Kaylee is a bean sidhe (read “banshee”), a herald of death, though she learns this on the edge of a mental breakdown over her mysterious panic attacks that come when she is close to someone who is about to die. If it wasn’t for class hottie Nash, she would still think she’s crazy, since even though they know her secret her guardians, her aunt and uncle, refuse to tell her anything, and in fact, once locked her up in a mental hospital to try to “help” her.
But something is happening around Kaylee. The people around her seem to be dying, before their time and with no cause at all. When whatever is poaching souls begins to target Kaylee’s friends she and Nash must act to save the people who death is coming for, long before their time.
The two most stand out elements of this book from other YA novels is 1) no vampires and 2) while the adults and teens have issues, none are abusive or negative at their core. In fact, for a refreshing change, Kaylee’s family is (for the most part, there is teen rivalry, but it’s not past “mean”) loving, supportive and caring, it’s the plot that forces her to step up and act instead of letting the adults handle things.
My Soul to Take is simultaneously morbid and beautiful, balancing the dark subject matter without being crushing or nihilistic. In fact, family is a strong theme of this story, making it an excellent book for teen readers’ collections.
While the book does seem slow at times, it builds a textured web of character and world support for the story, setting this series up for a rich future life. For curious readers Vincent has a free prequel story available, My Soul to Lose, on her webpage.