Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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 chnaged. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life . . .
A big thanks to HarlequinTeen Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
I think I'm with everyone else when I say the Soul Screamers series is one of my all-time favourite YA book series and every single book Rachel Vincent brings out just keeps getting better, better, and better!
BEFORE I WAKE, the sixth installment of the Soul Screamers series, picks up shortly after the previous book If I Die had ended, where our main leading lady, Kaylee Cavanaugh, had died and was practically brought back to become the new extractor of the afterlife. But as she must slowly come to grips with her own death, deal with a new job and a new reaper boyfriend, and with her having very little patience to deal with just about everybody else's problems on top of it all - including her ex-boyfriend Nash, things for Kaylee are about to get even more complicated when souls are being stolen and it's up to Kaylee and her friends to figure out who is behind it all, which will soon force Kaylee to make the hardest decision she's ever made before!
This new installment was yet another brilliant book coming my way and it packs quite an emotional punch if I do say so myself. I mean, the writings of these heartbreaking situations that Kaylee continuously faces with is just another one of Rachel Vincent's most wonderful trademarks and one that I personally love her for. And don't get me wrong here readers, I love to be shell-shocked by events, but man oh man . . . I can't predict what's going to happen next in this particular series alone . . . like AT ALL because it's shock-after-shock and twist-after-twist and honestly I'm really, really scared right now to read the final installment of this series next year, because I can tell that Vincent is going to make me cry harder in the future . . . I just know it! While BEFORE I WAKE may not have been my favourite of the series so far, but there's so much going on in this book and it's absolutely crazy - but I love series so much that I can handle crazy any time!
For our main heroine, Kaylee has been one of my favourite characters in YA for what feels like a very, very long time. She's strong, brave, selfless, snarky, caring, hella complexed, but most of all she's someone who accepts her mistakes and tries to move past them in the best way possible! Even if it breaks her heart doing so. But from each book and through each obstacle Kaylee faces, her character continues to grow and you are given even more reasons to love her each time . . . she's such a fine character and it's quite stupid of me to think a single paragraph is going to justify her as a great heroine. But hey - it's true. I love her to pieces!
But it's not just Kaylee growing . . . it's every other character in the book too. For one, there's the reaper Tod, Kaylee's ex-boyfriend's dead brother (yeah it's a little complicated for our girl), who shines throughout the entire book. Now I've always been a #1 fan of Tod and his superb humour to lift my spirits up, but what's changed in his character is that this time round he's actually in a relationship with Kaylee (I know finally!) after a bad break-up with his brother Nash, and while I'm sorry to not love Nash as much as I used to, but it's great to come together with other fans and praise Tod for all his hotness radiating in this book! Seriously he's so hot it's not funny and just reading about his relationship with Kaylee puts a smile on face. They are better suited than Kaylee and Nash ever were and they were all so, so good together.
Speaking of Nash's character, I do feel sorry for the guy and what happened to him in the previous book (even if it was his own fault). But I'm happy to report that he's slowly getting back on track - whatever that means - which is good to see and I hope Nash gets a good ending one way or another because he really does still love and care for Kaylee, but there's no longer that sizzle between them anymore and I think one day he'll see this . . . and hopefully get over it. Then there's Nash's ex-girlfriend and 'sort of' bestfriend Sabine. Ah, Sabine. Now I really dislike her. I mean sure, I tried to like her in this book and when I finally did . . . she just went straight back to being that nosey little teen that she is and I hate her for it. *face palm* She's annoying, okay? Can't connect with her even if I tried. Then there's Emma (Kaylee's best friend) who is supportive as ever, then there's Kaylee's dad who is so #1 on my best Dad list, and there's also so many other characters - including the baddies - who just shine in this novel as well . . . why must there be so many fantastic characters in such a short read??? Honestly I don't know how Rachel Vincent does it!
Overall, to say BEFORE I WAKE is amazing is a total understatement in my books but there's so much to love in this series and it never fails to disappoint me! If you haven't read this series yet, then what the hell are you WAITING FOR? GO READ IT NOW! PRONTO!