Monday, November 29, 2010

My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers Book 2)
I didn’t really want to read this. I was excited when I saw that Harlequin was starting a teen imprint, and then horrified with some of the bites I had of the books. That said, this book gave me new hope.  

My Soul to Save is the second installment in the Soul Screamers series, and though I’m not sure I would have liked the first one--one of my frustrations (besides a lot of fading to black) in fantasy is that there’s only so many ways to say “Yer a wizard, ‘Arry”--leaping into the second one didn’t leave me confused in any way.

Kaylee is a bean sidhe. This means that when she sees someone dying, she screams in a way that shatters people’s minds, all in order to do the job she’s been given in regards to people’s souls. Her boyfriend, Nash, is a bean sidhe too, but his talents lie in his soothing voice. Nash’s brother, Tod, is also bean sidhe, but after he died, he became a grim reaper (presumably, pun intended; “tod” means “death” in German).  Together, they fight crime--

--sorta. They happen upon an old friend’s problem: Dekker Media, a teen and tween (and everything else) powerhouse, has signed teens into contracts for their souls, and old friend’s soul is already gone...but now Dekker wants old friend’s little sister’s soul. Can they stop this? Can they find out who’s helping Dekker with the gruesome plan? Just how much will Kaylee give up to save a friend?

I was pleased, though unsurprised, to see that Harlequin lets teen girls (and, I suppose, boys) act out their sexual tension, though it was in line with the “sweeter” romances where details are left to the imagination. I think that writing about sex for teens--and about teens--is fraught with peril, and Harlequin’s approach will be appreciated even by those teens who’ve already skipped ahead to grownup romances. 

I read this book as a first-round judge for the Cybils Awards, which means that I may have received a review copy from the publisher (or not; I own a lot of the books in this category). I read some books nominated for the YA fantasy and science fiction category in 2010 before the nomination period, and may have already reviewed them or declined to make a public review; these books might not have a Cybils post tag. As a first-round judge, I was tasked with helping create a shortlist of books. My personal reviews do not reflect any actions or discussions of the judging committe

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