Synopsis (From the Waterstone's Website)
Being a teenager just got much more complicated. There is something very wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh: she senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally. Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.
What I Have To Say
The thing I think I love most about this book is how realistic the characters are. I like how damaged Kaylee is. Here's a main character who's been struggling with a condition which she doesn't know anything about and as a result is being treated for mental health issues. She doesn't just live out a normal existence until one day she finds out that she has special powers. No, Kaylee has known that there's something different about her for her entire life and has suffered the consequences of this, with noticeable side affects.
And what's more, she doesn't hide that much of her problems from those around her. Although, there aren't many people to hide if from and she does have to conceal some stuff once she finds out what is actually different about her. But mostly this is something that can't be hidden from those close to her (the screaming is a bit too much of a loud reaction to be able to hide). And because of this Kaylee has suffered. She's been institutionalised and strapped down with padded straps and she has the scars to prove it!
It's just too common these days for characters to go through hell and then just walk away unscathed. Not that it's that much of a bad thing in a book. I think most people can enjoy books that don't have realistic features of trauma. But it's really good to get a book where there are characters who do have that kind of depth and reaction.
Another thing I like is that all of this has happened in the past. I think a lot of authors feel that if something dramatic happens it has to be included in the book. It's good to have a story where they refer to it when we haven't seen it happen. And in such little ways too. Ways like just having the character shaken and afraid from someone holding her wrist.
So I think this is the thing that I'm taking away from this book. The characters. It's really good depth. Rachel Vincent is an amazing writer and she writes Kaylee well.
Next month I'll mention whether or not My Soul to Save keeps up this realism. Don't let me forget!