The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee--she screams when someone dies.But the next scream might be for Kaylee.
Yeah--it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck...before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.
But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.
My thoughts: You know, I’m wondering how many times an author can let you speechless. Totally, undeniably speechless. Because Rachel Vincent has already done it five times only with her Soul Screamers Series, and I’m dying to try her other books.
I was afraid to start If I Die… Yeah, because I’ve heard the plot will get an important, radical, unchangeable twist. It turned out I did have reasons to be afraid, but totally different ones than I had in mind. This fifth installment in the Soul Screamers Series totally blew me away! It’s hard to express my feelings without spoiling anything, but I’ll try to do my best.
I was wrong thinking that Kaylee couldn’t face anything worse than what happened to her previously. There was still the most definitive thing ever: death. And even if her life experience taught her that death isn’t always finite and there are even more horrible things that could torment a person after the actual death, she won’t have the chance to prolong her life. Not this time. More tragic is the fact that she KNOWS the day she’ll die – thanks to Tod who’s a reaper – and she only has one week left. One week to settle things on the mortal plane, one week to think day and night about the pain she’ll inflict to her loved ones. And one week to stop the new math teacher - who’s not exactly human – from doing horrible things to some of her high school friends. Still, she’s as strong as always, maybe even stronger, given the facts.
“You think I need to be rescued?""I think it doesn't hurt to let someone else do the rescuing every now and then, when your own armor starts to get banged up.”
“There's a good kind of crazy, Kaylee," he insisted softly, reaching out to wrap his warm hand around mine. "It's the kind that makes you think about things that make your head hurt, because not thinking about them is the coward's way out. The kind that makes you touch people who bruise your soul, just because they need to be touched. This is the kind of crazy that lets you stare out into the darkness and rage at eternity, while it stares back at you, ready to swallow you whole." Tod leaned closer, staring into my eyes so intently I was sure he could see everything I was thinking, but too afraid to say. "I've seen you fight, Kaylee. I've seen you step into that darkness for someone else, then claw your way out, bruised, but still standing. You're that kind of crazy, and I live in that darkness. Together, we'd take crazy to a whole new level.”
If I Die is, indeed, different from the first 4 Soul Screamers novels. Even if it has the same style, same sarcasm and humor, same characters, it’s impossible not to feel the pain, the sadness, the helplessness. They’re all extremely raw!
“That's because Tod never brings anything but death and bad advice," I snapped.
"That's not true." Tod tried to grin, "Sometimes I bring pizza.”
“So ... will you stay with me until it's over? Please?"
"Kaylee, I would do anything for the girl who granted my dying wish.”
“I wanted more firsts with Tod. But all I had left was a handful of lasts.”
I know I never mentioned the parents in my other reviews, but I must do it now! Kaylee only has her father, Nash and Tod only have their mother. But you won’t feel that at all, because they’re like a family with three kids - except the times when Kaylee’s dad must send the Hudson boys (both!) home and keep them out of his daughter’s room at night – the parents find strength and advice in each other, and that’s incredible, wonderful.
“Leave the door open," my dad said, the second most common warning in his arsenal. Right behind, "Nash, go home.”
One of the things I love about Rachel's books is that she never neglects any of her characters, not even the villains. It's great that you can see them throughout the entire series, because you come to love them, know them well, anticipate their thoughts and actions. It's like watching a popular TV series: you love and hate Sabine at the same time, you roll your eyes at her frenemy like actions, you hate the fact that Nash becomes vulnerable and weak when he finally shows signs of being back to himself, and Tod... Oh Tod…
“You're the brightest thing I've ever seen, Kaylee. You're this beautiful ball of fire spitting sparks out at the world, burning fiercely, holding back the dark by sheer will. And I always knew that if I reached out -- if i tried to touch you -- I'd get burned. Because you're not mine. I'm not supposed to feel the fire. I'm not supposed to want it. But I do. I want you, Kaylee, like I've never wanted anything. Ever. I want the fire. I want the heat, and the light, and I want the burn.”
Soul Screamers is, for me, one of the best young adult series out there. It’s original, smart, fast paced, and fun. I recommend it to everyone!