Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Review: If I Die by Rachel Vincent

A huge thank you to Mira Ink for sending me a copy to review.

Be warned there are spoilers below, so I recommend reading the book first.

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies. 
But the next scream might be for Kaylee. 
Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either. 
But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life. 

This book is without a doubt the best book in the Soul Screamers series. This has always been a series that I’ve loved reading, but has never been an ‘I must get the latest book now’ kind of one. Yeah, that just changed after reading this – the next book simply cannot come fast enough.

The biggest thing that struck me was how much Kaylee had matured over the course of the last few books, and really hit home in this book. She started out as a typical teenager, and she has really grown and matured into such an incredibly strong character. I was amazed at how she handled the news of her impending demise, everyone else seemed convinced she should be freaking out, and I loved her monologues about yes it was terrifying and crap, and she really didn’t want it to happen, but it was, so that was that. I wanted to stand up and applaud after each of these.

Whilst every book leaves our intrepid band of supernatural teenagers in terrible danger, this one felt even more terrifying, because after all, how do you cheat death when there are no loopholes?

It was really fascinating to see how each of the other characters dealt with the news of Kaylee’s time limit, and it brought out the best in some, and the worst in others. Particularly in Nash and Tod.

I love, as ever, Rachel’s writing. Her books have always been a pleasure to read, excellently written, with relatable characters and humour by the bucket load. But this has to be one of her best works so far. She tackles subjects like teenage sex and hormonal outbursts with humour, and gravity and it’s exceptionally handled. With some fabulously steamy scenes that had my pulse racing, without taking it too far.

I adore this love triangle that kind of defies the idea of love triangles. Tod has always been at the back of the crowd for Kaylee, he’s been there for her when she’s needed him, he’s stood up for her and protected her, and it has become more and more obvious over the last few books that he cares for her deeply, but he hasn’t done anything about it. He hasn’t told her, or put her under pressure, or made her choose, or been downright obnoxious and irritating as you so often can find with love triangles. He has simply been there for her, and I’ve loved that. I also loved the moments when Kaylee started to realise about his feelings. And I most definitely loved the payoff. If ever a boy was deserving of a happy ending – of getting the girl he loves, of getting his dying wish, it’s Tod. I have loved him from the first book, so to see him take centre stage as the guy on the white charger there to protect Kaylee, after Nash’s irritating whinging, was fantastic. I literally cannot wait for June and the next book to see how this plays out.

So June cannot come fast enough and I cannot recommend this book enough. If you’ve enjoyed this series in the past, you will love this latest instalment, and if you haven’t read any of the Soul Screamer’s series, why on earth not – get to it, they’re fab!

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