SOUL SCREAMERS by Rachel Vincent
I recently finished all but the 6th book in Rachel Vincent’s, Soul Screamers series. The first book was great fun and I really got into the characters. Fell in love with the male protagonist Nash and loved the relationship that developed with the leading lady, Kaylee. The second book was bland and the story was trite, but I regained my faith in the third and fourth follow-ups. I loved how the author dove into the topic of addition, be it a paranormal one, while touching on how drugs affect relationships and the human condition. Then I got to the fifth book, If I Die. Wow, was that a big let down. It was a mash up of personality inconsistencies, a sleuth story Rachel Vincent told ad nauseam, finishing off with a twist in the plot that was both unbelievable and poorly devised.
So this is my declaration of independence…from the series. I am done with the it. Throw my hands up, can no longer follow along. The big breakup. Gone are the late night hours spent holed up in my room, ignoring my family to read Soul Screamers and here’s why.
I know I am in the minority here, because the reviews for If I Die were stellar, but as an adult, a friend of many recovering addicts and a romantic at heart, I didn’t buy the awe-expecting change up. I would have if there had been a catalyst for the decision Kaylee made to dump the boy I invested four books in only to end up with his brother Tod, but there wasn’t, so I dumped them.
I am not saying that I didn’t understand what Vincent was doing, I do, but I felt that her choice was so inorganic to the character and her plight that I just didn’t buy it. Kaylee was insecure and timid, (P.S. Enough with the cliché virgin already) who selflessly dove into hell to save many of her loved ones. She was virtuous and honorable in her need to save souls (literally); however, when the boy who she fell madly in love with, the one she pined over and tried to have sex with countless times without success falls into the underworld drug scene, she bails and cheats on him with his brother.
What kind of message is that sending? Give up on those battling a disease that you are madly in love with for the next guy that comes along and throws you a cheap line about your inner fire? I didn’t buy it, not for one second. In fact, I was offended that someone would think I could. Not to mention the entire basis of the previous book was about Kaylee fighting a super-bitch off of her boyfriend, only to hand him over to her in the following novel. Confused? You should be. I still am.
But that would all be quashed if there had been build-up, if Kaylee, for instance, began noticing her feelings shift while Nash was being a douche-bag drug addicted non-boyfriend and Tod was the only one she could turn to. But that isn’t what happened. She waited until Nash was clean and sober and fighting to make things right. This girl, who literally went to hell to save the guy who saved her life twice before, who constantly put others lives in front of her own, ditches the guy she loves when things were good…and for his brother. What a scag!
I probably would have believed the eye opening realization that she preferred necrophilia (She cheated with a dead guy) if it had been built up throughout the books. But it wasn’t. Her realization came in an instant and within a couple more pages she left her boy for his bro. Bleh! No thank you.
Again, I have dealt with recovering addicts and I understand more than most what they put those around them through. I have seen first hand the betrayal and lies that seep from their drug laden mouths, but I also understand that it is a disease that needs to be dealt with compassionately. I felt showing young readers that saving someone when they are in danger is a great message, but following it up with betraying those who need you most is deplorable. Sorry. I am, truly. I wish this breakup didn’t have to occur (me and the series). I really did love Nash and Kaylee, but I can no longer devote my reading hours to irresponsible, selfish, bratty, weak girls, who break up with the ones they love for lying…by cheating…with a dead sibling. Yuck!
Good bye my friends it was real (well at least until it wasn’t).