Hmm, Better Than Average: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent


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.

Source: GoodReads

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much with this one.  Just your standard run of a mill YA paranormal (I mean, even the cover is a cliche).  However, Vincent surprised me.

While this book wasn’t without it’s faults, it was oddly refreshing.  Romance aside.

Yeah, I really didn’t dig the romance, but it didn’t bother me in the way where I couldn’t stand the love interest.  He’s tolerable.  A bit bland, but tolerable.  What bothered me was that their relationship (if anything) was instantaneous. And you all know how I feel about insta love.

Though to be fair, they’re not giving out their wedding vows after they start going out like most of these paranormal YA couples do.   They’re just dating.  Though I did get annoyed that he was the one who gave Kaylee her designated info dump.

Rolls eyes.

The plot is actually pretty good and interesting.  It’s not the standard you’re the chosen one YA book.  And it involves a paranormal creature that I’m not sick of-banshees.  Plus, the adults actually act like adults in this book and the kids don’t have to save their butts.

That’s a plus.

Also, these adults have personalities besides watching ESPN and being CPS worthy neglectful.  Even though, Kaylee’s aunt and uncle are distant, there are reasons for them being distant and it’s sort of explained as the book progresses. And yes, they still maintain a personality even though they’re distant.

The thing is, even though this one surprised me at how good it was.  It could’ve been better.  While it is definitely above average for a YA paranormal there were parts of it I thought could’ve been fleshed out better.  And while I did like the lead, I thought that she was still a little bland.  Not grossly bland, but kind of a blank slate.  But since she wasn’t a  sparkly Mary Sue, well, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

The good thing for this book is that it’s the opener in a very long series, so maybe my grievances for character development are worked out in the next five or so books.

Besides having somewhat bland characters, another thing that really didn’t work for me was the info dumping.  I got to tell you anytime there’s multiple chapters spent on origins of paranormal powers I want to stab something.

I think it relates to my issues with origin stories.  Anytime, a superhero story gets revamped in the movies I always get annoyed because how many times do you want to hear how Bruce Wayne turns into Batman?  It’s sort of the same with these books how many times do I want to hear that you’re a super special paranormal creature who’s going to save the world.

Yeah, could’ve done without that.

Though, I do get why it’s very.  Sort of hard to avoid.  I think overall, My Soul to Take is an interesting start to what could be a really good paranormal series.  Will I continue it?  Yeah, eventually.  But at the moment, I’m not planning on binging this series.

Overall Rating: B+ refreshing but not enough to get it a full blown A or even an A-.

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