My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (Soul Screamers #2)
When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.
So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.
The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.
Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk…
Mandy and Sha are back in action for the next buddy read in this Soul Screamers series! After prowling comments on the last post, it’s clear that Mandy won the crowd with her two-star review, but Sha is ready to convince Book Princes and Princesses alike that this series is worth the time!… unless she’s had a change of heart? Let’s kick things off with a summary of where we left off in the last book (and assume that if you’ve not read book one, there will be spoilers).
Kaylee is now living with her previously absentee papa, who has taken a full-time position as a … factory worker? to give her the life she so dearly deserves. But for any sassy Sophie fans out there, the bitchy cousin still makes weekly Sunday dinner visits with Uncle Brendon that are none-too pleasant. Sophie is determined to make Kaylee’s “life hell” now that Val (Kaylee’s aunt and Sophie’s mom) is dead, because Sophie thinks Kaylee had something to do with the death at the end of Book 1. Of course, we readers know Kaylee’s involvement was the “stop the aunt from aiding and abetting a demon who is snatching young girls’ souls” variety, but you know. Kaylee and Nash are going strong (some may say, too strong?) and Tod is, uh, Tod. Shall we begin to review now?
Do it For the Ratings
Shania: For Vincent’s first book in the series, I stood firm on a four star rating. This time, I’m moving back a little from my fangirl status (yes, okay, four stars is a fangirl for me!) and giving a 3.5. My Soul to Take continues to build the Soul Screamers universe, but the Kaylee-Nash romance is dragging on me a bit. Not to mention Nash? Not my fave dude in the world.
Mandy: So, um, I somehow did worse with this book than the last one which seems absurdly impossible? But this book 100% managed to do it. SO SORRY, SHA. It’s a solid one crown for me.
I’ll Make a Character Out of You
Mandy: complains about a character
Mandy: ^^^ This is 100% how it’s going to go tonight on Sha and Mandy: Taking On Early 2000s Forgotten Paranormal Series. Also, what is with me and percentages today? ANYWAY, where do I begin with these characters. I wasn’t a fan of anyone and everyone. Even my lady Harmony…okay, I’m lying, Harmony was still a solid for me. Everyone else? They just felt so blah for me. Even newbie, Allison (lol, or Addison WHICH SHA SOMEHOW DID NOT CATCH MY SLIP UP). How about you, Sha? What did you think of our newcomer?
Shania: I liked Addie! Everyone trashed her because she “chose” to sell her soul (except Tod, of course). But they were literally ignoring the fact that she signed a demon contract? How many times did the characters have to reiterate that demons were sneaky and evil, then whip around and shame Addie for falling for a demon scheme before they note the irony?
Mandy: Okay, I did lie. I did think Addie was pretty cool. She was chill and I didn’t totally hate her. I mean, she seemed like she had a great heart and what she did at the end of the book was pretty heartfelt. I just wasn’t feeling our main team. I mean, I know you’re a total Tod lover, but I felt like he was getting far too intense about saving a particular ex-girlfriend that he totally disregarded everyone’s safety. And I totally didn’t get Kaylee’s motivations for helping her.
Shania: I think Tod’s motivations may have had something to do with the fact that Addie was destined for an eternity of torture if she didn’t recover her soul… As for Kaylee, she’s just our average, everyday demon-fighting heroine. IDK, heart of gold argument? I’ll give you that one.
Rip it or Ship it?
Shania: OMG, Kaylee and Nash in this book. KAYLEE AND NASH. I was banging my head against the wall, and not to the jammin’ Sia and David Guetta tune. Background info: we find out Tod’s ex Addie is going to lose her soul forever and Kaylee pledges to save the girl no matter what. Nash is like HELL NO and also “if I say no, Kaylee, that means you can’t either.” I give Kaylee mad props for giving zero craps about what Nash wanted because thankfully, she knows what independence means. To a certain extent? Like, from time to time, Nash would drop a savage “it’s your own fault, Addie, you deserve to suffer” kind of comment and Kaylee was just like *draps arms all over hottie boyfriend* “Yes what he said, but also, I pledge to help you!”
Shania: I suppose we can’t forget about Tod and Addie. I mean, I have made it utterly clear how much I adore Tod. Imagine how much I adore Tod and transfer that to him adoring Addie and that would be their relationship in this book.
Mandy: says something, probably.
