Sha + Mandy Buddy Read: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

my soul to take buddy read

my soul to takeMy Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (Soul Screamers #1)

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble


She doesn’t see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next.

Hear some of the first chapter read by Sha. (

Check out Mandy’s full review here!


Buddy read of the Soul Screamers series, let’s go! I’m so hyped for this. For anyone tuning in now (a.k.a., you’ve not caught the teasers Mandy and I have dropped the past week) Book Princess Reviews now includes a feature where Mandy and I (Sha) read a series week by week and drop combined reviews on our thoughts. If this first one goes well with you, perhaps we will continue? Aaaaand grab some popcorn because this will be a blockbuster.

Let’s Rate this Out the Gate!

Mandy: I don’t know if I’m going for 1 or 2 crown yet. Still figuring this out because I don’t even know. That about sums everything up. I don’t know????

Sha: Okay, you know this review is going to be cray when the OG Book Princess gives Book 1 of the series a possible one crown and newbie to the blog drops the following: I wholeheartedly believe My Soul to Take is a solid four crowns. Think you can back up that one crown, Mandy?

Mandy: I got my bullet points ready, Sha. BE PREPARED.

The Writing Style (Let it Floooow, Baby)

Mandy + Sha: Vincent has such an easy flow to her writing. It honestly is just so easy to sit down for an hour and zip through a quarter of the novel while not even trying. There was a good flow to everything, and I felt like she didn’t just put things in to put things in. It’s just so easy breezy. There is also a poetic element to the prose; Vincent keeps paragraphs from becoming chunky with too much description, but she also uses such beautiful metaphors. We both agree that this book stands out in the YA section for its writing. I mean, look at Kaylee, slurping her soda and contemplating darkness and light in the same paragraph!

“So who’s this Tod?” I slurped the last of my soda, watching as passing headlights briefly illuminated his features, the abandoned him to short stretches of shadow. It was like rediscovering him with each beam of light that found his face, and I couldn’t stop watching. (p. 129).

The Characters/Characterization

My Soul To Take brings to us a few unique main characters that bring our story right along. We have Kaylee, our main heroine and beloved soul screamer, who lives with her annoying cousin, Sophie; super young looking Uncle Brendon; and kind of uptight Aunt Val. Kaylee’s best friend is Emma, cool and chill, and we also have the dashing Nash as our love interest. Later on in the novel, we meet the very ~mysterious~ and spunky, Tod, who just so happens to sport an intriguing goatee. There are other characters, obviously, but these are the main peeps you need to know.

Sha: As you can see, Tod’s goatee is a standout in this book.

Mandy: Truer words never spoken, Sha. However, Harmony was my lady in this novel.

Sha: I do like Harmony a lot. For those not up on the up, Harmony is Nash’s mother. She has a few secrets in this book like *so many* of the characters, but that is all part of the plot moving forwards. But sadly for Mandy, Harmony is a (lovely) side character in Book 1, so she does not get a lot of page time. Perhaps in Book 2! Let’s talk Kaylee’s inner circle. Book starts, she’s sneaking out to a club with BFF Emma. You ready and willing to ditch me for the Emster, Mandy?

Mandy: Oh, I think you are so good, Sha. For me, I forgot Emma existed half of the time? Truthfully, she seemed like she would only pop out when she was needed and Nash wasn’t around. I mean, I was looking for the Watson to Kaylee’s Sherlock and all I got was Emma’s mom who was controlling her cellphone. I honestly felt that was the true friendship there. I think she has a potential to be more than just the obligatory sidekick since she seemed cool, but she’s stuck for now as being The Dreaded YA Sidekick.

Sha: Are you forgetting that Emma was grounded after chapter two of the book? Our blondie babe had no choice but to hand her cell over to her mom. I didn’t feel the lack of presence that you’re talking about, and when Emma was around, she was always supportive of Kaylee. Like in most supernatural books, we had the typical “I have powers but can’t tell people” kind of sitch going on BUT Kaylee actually told Emma most of it?? And Emma didn’t shame her or anything, she understood?? Like, Emma is so sweet and maybe the princess this blog deserves. There, I said it.

