Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6) by Rachel Vincent

Before I Wake

“Forever used to feel like a curse. Now it feels like a promise.”

I died on a Thursday—killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn’t get it.

The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school…

Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent “recovering,” she’s back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend.

But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won’t keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn’t just gambling with her own life….

Personal Thoughts:

As any regular reader of this blog know, Soul Screamers series is one of the few paranormal novels that I continue reading past of first three books. Normally, for paranormal series I can only handle a trilogy, more than that will need a lot of push and convincing already. But in Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series I don’t need any convincing, I can devour every single page of every book of this series anytime.

So we are now on the sixth book, after this, only one book is left before Kaylee’s story will end. After the previous book, If I Die, I honestly don’t know how Rachel Vincent can top her plot anymore. I mean, seriously she kill Kaylee, her main protagonist of this series in that book. But as I said from my review before, If I Die is the game changer part of Soul Screamers series, it remade the whole series by giving the ultimate twist which in return leaves a lot of room for more twist and turns to the next book. Just like Kaylee’s new found life anything can happen in here and Before I Wake surely used that advantage to continue Kaylee’s adventure to the living world and Netherworld.

After Kaylee’s death from If I Die, she is back again with us, and this time as one of the undead. Kaylee is now working as an extractor, reclaiming stolen souls. She is trying to live a normal life in-spite of the fact that she doesn’t actually living anymore. As hard as she tried, connecting to the real world is not easy. Most of the times she is drifting away, that even as simple task as breathing is not normal anymore.

Before I Wake focus on how Kaylee tried to adapt with her new life. It’s a big adjustment for her, pretending to be alive in front of everyone and to care in mundane things even she knows for a fact that those things are not for her anymore. The way Rachel Vincent explores Kaylee’s conflicting emotions in staying to the living world is smoothly done. She made Kaylee vulnerable without stripping her hero complex character. The Kaylee who is struggling to exist for everyone she cares and love is the typical Kaylee we all know. Which just shows that even she thinks she is loosing her humanity after death, she is still the same Kaylee who will do anything for the sake of the people she loves.

And with Kaylee being newly dead, not only her is doing an adjustment but also the people around her, the people who knows what really happened to her after the incident with her Math professor from If I Die. Kaylee’s father is one of those people and he is just as lost as Kaylee. But he is trying his best to help Kaylee, trying to live life as normal as he could. I think no one suffers as much as he did when Kaylee died, not even Tod nor Nash. As a father who is just catching up with his daughter after leaving her to his brother, he is still in the process of making up with Kaylee, but after her death, how can he catch up anymore? Even if Kaylee linger around, pretending to be alive things isn’t the same anymore. He lost his daughter and nothing can change that, not even Kaylee’s ability to be visible and linger around.

Other than Kaylee’s Dad, Tod is the most supportive to Kaylee. I think no one understand Kaylee better than Tod. Being also undead, he’s the one who really knows and understand what Kaylee’s going through. He’s been there before, fighting the boredom and monotonous of afterlife. And he is really a great help to Kaylee as he is always there to support her and reminds her that everything will be alright. When Kaylee thought that she is losing her humanity, Tod is there to remind and show her the reality of the situation. He keeps Kaylee’s hope and make her afterlife more meaningful.

“You’re not lost, Kaylee. You can’t ever be lost, because I’ll always know where you are. And if I’m not there with you, I’m on my way, and nothing standing between us will be standing for very long.”

Nash is still as oblivious as he is. He doesn’t have even have a slightest clue how much Tod love him. Poor boy, if he only knew what his brother did for him. Well, eventually he will knows for sure, there’s only one book left and I think Rachel Vincent will use that revelation to give Nash and Tod their long-waited reconciliation. I still believe that Nash deserve happiness and peace even he acted as a jerk sometimes. That’s why it is nice to see in here that he is at least trying to build-up some sort of friendship with Kaylee. He is just lost and I know he’ll find the way back soon. He will be the same Nash that we met during the start of this series or maybe better.

Avari as a nemesis doesn’t feel so frightening to read anymore. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t feel Avari as a real threat in here. As if Avari is not a worthy enemy for Kaylee. We all know that Kaylee can really kick-ass and a heroine with a heart like her, for sure she she can do anything she put her heart into. She already gave her life to save Emma, Sophie and Nash in If I Die, isn’t that enough proof of what she can really do? So why gave her again her old nemesis who’s only motivation is his greediness? If there’s just more reason why Avari isn’t giving up getting Kaylee’s soul, the plot may be more thrilling to read. Sorry but being a hellion of greed isn’t enough reason for me, I really wish there’s a deep-seated motivations behind his plans. I didn’t get it from this book but I’m hoping that the next and final book will give me enough reasons. That there is a much deeper motivations from Avari than his greediness.

Before I Wake is a solid story that continues the ever exciting and engaging Soul Screamers series. With Rachel Vincent’s top notch writing, witty dialogues and fast-paced plot, Soul Screamers continue to be on its game of being one of the best young adult paranormal series out there.

