With All My Soul: review

March 24, 2013 2013, 4 star books, demons, paranormal, rachel vincent, reaper, Wendy 56

with all my soul soul screamers rachel vincent

Title: With All My Soul
(Soul Screamers #7)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Release Date:
March 26, 2013
Publisher:
Harlequin Teen
Age Group: YA
Source: ARC from publisher

 

 

 

So here it is: the conclusion of yet another of my favorite series. Did all the YA writers get together to plot to torture us in 2013?

No spoilers below, even if you haven’t started the series yet.

My favorite thing about Soul Screamers: Kaylee has grown so much over the course of these books. As a bean sidthe, or banshee who calls souls of the dead, she started out somewhat naive and unsure of herself, but grew into a strong, admirable young woman. She makes huge sacrifices for her friends and family, but has stayed somebody you’d still want to invite over for popcorn and a movie. ‘Cause you know she’d eat some to be polite, even if she doesn’t…feel like it.

Other things about the series that are done well: strong family bonds. (Aren’t you tired of absent parents or parents who just don’t “get” their teens and are nothing more than annoying roadblocks to a good time?) Well-defined secondary characters, many of whom have their own interesting story arcs. Mythology that is well thought out, with cool soul-calling and blood-letting. Humorous dialogue. Emotional turmoil handled in a reasonable way. Realistic depictions of how relationships with friends and exes change, with both anger and sadness. A love triangle that doesn’t make you want to kill everyone involved. Sex handled in a way that is tender and funny and true. Cute, cute boyfriend. Swoony ice cream kisses.

I still loathe Sabine, though. And I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot line with Emma that continues on through this book, nor of a certain baby/soul subplot. And unlike in the last two spectacular Soul Screamers books, I was frustrated with Kaylee several times because she kept making all these decisions that were clearly going to lead to no good and hurt people, even if they were made with the best of intentions. But props to the author for handling emotional responsibility and consequence in a way that felt satisfying, even if I didn’t necessarily enjoy some of the things that happened.

Overall, With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent offers exactly what you’d want in a series ender: high stakes, heightened romance and feeling, unexpected plot developments, and satisfying emotional resolution. I’ll miss having a Soul Screamers book to look forward to in coming years, but I’m happy with how Kaylee’s story ended. Fingers crossed we’ll get a new YA series from this author soon, too!

This review also appears on GoodReads. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

Wendy signature teal

 

 

 

 

 

56 Responses to “With All My Soul: review”

  1. Lisa (Lost in Literature)

    I’ve heard so many mixed reviews on this series I’m really not sure whether to jump right in or pass on this one. The covers are what drew me in at first… so gorgeous! I’m a big fan of matchy-matchy covers in a series. :) I’m still on the fence… longer series make me nervous too, since I have so many books on my review pile. So what do you think… is a 7-book series such as this one worth starting, or should I skip it? :)

  2. Mary Robinson

    I tried to get into these books but couldn’t do it. It was so cheap via Kindle so I had to try. I ended up buying the first like 3 books and only got about half way into the second one.

  3. the superhero princess

    I read one of the Soul Screamers books on a whim and while I don’t typically do romance, I totally agree with you — Kaylee is a great character and the family relationships/romance was handled really well (realistic and not too graphic). Hopefully this author starts a YA series soon!

  4. the superhero princess

    I read one of the Soul Screamers books on a whim and while I don’t typically do romance, I totally agree with you — Kaylee is a great character and the family relationships/romance was handled really well (realistic and not too graphic). Hopefully this author starts a YA series soon!

  5. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    Ooh, good job at writing a review for a series-end without being spoiler-y! I’m definitely looking forward to reading this one… my copy is on its way, so I should be able to check it out soon.

  6. Joie

    I’m amazed by the character growth that’s happened over the course of this series and I’m pretty sad that this is the last book! I really love Rachel Vincent’s writing style so I also hope she does another YA series.

  7. ang

    This is a series I have sort of avoided picking up because there are more than just 3 books in the series, and I’m quite impatient. However, I am feeling quite inclined to pick it up now!

    Thanks for your review, Wendy!