Emma was watching me again, and I must have looked as sick as I felt because she put one hand on my shoulder. (p. 52)

Mandy: HOW RUDE. But probably deserved. Should we talk about the great Kaylee, our heroine of the series?

Sha: Oh, let’s! I know you have thoughts, so I’ll give you final word. I think Kaylee is a great example for teens. (In some ways.) She has a job. How many MCs have jobs in YA lit, excuse me? I really appreciated that. She drives, but relates the difficulties of paying for your own car insurance and gas. We actually have scenes of her at work (not a book where the MC mentions a job but never actually goes). Another thing I enjoy about her character is that she isn’t perfect. She makes really dumb mistakes. Thanks for being human, Kaylee! (I do need to complain about how often she eats takeout food and drinks soda. Like, only drinks soda. Girl, please try some water.)

[…] I parked on the street in front of his house, a fast-food bag in one hand, drink tray in the other. (p. 55)

I swallowed a big bite, then washed it down with a gulp from my soda. (p. 111)

Mandy: And she does take an unnaturally long time to screw on said soda’s cap on, too. It was even a cliffhanger in a chapter. I do see your points above, Sha, but I have to raise you on them. Kaylee is the classic Special Girl. I mean, she fits just about every checkbox for this particular cliche. ~Special Girl~ who is also super judgey of anyone that isn’t her friend and is dance squad ready. She has a complex personality but mostly because she’s confused – she thinks about how terrible it is she saw a girl die but also Nash’s arm is touching her and that’s magical?????? Things like this just sort of made me want to let out a death wail. The first introduction we have from Kaylee of Emma in the first paragraph is that  Emma has CURVES which Kaylee promptly has to tell us because that’s clearly a) what’s important and b) exactly what I think about my best friend the moment I see her. This was clearly to show us that Kaylee is ~special~ pretty as in Mary Sue pretty and we should all just start sing “What Makes You Beautiful” right now because clearly she doesn’t and this is about to be a thing. I was not a fan of darling Kaylee.

Sha: I wouldn’t say she was judgey of the dance girls. In one scene she calls Meredith, the dance captain, a very sweet girl. She also praises Sophie for her dedication to the team.
Mandy: Oh. I have ~thoughts~ on that. I felt like she really harshed on Sophie’s intense dance mellow quite a bit.

Sha: Let’s agree to disagree and move on, yes? If Kaylee and Sophie can live in the same house, mayhaps we can still survive this review. (If you could see the chat convo happening at the same time as we write this review… It’s not nearly as civil.)

Rip it or ship it?

In this edition of Rip-it or Ship-it, our book bloggers Mandy and Sha determine if Kaylee and Nash will go the mile! What say you, Mandy and Sha?

Sha: Huh. The Nash-Kaylee dynamic. I want to keep this brief because spoiler-no-spoiler that gets deep in the next few books so expect a longer paragraph there BUT for now I will say the romance is okay. It’s alright. I’m fine reading it. Happens fast but eh.

Mandy: You see, Sha, this was my shipppppppppp. When I first read it all of those years ago, I was totally under the impression you could fall in love in 4 days because this was logic? So I was so into Nash and Kaylee (mostly because Nash has swoony brown hair), but this time around, I…I mean, I didn’t completely hate it other than the fact he was just SO cliche? Agreed. I was fine reading it but I did have judgey eyes with how fast, deep, and cliche it was.

Sha: I think we need to end this paragraph with one word. Tod. Mon amour. Oops. Now it’s not the last word. Tod.

The Plot (Year 2009, so much un-cooler than the Year 3000)

Mandy: Some of you might be too young to remember the great 2009 – 2011 height of book madness. Twilight had officially hit it bigggggggggggggg, and everyone sat down and realized Supernatural/Paranormal sellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllls, so let’s just take the Mary Sue/Gary Sue formula that Meyer somehow perfected and let’s shove as much instalove, cliched characters with limited growth, absent/wrong parents, and literally the same formula for how the plot goes about for exactly every single book. This book is exactly that.