My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers #3) by Rachel Vincent

“There were a million What Ifs that could have stopped the whole thing. A million things I wished I’d done differently. But in the end, I was left with what actually happened. With my mistakes and his.”

Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.Until something does.Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked.And so is someone else…

Personal Thoughts:

One of the benefits of joining a reading challenge that gives opportunity for rereading is reviewing a book that I haven’t reviewed before for some reason. Now that I got the chance to re-read My Soul to Keep I also got the chance to put my thoughts into writing. A chance I missed when I marathon the first four books and two novellas of this lovely series.

Going back to Soul Screamers world is always a treat because of its unique setting and strong world building. The netherworld continues to get more complex as Rachel Vincent bring us the darker and dangerous side of the demon world. Kaylee and her team are on quest of fixing her friends addiction to a substance that only exist in Netherworld. A substance that  is more dangerous than any kind of drugs available in human world.

My Soul to Keep is a daring book where Rachel Vincent took the risk turning around Nash character. A major character favorably adore by most of the readers of the previous books of the series. When Rachel Vincent decided to go to the unexpected and unusual route to her plot she took a step higher and riskier. She dare her readers to trust her and her plotting skills. Nothing is the same in the series after this book. The stakes are higher, relationships are tested and danger is everywhere.

I never thought I can hate Nash more than I already did. Rereading this book proves that no matter how I justify all his actions I still despise him. Even Kaylee and Tod contribute a little to Nash problem, in the end it is still Nash choice and decision that counts. Maybe it is not his fault that he was exposed to demons breathe but what he do after, is his own actions. He chose to hide his real condition and never seeks helps even he is aware what it can do to him. He lied to everyone and put everyone around him at risk. He chose all those things and no one is to be blame but him. His actions and wrong doings are quite unforgivable and unforgettable but hopefully redeemable.

Kaylee as usual is the heroine who wants to fix everything for others even how impossible and risky it is. Because of this, sometimes I find her too good to be true as a character. I admire her persistence and eagerness to help but her motivations in saving almost everyone around her is more than I can bear. I love her determination but sometimes I wish she just stay put for once and stay away from trouble. Everytime she decided to help someone she is also putting most of her closest friends & love ones in danger. These persons won’t actually just leave her alone while she goes to netherworld. They are obligated to help her and secure her safety.

With riskier and daring plot Rachel Vincent deals with different issues such as addiction and betrayal. My Soul to Keep is a thrilling, emotional and heart wrenching installment on the soul screamers series that put boundary between the previous books and the next books of the series.

My Soul To Save (Soul Screamers #2) by Rachel Vincent

“There’s pressure, but that’s true no matter who you are or what you do.”

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.

Personal Thoughts:

First, let me point out that this is not a review but more on an attempt to discuss my rereading experience for Rachel Vincent’s book as a part of Soul Screamers Reading Challenge hosted by Rachel of Fiktshun.

My Soul To Save is the second installment to an addicting Soul Screamers series of Rachel Vincent. For those who don’t know anything about the said series, this is about a different paranormal species – bean sidhe. In this installment, Kaylee a bean sidhe is up saving another soul. And not just anyone’s soul but a famous pop star and ex-girlfriend of her boyfriend’s brother, Tod.

To be honest, this is my least favorite installment of the soul screamers series. The whole idea of saving Addison is not really enticing for me. Though I understand Tod reasons for wanting to help Addison Page, I am not sold about Kaylee’s eagerness on the matter. Her selflessness sometimes is too much for me to comprehend. I know she can’t just stay put knowing she can help but to the point of risking not just her own life and soul but also the one she mostly care like Nash is too much for me.

After the ending of book one, My Soul To Take, I was hoping that My Soul To Save will deal more with Kaylee’s heritage and power. I’m expecting for more bean sidhe related facts other than a soul saving mission. It just feels that this installment isn’t about Kaylee or Tod or Nash but more on a secondary character, Addison Page. The idea of selling souls for fame, fortune and beauty is a bit cliché too but no big deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t despite this book. Despite of my ramblings there are still part of the story that I enjoy, like the Netherworld and Tod. I like that this installment offers a closer look to the demon world. When Tod, Kaylee and Nash went to the Netherworld it give the story more thrill. The idea of Netherworld as a mirror of the real world is nice. The world layering concept that Rachel Vincent discuss is also believable. Tod is more visible here compare to the first book. He is certainly part of the story unlike before. In here, Tod is more than just the undead reaper who loves to annoy his brother Nash. His concern to Addison and her soul is undoubtedly visible.

As for the ending, I like that it didn’t go the usual expected route. The story is about saving Addison’s soul but the way it was wrap up is much perfect than I expected. Initially I didn’t like Addison, because no matter what her reason is for selling her own soul to a demon I still don’t agree with her. Even she wasn’t fully aware of what she’s getting into. Because the fact that she knows that she is selling her soul is already unjustifiable. Obviously any transaction to a demon won’t do her nor anyone good. But in the end, she was redeemed by her sacrifices. Though I feel sorry for her I still believe that it is the right closing for her and for the story.