  8. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley)

    I was wondering when this series would end because I’ve been wanting to read it for quite some time now. Sometimes when the series become long like this, I like to wait until they’re over so I can blow through them. I was going to ask you if this was the last book but I see that you’ve already answered that question for me so thank you! Also, I really love these covers.

    Really looking forward to starting this series soon. I’ve had my eye on it for such a long time! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I totally understand–when they’re this long the idea of picking one up can be daunting. (I’m the same way with some tv series, hah.) You definitely want to have the next one ready before you’ve finished the current one, Asheley. My one piece of advice. :)

  9. Fiktshun

    What a great review! So glad I can finally check it out!

    I also loved that Kaylee’s father was very present in this series. I always have that twinge when reading books with completely absentee parents that don’t feel like they should be absentee.

    And I thought the love triangle was done incredibly well, too. While I am a fan of almost all of them, the thing I like best about this one was that it wasn’t added for the sake of creating tension and drama, there was a reason for it. Though it did create huge amounts of both.

    I always found Kaylee’s stubbornness to be something I both liked and didn’t about her. But those two particular passages in this book made me really understand why she did what she did and then I totally could relate.

    And I love that Sabine didn’t win you over by the series’ end! She’s not an easy character to like but she provided a nice balance (selfish) to Kaylee (selfless).

    I’m hoping there will be another novella to keep this going just a bit longer. Perhaps with the new character!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you posted your review so I could read it, hah.

      Yes, I loved Kaylee’s relationship with her dad. And I agree, there was a real reason why the triangle formed and turned out the way it did, and I’m pretty satisfied with how it all played out. How cute are Kaylee and you-know-who together?!

      You’re right about Sabine providing balance to Kaylee, though, I never thought about that before. Darn it, Rachel! I don’t want to think about Sabine positively at all. Grrrr.

  10. Amy

    So I didn’t read your review because when it comes to last books of a series that I have loved more than words, I don’t want to know a single thing about it. I have avoided reviews of this and Clockwork Princess until I am done with them. :) I just bought this today so as soon as I read and review it I will come back to read your review.

    • Wendy Darling

      I am the same way, Amy. I hid from everything until Clockwork Princess was finished, hah, so I can totally relate. :) Hurry up and read it!

  11. Alison Can Read

    That sounds so cool. I’ve never read a series focusing on banshees. I also didn’t know the traditional spelling. I’ve heard fab things about this series and your review makes me want to start it.

  12. starryeyedjen

    Loved this review. You summed up my feelings on the series beautifully. Kaylee was such a fun heroine to watch mature over the course of this series. (Sooo much better than Faythe ever hoped to be in that OTHER series. :P) I’m nearly finished with this one, and I have to agree, that baby subplot is yucky. The hellion kiss was interesting, though. :) I’m going to miss these characters. A lot. Especially Tod. But not Sabine. Or Sophie. I never warmed up to them either. :P

    • Wendy Darling

      Ooo, I have to come check out your review when you’re done, Jen–I’ve been waiting for you to finish this and Clockwork Princess!

      TOTALLY agreed on Kaylee vs. Faythe–I’m still not over how annoying that girl was, hah. And yeah, not a fan of the baby thing–it just felt weird and icky, and I didn’t understand the soul part in relation to that. (WHY WOULD YOU WANT THIS.) I did like the hellion kiss parts, too.

      Sophie–bleh. The novella was fine, but didn’t really make me crazy about her, either.

  13. Steph Su

    Oh my goodness, this is book number 7?? The series had kind of fallen off my radar after I read the first and felt meh about it. I LOVE hearing that Kaylee grew through the series; why is that so rare in series? And excellent job writing a review that had no spoilers for the entire series. :D

    • Wendy Darling

      Book 7 and the last one! And yes, I think the reason some readers have mixed feelings about the series could be because Kaylee starts out so naive, I think a lot of people just want buttkicking heroines straight off. But her character development is really well done, imo, though you do have to stick it out for several books until she gets there, hah. But I felt amply rewarded. ;)

      And thank you–I enjoy the challenge of a spoiler-free review!

  14. Candace

    I only read the first book and while I liked it, I didn’t love it. However since you say she really grows and the series just gets better I know I need to continue it and see what happens.

