Tuesday, July 10, 2012
34. Before I Wake
Author: Rachel Vincent
Published: June 26, 2012
5 Gold Stars
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ IF I DIE
(please I don't want to ruin this series for those who plan on reading it. and you all should, like right now.)
(summary from Goodreads)
I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn't get it. The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school... Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life
Kaylee has been through hell and back and it's not over yet. Since discovering that she is a bean sidhe, able to sing for the souls for those who have recently died, her life has been a roller coaster. She's reunited with her father, fallen in love twice, and fought hellions in the Netherworld. But her borrowed time was up (her mother sacrificed herself to save Kaylee) and now her afterlife has begun. And there is still just as much as drama as there was when she was alive and the hellions are still after her soul.
The world that Vincent has created sticks with you after the last page. She takes us into the underbelly, showing us another side of the world that will haunt your dreams. The Netherworld is where the hellions live, feeding off the pain and souls of humans, and they want Kaylee's. But Kaylee is trying to "survive", trying to move on from her own death and get back to where she was. With the help of her new boyfriend, Tod, an undead reaper, she pushes past the grief and suffering to the next step - anger.
Vincent has used the Seven Deadly Sins as the backbones to each novel in the series. Before I Wake is the sloth book and she captures this feeling perectly. Kaylee has no need to sleep or eat now that she is an extractor, an undead human who reclaims stolen souls, so she spends a lot of time alone and wishing for nothing but rest. Tod helps to keep her alive, being the boyfriend that she needs. As much as I love Nash (have been Team Nash since the start) after reading this book, I know Tod is right Hudson brother for her. He is supportive, loving, and ready to die or kill for her. He puts her first in everything he does and she deserves him after everything she's been through. He is her perfect counterpart. There is no doubt in my mind that they are soul mates. Every character goes through a change in this book. Kaylee's death changed everything. Nash is trying to heal, even though it hurts him to see Kaylee with his brother. Sabine is there for Nash, but she is also trying to build a friendship with Kaylee. Sophie is well, she's Sophie, but at least now she understands why Kaylee is the way she is. New character Luca, a necromancer, is the perfect puzzle piece for Sophie, keeping her calm in times of trouble. I hope to see more of him and the others in the last book, With All My Soul.
Kaylee's emotions ring all too true to me. I know the feeling of wanting to let go, of knowing how hard it is to try to do anything when doing nothing would be so much easier. But she is one of the strongest female characters I've read so I have no doubt that she'll push through this and everything that happens in this chapter of her afterlife. Vincent puts us through the roaring emotions tormenting Kaylee and we feel every ounce of her suffering. Where If I Die was a game changer, Before I Wake shows us that no one is safe even after they are dead. Lives are crushed. People are hurt. Friendships are tested. And the story's not over yet. Now I just wish I didn't have to wait a year to see Kaylee get her revenge and happy ending.
“You're not lost, Kaylee. You can't ever be lost, because I'll always know where you are. And if I'm not there with you, I'm on my way, and nothing standing between us will be standing for very long.”
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