Though not as strong as the other book of the series, My Soul To Save is still an enjoyable read. My re-reading experience make me appreciate this book a bit better than my first read.

My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent

“I couldn’t see who swam in the darkness, who wore shadows like a second skin.” 

It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it’s the worst day of her life.

Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.

She tries to convince everyone she’s fine–despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities….

“An eBook exclusive prequel to Rachel Vincent’s SOUL SCREAMERS series.”

Personal Thoughts:

I’ve read this novella last year in a marathon mode together with the first three books of the Soul Screamer series and the other novella, Reaper. At that time I am so engrossed with my reading that I didn’t get the chance to review all the books of Soul Screamer series. So when Rachel of Fiktshun created the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge I sign-up for the opportunity to review all the books and novellas of this lovely series.

When I first read My Soul To Lose it is still in Kindle format but now in my reread I have a copy of omnibus to devoured to. Since I’m carrying the thick copy of the omnibus, I almost forgot that My Soul To Lose is just a short story. So when I reached the division where the first book, My Soul To Take will start I have to forced myself not to continue reading before I end up skipping writing a review again.

Rereading My Soul To Lose and writing a review after the reread is an interesting experience. If I wrote my review when I first read this novella,  maybe all  I can discuss is how intriguing Kaylee is and a lot of question about her situation. Like why she can see shadows that no one else can see? What’s with those shadows? What is it with her screaming or panic attack? Is she really sane or she just claiming to be one?

But since this is a reread, there are few things that changed in the way I view this novella. Those questions above are gone since I already read the other book of the series. Actually, the first book alone, My Soul To Take answered all those questions above. When I encounter Kaylee’s Aunt Val in this reread I instantly didn’t like her, mainly because of the things she did in the other book which is still fresh in my memory. So even she doesn’t really do anything bad in here I still can’t force myself to like her.

Lydia, one of the patient in Lakeside mental institution where Kaylee was admitted is more noticeable now. I didn’t focus much on her before when I first read this book. But in this reread, I  devour reading her part trying to find for some hints that possibly show about her next role to play in the other book of the series.

Other than that I think everything falls just the same. Kaylee’s Uncle Brandon is still as caring as always. He loves Kaylee and treat her like his own daughter. Kaylee is still as intriguing as she is though the intensity is lessen since I already know her capability and secrets. If anything else, this novella makes me rediscover her witty side again. In the other books of the soul screamers, Kaylee is too busy discovering her ability and fixing other people’s problem that I rarely see her lighter side.

Soul Screamers Reading Challenge

I already announced before that I will join Rachel’s Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. The challenge is already ongoing and I’m supposed to post my first review today but I am shocked to find out my participation post for the challenge is sitting in my drafts folder. I thought I schedule posting this one. It seems WordPress didn’t publish it again automatically. So yeah, I am now editing my write-up for this participation post. I don’t want to miss this opportunity to join the reading challenge hosted by my blogger friend Rachel this year, as well as the opportunity to re-read and review all the books and novellas of Rachel Vincent’s beautiful series, Soul Screamers.

Now for the challenge, the goal is to read or re-read and review (or post about) all five full-length books in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent between January 15 and June 14, 2012. There is also extra credits for reading the three novellas of the series. Below is the exact schedule of the event.

My Soul to Take
January 15-February 14, 2012

My Soul to Save
February 15-March 14, 2012

My Soul to Keep
March 15-April 14-2012

My Soul to Steal
April 15-May14, 2012

If I Die
May 15-June 14, 2012

For more information about the challenge and sign-up simply click the button above to be directed to Rachel’s post over at Fiktshun. I hope you join us taking the challenge!

Giveaway: Soul Screamers Reading Challenge

In support to  Soul Screamers Reading Challenge hosted by Rachel of Fiktshun I am giving away one printed book or Kindle eBook from the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. Winner can choose any book from the series. The giveaway is open only to participants of Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. For those interested in joining the challenge just click the photo above for details. This giveaway will run till Sunday which is the start of the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. Check the giveaway details below and fill out the form to enter.

What’s up for Grabs?

One book or Kindle eBook from Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent

The Rules:

  • Open to participants of Soul Screamers Reading Challenge
  • Make sure book depository or amazon ships to your location or you can accept Kindle eBooks from amazon
  • Ends Sunday, January  15, 2012 (Philippines Time)
  • Winner will be chosen using
  • Winner will be announce here on the blog & will be contacted thru email
  • Winner should response within 48 hours or I’ll be forced to draw another winner

To enter fill out the form below:

The contest is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who has entered. I will be running all the names through shortly. Stay tuned for the winner announcement.


Random has spoken and the winners is….

Congratulations to Alba of BookPics. I will be contacting you momentarily to get your details so I can send you your prize. You will have 48 hours to respond or I will be forced to choose another winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!