.

Overall, Burden of the Soul merits 3.6/5 stars. For fans of originality, hilarious aunts, and typos.

I'll keep you posted,

More reviews on my site, http://www.whatyareading.com
Profile Image for Melinda.
602 reviews10 followers
April 10, 2012
This book was amazing! I love books with strong women who have the inner strength, intellect and emotional intelligence to be truly great. This book has them in spades. They are matched by strong men who also possess these characteristics. What. The a cast of characters Ms. Grace has assembled. The characterization in the story is truly amazing - as end secondary and tertiary characters get first class treatment and feel like people you know. There are many characters to love in this story - inclung Clara our heroine, her Aunt, her Mom, Dave, Devin, Rose and at the end Bick.
The story itself is a real page turner. It begs you to read one page, one more chapter, resolve one one more situation, until I found myself at 2:00AM at the final page wanting only more. I will definitely devour the sequel and all other sequels coming after. This story is just too good to miss. Even though it deals with subject matter (souls and ascending) it is neither preachy nor does it possess those religious overtones commonly found in other works that detract from the story. This was well handled. In fact everything in the story was well handled ; the plot, the pacing the characters, the graceful ending, it all adds up to one helluvafirst novel. Bravo Ms. Grace!
I would highly recommend this book to all women who can read. Actually I recommend to everyone who can read above the age of 14 or so. Is is just too good to miss.
Profile Image for CJ Jones.
354 reviews19 followers
May 2, 2015
I feel a little bad about this, because the afterword was very earnest, but I trust the author would rather have honest evaluation. The prose was florid, the grammatical structure, seemed juvenile. Even if you're writing YA fiction, which this could easily be classed as, don't write down to your audience. They'll know. The copyeditor should be taken out behind the barn and given a whuppin'--the usual homophones, and the word 'speck' constantly coming out as 'spec' for some reason, things like that. Be prepared for some very active body parts. Eyes scream, people's minds and bodies seem to detach and go off to do things on their own without their people.

But I kept reading, because there was a nice little story in here, it looked like, trying to get out. Unfortunately, I realized too late that the reason the pacing felt sluggish was because this was... probably the first third of a story. It felt like it was measured out and an axe dropped at this point in that story--there was a resolution of sorts, wedged in with a sudden change in PoV, and I felt a little cheated.
Profile Image for Kelsey Ketch.
Author 12 books351 followers
July 14, 2012
Burned of the Soul introduces an interesting romantic twist. However, the story was not as captivating as I had originally thought it might be. The plot moved very slowly, focusing mostly on the Clara’s losses and romantic struggles rather than on trying to solve the mystery that was challenging her. I also couldn’t relate to any of the characters or even find one that I could truly fall in love with.

There were a few things I did enjoy about the book. The concepts of the soul and afterlife were definitely intriguing. And the antagonist was perfectly nasty, sending shivers down my spine as I read. But, his part in the plot didn’t last long enough.

In short, I loved the concepts, but the novel simply did not live up to my expectations.

For more book reviews, you can also visit my website over at Ketch’s Book Nook. Thank you.
Profile Image for Kate.
484 reviews5 followers
September 4, 2012
First, this book is a quick and compelling read. It is fast paced with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing along the way. Anyone who likes young adult or romance or paranormal will enjoy this.

However, the writing was heavy handed at times. The whole soulmate metaphor got to be a bit much for me, and the book does have some grammar errors. In addition, the ending is a disaster. I know there is going to be a sequel but there is no resolution of any kind whatsoever and this was very unsatisfying.

Additionally, while I liked the characters and thought they had more depth than many in this genre do, I wish Clara had been stronger.

Overall a good effort. I will probably try to pick up the sequel :)
Profile Image for Becky.
392 reviews158 followers
February 19, 2012
So....I forced myself to continue reading after the first 3 chapters. The writing was not engaging, I felt confused half of the time and just waiting for it to get better. I liked the idea of the story and so I decided to wait it out...even after typos such as "waste" substituted for "waist", ugh. After chapter four, the writing gets better and the story actually comes to life, but I still felt like it never met its full potential. Clara, the main character, is a bit annoying, or maybe that's just the way the plot kind of makes her be, I'm not sure. Her two romantic interests, Dave and Devin, are wonderful in every way (Twilight deja vu anyone?). I feel like this book could be very strong if the beginning were edited more and the plot had a bit more organization.
Profile Image for Amanda.
46 reviews
December 30, 2012
Since I went to high school with the author, I picked up the book out of a feeling of obligation, but ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I read the digital copy (before the paperback release and hopefully some editing).