Shania: I think it was sweet! As readers, we get a sense of Tod as “fully human,” showing emotion. Nash sasses Tod the entire novel for caring about Addie (after sassing him the *first* book for caring about no one, brotherly love I guess?) but I think it goes to show the depth of Tod’s character. Also, duh. I ❤ Tod. And Addie is really cool.
Actual Mandy: I hate to say it, but that’s actually a better conversation than I probably would have had. I do have to agree with Sha over the romance. I did think Addie and Tod had a certain something-something to them, and I think it was sweet the way that Tod fought so hard for her. Did I agree that everyone literally need to drop all of their boring lives to do dangerous things to save her? Nope, but I think they were a decent couple.
Actual Mandy, still: As for Nash and Kaylee, I’m bringing the percentages back out, and 100% agree with Sha. While I might have agreed with Nash at some moments (UM, CHASING AFTER DEMONS IS DANGEROUS AND, LIKE, NO ONE SHOULD BE DOING THIS?) it was notttttttttttttt his place to be telling Kaylee what she needed to do and when she needed to do it. She’s her own woman, and he needed to simmer his butt down in a chilly corner. Any man going that alpha over his girlfriend needs to vamoose his butt away. So Kaylee and Nash were not a delightful moment for moi.
INSERT A GIF OF SOMEONE BEING ALL “boy bye” (shhhhh…let’s just pretend Mandy did this and not tell Sha)
Are We Just [PLOT]ing Along?
Shania: The amazing thing about Vincent’s Soul Screamers series is she actually knows where she’s going. Hate the books if you want, but one point you need to give her is that for a five book series, each novel progresses the storyline with purpose. Book one we learn souls can be stolen. Book two, we learn about the demons who snatch those souls. And book three… Well, I suppose that really would be a spoiler.
Mandy: It would be a spoiler for me, for sure, since I somehow managed to forget this book was a series, and forgot to read the rest of it. OOPS. However, I do agree that it was interesting the progression that she took. I mean, it’s not just about Kaylee sitting here, screaming her head off anymore. It’s taking the mythology to a new level and playing with the things that she hinted at in the first book. I will give Vincent the credit for that. What did you think about this particular plot, Sha? How did it compare to the first?
Shania: I think this plot brought the book to the next level for sure. I mean, book 1 really dealt with backstory and origins. Now we know who Kaylee is, we can get more into the nitty gritty: what nasty stuff is going down in this Netherworld we keep hearing about? And how might a soul screamer stop it (should they be so inclined?) Also, at the end of this book, we get the first glimpse at Avari, who will be the Big Bad for the rest of the series.
Mandy: To be honest, I wasn’t feeling the plot so much. I mean, it had its interesting moments, but I was so not invested. I think it might have been due to the fact that I wasn’t feeling the characters, and therefore, I couldn’t sum up the energy to care about the plot and whether they were living, dying, or taking some really questionable night-time visits to Texas stadiums. Also, I’m totally King Triton – YET AGAIN – and I just was like, you meddling kids, you are being idiots doing these foolish things. Get your acts together, Scooby Gang, and that really messed with me and the plot because I’m some old bearded merman now.
Were any minds changed? Should our readers pick up this book?
Shania: If you’re looking for a series that picks up pace with each book and is *actually* worth the time and investment, Soul Screamers is for you. Check out book one, My Soul to Take. If you like it, you’ll like the series, because it’s the same writing throughout. However, if like Mandy, Book 1 is not for you, then maybe skip out on this one.
Mandy: To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first book, and I definitely wasn’t a fan of this one. I think it just lost some of the coolness that the first one had and I was much more involved in the mystery aspect. This was just a bit more cringeworthy, and I literally gave no feels for anything in the book. I just wanted more from this book, and alpha bf just pushed it way over the edge. If I was going to recommend a book, definitely read the first one and totally skip this one.
Well, that’s it for this review and also … this buddy read series? Mandy is struggling and it seems like our minds are made up. Sha will probably finish the books on her own time and I think we can all guess what Mandy will do.
Will you read this series? Should Mandy and Sha do another Buddy Read series? Let’s discuss below!
UN Right #5
5. No Torture. Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
Well, this book definitely deals with torture or at least with the threat of torture. Addie is convinced and misled into a deal with a demon where she sells her soul for fame and fortune but isn’t aware that she’s signing away her soul for a lifetime of torture. Addie certainly doesn’t deserve this, and Vincent makes an interesting argument about the rights that Addie has with her contract. They talk extensively about how she was misled and never got to really read her contract – and certainly no one deserves such punishment and hurt for a reckless decision.