- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Reprint edition (September 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373210329
- ISBN-13: 978-0373210329
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 217 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,564,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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If I Die Paperback – September 20, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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In this fast-paced episode of the genre-blending Soul Screamers series, Kaylee learns that her “expiration” date is six days away. No sooner has she decided that she doesn’t want to die a virgin and sets about to seduce her boyfriend than his (dead) brother starts trying to push the couple apart. Vincent does a nice job of balancing all the various species of character—human, incubus, bean sidhe (banshee), reaper, hellion—with dollops of humor and enough backstory to keep readers new to the series engaged, without dousing the pace for those already in the know. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent loves good chocolate, comfortable jeans, and serial commas. She’s older than she looks and younger than she feels, but is convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan. Now absorbed in the dark, tangled loyalties of her UNBOUND world, as well as the travails of a teenage banshee in her SOUL SCREAMERS world, Rachel can be found online at www.rachelvincent.com or urbanfantasy.blogspot.com.
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Rachel Vincent's Before I Wake, the most awaited sixth novel of the Soul Screamers series, is all that I hoped for and more!
I was terrified of this book. Yes, terrified. If I Die left us with a lovely happy ending, and I just knew that from then on only pain and suffering would come. Add to that Rachel Vincent's teasing statuses in Facebook about killing off people, important people, and I was shaking in my seat. But after reading it, I have to say that it wasn't so bad. Scratch that. It is that bad, with tons of heartache, people that die, and hell breaking loose but...Kaylee's courage keeps you going. It keeps you hoping for better things, and we get that.
In this book, we encounter a very different Kaylee. She snaps when pushed, feels nothing when left alone, and thinks that giving into her depression is so much better than fighting. Wait, what? Yep. Gone is our fierce heroine. She feels like things don't matter anymore because she's dead. But isn't that why she agreed to become an extractor because her family and friends mattered and she couldn't just leave them? Kaylee has lost sight of who she is, and when horrible things start happening she can't help but despair instead of fight back, because what's happening is her fault, consequences of the choices she made during If I Die.
This was one of the hardest parts to read, because I wanted her to be the badass heroine of the other books but I also understood why she was like this. The only bright thing in Kaylee's life it's her gorgeous, sweet, grim reaper of a boyfriend. Tod is there for her 100%, never letting her give up. He tells her she won't feel alive until she starts acting alive again, and boy does he show her how to live (Ch.11 was perfection). Tod and Kaylee have the best one-liners ever.
Of course, Kaylee and Tod are not the only reasons why I love Soul Screamers so much. The gang is back and trying to stay together despite their differences and personal issues. Emma is trying to keep up with them. At this point she's the only human in their group. Nash and Sabine have their own issues to solve, and it would all go smoother if Nash wasn't still hung up on Kay, but he is. He still hates Tod, but at least they can agree that Kaylee's safey comes first always. Sophie and Luca are the new additions to the team, and their adventure in Never to Sleep blends in with the events happening here. What I liked the most was that I saw them try to reconnect with each other. Nash and Tod working together to keep Kaylee safe, Sophie asking things Kaylee and trying to understand, Sabine and Kaylee being extra frank with each other (LOL). And seriously, they need to stick together is they ever want to defeat the forces of the Netherworld.
The ending was an avalanche of trouble that had me literally at the edge of my seat. I could not believe what was happening, and what eventually happened...!!! Yeah. I can't wait for With All My Soul, the last Soul Screamer's book. It'll be sad to read the end of this series, but that's what re-reads are for! And I'm sure I'll be re-reading these books, and other Rachel Vincent books, for years to come.
I am still amazed with each of these books that Vincent manages to keep me enthralled and interested, and still surprises me with the risks she is willing to take with her characters. Nash's behavior in this story is much more understandable and relate-able. With everything that happened at the end of If I Die, and his history with Kaylee, I was hurting page after page for him. I truly hope he is able to find some peace, if not happiness, before the end of the series, though with Vincent's track record I am not holding my breath for an HEA for everyone. Or anyone actually.
It was nice for Kaylee and Tod to be together. Even if there were some awkward moments because of the group dynamic. They are perfect for each other and even though I was kicking and screaming the whole way, I finally have to admit Tod is way better for Kaylee than Nash ever was. They have some terribly sweet moments that make him even more loveable than before.
As much as I connected with Kaylee in the earlier books, I had a hard time in this one. Probably because she is, you know, dead. And as far as I know I am not, nor have I ever been. She is dealing with so much more than I ever have, yet still is trying to be a regular teenager and go to school. I think home based classes would have been a better bet for her. But, life, or after-life as the case is, must go on.
This story didn't have me riding the emotional roller coaster the last few books did until the very end, and then a huge WTF moment along with a decent cliffhanger left me stunned. It most certainly left me excited for the next, and final, book. At this point I honestly have NO CLUE how Vincent will wrap things up.
What I Loved: I LOVE Tod. He is the single best character, with his wit constantly shining and his utter, complete devotion to Kaylee a true heartwarming relationship. The way he tries to protect Kaylee, the way he works with her and values her, all make him probably one of my favorite YA characters ever. Also, Vincent handles their decision to go physical in an adult, responsible way that shows how deeply they care for one another. I also love that Kaylee's relationship with Nash isn't just resolved so quickly and that we can feel his pain. I love that her dad is still a dad, regardless of her dead status. And speaking of that issue, I love how Vincent is portraying Kaylee's abrupt adjustment into the land of the dead: it's a learning process, with both benefits and problems, all of which are overwhelming. Kaylee's a great character herself, but she is a conflicted one. I also like the central problem with Avari: he's found a way around the Netherworld Rules, and he's just pure evil, and right now, no one's sure how to deal with him. Great story telling amid all the fighting (both the relationship kind and the physical kind). I also like that hard decisions have to be made and there are consequences for those choices.
What Bugged Me: Surely someone, somewhere is going to notice all these deaths in a high school and in a community, most of which have some sort of tie to Kaylee. It's almost too much to believe, that the school is still open and operating with students and teachers dropping left and right. I know that shouldn't bug me, but it does. But what bugged me more was the idea that the group is so in peril that they must not go to school, must all sleep together and keep tabs on one another...but they go to the lake on an outing to celebrate Kaylee's non-birthday...in the woods...and the couples break up into pairs and disappear on their own. There is no logic whatsoever in any of it, other than to set up the fight with Avari, and it just bugged me too much that the over-protective adults make this move. It was a big "Huh?" moment in an otherwise well written, smartly plotted book.
Final Impressions: Before I Wake is another really good novel in the Soul Screamers series, and Vincent knows how to keep you on the edge. She definitely has a handle on her characters' reasons and personalities, and I'm still not able to figure out how Kaylee and Co. will defeat Avari ultimately. Definitely a great read and I'm ready for the final book!
Most recent customer reviews
It's difficult to tell readers (and the main character) right off that your main character is going to die and then actually deliver that outcome,...Read more
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