Sha: Whoa, someone swallowed her savage pills with a dose of savage water and… I’m in so much shock I can’t even formulate good words. So Mandy clearly wrote that (^^) up there and are we feeling her one star now? No one will pick up this book now, Mandy! And it is hella good! The plot is not formulaic, were we reading the same thing? You did pick up the eBook, who knows, are there dupe books? At the start of the book, we find out Kaylee screams when people are about to die. This first book in the series is *clearly* a first book: it focuses on Kaylee’s heritage and sets up her “world”: who are her friends, where does she live, etc. But there is also a mystery. Young girls in her area are dying with no known cause and Kaylee wants to stop it. I mean, let me just put on my Nancy Drew hat because I love me a girl with initiative. When did Bella ever try and solve a mystery, Mandy? Pics or it didn’t happen.

Mandy: UM, BELLA HAD A VERY IMPORTANT MYSTERY. She googled some werewolf stories or something. SHE DID RESEARCH. IMPORTANT RESEARCH THAT INVOLVED WIKIPEDIA. But it was still research and like a lame mystery, but give a girl some credit. I had wayyyyyyys, Sha, and I counted them. I mean, she did play Nancy Drew and I give her credit – especially when she asked for help from ADULTS (which I do give her a round of applause for that) but I mean, a lot of it did get pushed aside for some of the romance pieces and I mean, she did not want to solve mysteries at the first part, too (which I mean, I give her praise, too, since I wouldn’t jump on it in the beginning, BECAUSE DEATH). Anyway, it just got too cliche for me at parts. I willlllllllllllllllll admit it did have some twists and turns and I would have been quite surprised by the ending had I not remembered the ending from the first time around. It was an intriguing ride…even though I was salty with it.

To Conclude

Were any minds changed? Should our readers pick up this book?

Sha: I’m sticking with my four stars and yes, please pick up this book! If you’re hesitant look for My Soul to Take at a library. The plot is great, ignore Mandy, Kaylee is a dynamic character, ignore Mandy. Did I mention ignoring Mandy?

Cindy had to sneak in here for Mandy’s feels.

Mandy: Noooooooooooooo. I didn’t completely hate the novel, but I mean, I think its cliches just got in the way. That being said, it did have some great aspects to it – the unique and captivating mythology, the easy flow to it, and the plot was intriguing.However, the characters, the cliches, and the romance just totally failed me…and even Tod’s goatee couldn’t save me. If you’re looking for a throwback to this interesting YA era that is totally different, go for it. But if you’re not…I might totally skip it? SORRY, SHA.

Who do you side with in this buddy read, Sha or Mandy? Are you simply dying for the next installment of our Soul Screamers reviews? Let’s discuss below!

Be sure to check out our Facebook page at BookPrincessReviews.

27 thoughts on “Sha + Mandy Buddy Read: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

  1. I had too much fun reading this! XD You are both so funny and charming! The book does seem very…retro YA…but it also sounds like a hot mess. :3 I can’t wait to read your post for the next book though!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The book definitely sets itself apart from the contemp YA of today. I didn’t find it as hot mess as Mandy did, but (since we both read book two several years ago) we know that the standards for the series are all over the map. So my four star expectations may be going down… So glad you enjoyed!!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks so much, Rendz! 😉 ❤ But YES. Retro YA is honestly the most brilliant way to describe it. But shhhhh, don't tell Sha, but such a hot mess. XD And thank you! I started the second one and it's already a bit more….interesting than the first???

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Darn, Mandy wins this round! Hopefully I’ll get you round to my side with the review of book two. I’m usually so critical myself but for some reason I was just in love with this book? Sometimes you just love things and can’t explain it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post this was so funny to read 😀
    I really enjoyed this series when I first read about four or five years ago and gave it four stara but u thing if I was to reread it now I would likely give it less.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is definitely what is going on right here! Mandy and I are coming back to this series after reading it several years ago. I know I had mixed feelings the first time, and this time (at least book one) I love it. And Mandy… as you can see has an intense dislike going. I love going back on books though, because they really show how you’ve changed as a reader/person. And the books you love forever? Priceless.

      Liked by 2 people

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