I teach high school English and as such read quite a bit of YA fiction. I feel like Kate's characters are good for a YA book (nothing too complex happening, which is right for the genre).

The story was overall interesting and kept me reading. I knew starting out that this is the start of a series, so I think I was less frustrated than others by the lack of a conclusive ending. As it is, I look forward to reentering the world to see where Kate takes us in the next adventure.
26 reviews1 follower
October 30, 2013
Burden of the soul is about a girl named Clara who has an unattainable crush, and also dreams about another strange boy at night. Pretty normal life until all of the sudden her world is turned upside down when her mother is torn from her by a strange light. Now she is thrown into a battle that before she didn't even know existed, but that she is a very big part of. There's some swearing, but nothing really explicit.
I thought this book has some good ideas, however it took too long for me to really connect with the characters. I think part of the reason for this was all of the questions that I had that went unanswered for a large amount of time. Closer to the end I finally was able to really connect with the characters, and then I got really into the story.
347 reviews2 followers
March 28, 2012
Full disclosure; free review copy recieved via goodreads.

Burden of the Soul was a stellar book that left me with more questions than answers....in a good way. The characters are developed in a way that makes you feel like you've met them somewhere before. The story line grabs you in right from the get go and makes you want to read more and more.

What I appreciated most about this novel was its originality. It shared some of the elements of other young adult books (teenage female lead, love triangle, war between good and evil, fantasy elements, etc.) But what stood out about it was that it didn't follow a predictable story arc.
Profile Image for Barbara.
734 reviews
June 21, 2013
I got very involved in this story, even to the point of not being able to sleep until I read more. The descriptions made you see and feel everything the characters did. When I finished, all I could say was "Really?" "That's the end." In my opinion, even if the author plans a sequal, she could have finished more of this story. I can imagine lots of situations that Clara could find herself in. Oh well. I really don't think I'll be reading more of this author. I don't want to invest so much time in reading a book only to be left wondering what the solution was.
Profile Image for Brandi.
Author 3 books5 followers
June 2, 2014
This was a great book and I loved the characters that were introduced. It did leave you with a cliff hanger at the end so not I need to find out if there is a second one! Cara and her family have always been close and she is not the most popular girl in school by any means but the people close to her are important. When her mother, father and aunt go missing guardians step up to protect her. These are not regular guardians though and as a world that is unknown to her is not introduced to her it seems she is the one that is supposed to lead it.
Profile Image for Allison.
64 reviews
August 5, 2015
Incredibly proud of my lifelong friend, Kate, who has so carefully laid the path for an exciting supernatural YA series.

Always exciting to be among the first wave of new readers.

I'm refraining from offering a real review because 1. I'm not the intended audience, 2. I don't traditionally read supernatural books, and 3. I'm biased towards the author. :)

That being said, pick it up!
Profile Image for Sophi Frost.
61 reviews26 followers
October 17, 2011
Clara is a teen who is happy to be mediocre. Personally, I don’t know too many teens that would accept that they are nothing special in any way. That is where this book’s journey starts. It presents a concept related to the soul, but it falls short of providing enough detail to truly grasp it. I really hoped this story would sweep me away, but it didn’t meet it’s potential.
Profile Image for Melyssa Dawn Michaels.
97 reviews10 followers
September 13, 2013
This book was traditional in terms of the good versus evil aspect but where it may seem like an idea that has been overdone it was far from it. This was one of the best takes on good versus evil that I've read in awhile and they had a lot of solid characters within the story that you couldn't help but become attached to. Open ended for a continuance which I can't wait to read. Great book
Profile Image for Talia.
30 reviews
March 9, 2015
This books idea was something that definitely intrigued me. The whole idea of a split soul and all. The characters were a little flat, but overall it was good read, very interesting concept. I will definitely read the next one!
Profile Image for Mandy.
29 reviews28 followers
May 22, 2012
I hope this is part of a series because the ending made no sense.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews

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