    • Wendy Darling

      I didn’t start loving the series until book 5–isn’t that weird? I read the first few one after the other when I was first seriously reading YA again, but it wasn’t until UNTIL I DIE that I really fell in love. It’s rare that a series gets better and better, especially by that point.

  15. Ashley

    I am so glad to see your review! This has been one of my favorite series since it started, including that middle painful part. I can’t wait to read this myself! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Ah, you were a fan of all the torturous angst, huh? I have to admit she did a great job of resolving the Nash-Kaylee-Tod situation. I am still unconvinced about Sabine. ;)

      Hope you enjoy WAMS!

  16. Savannah Bookswithbite

    First off Wendy, hate you right now. (j/k) Can not believe you read this book! Do you know how much I adore Rachel???

    Loved your review! Reading your review just make me giddy! I need it already.

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, it’s out tomorrow! And actually, someone said they saw WAMS in Target already, so maybe you’ll get lucky, hah. I love this series, too–I can’t wait to see what you think of this last book!

  17. readingdate

    Seriously, why are all the series ending this year? It’s stressful!
    Glad to hear the Soul Screamers series went out on a high note.

    • Wendy Darling

      I don’t know, we’re all going to need therapy before long–and it’s only March! And yes, there were a few things I could have done without, but it was very well-written, and I’m happy with Kaylee’s ending.

  18. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    It does seem like a lot of huge series are finishing it up this year. And you are so right, I am sick of the absent parent theme in YA reads. Great family dynamics make me fall more in love with a book/series. I have not read any of these books, but that alone is enough to make me want to. Great review Wendy!

    • Wendy Darling

      I think someone coined the term Absent Parent Syndrome, which is absolutely perfect. No such thing here, her dad is really great–and even though her mom passed on a long time ago, she still gets mentioned from time to time. Which is a bit of realism in a book about banshees, hah.

      Definitely try this series sometime! It’s very fun.

  19. Rebecca

    I have been wanting to start this series for so long! I completely agree with you about parents never being in the picture in YA, so that sounds very refreshing. And hello! A love triangle that doesn’t drive you nuts… I NEED to start this series.

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes, she has a great relationship with her dad, who actually SETS RULES and stuff. And there are aunts and uncles and cousins as well–it’s actually kind of amazing the author does such a great job of making everyone memorable, because the cast of characters is pretty big.

      I hope you get a chance to try this series out soon, Rebecca!

  20. Keertana

    You know, I’ve seen a LOT of mixed reviews when it comes to this series. Either people love it or they just feel really indifferent towards it and, from most of the reviews, I felt like I fell into the latter category. I probably need to re-evaluate that decision, though, because this sounds like something I’d really enjoy. Thanks for the spoiler-free review, Wendy! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Hm, you know–I’m not really sure what you’d think of this, Keertana. I suspect you might find Kaylee frustrating early on as a heroine. But maybe a library read sometime if you’re curious? :)

  21. Sophia

    I’ve seen this series around so many times, but have never picked it up before. Perhaps I should, because I’ve heard lots of great things about this series. I’m so happy to hear that Kaylee has grown throughout the series. Flat protagonists bother me. And a swoon-worthy boyfriend? Count me in. ;) I’m glad to hear that this conclusion was satisfying! Sounds like a fantastic series. Wonderful review, Wendy! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Some readers got really annoyed with Kaylee in the middle books, but I always understood where she was coming from even if I didn’t necessarily agree with what she was doing. Always so much more interesting to have flawed protagonists and character growth, imo.

      And yes. :) One of the swooniest.

  22. Rachel

    I read the first of the series then quickly bought the next 2 or 3 books and have yet to return to them! Uhhh! I guess I get distracted easily by the next “new shiny” book, lol! Glad to see this series ends satisfyingly. Great review Wendy! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, but these books are shiny, too! ;) I bet you’d love these, Rachel. And yeah, after a few recent disappointing series enders, it was a relief that this one worked. :)

  23. Sam

    Does anyone like Sabine? Hah. Great review, Wendy! I’ve always enjoyed this series, despite some mixed thoughts occasionally. It’s one of the few to still have me invested past the third/fourth book. I can’t believe it’s drawing to a close now! 2013 is the year, huh? ;) I also hope we’ll get another YA series from this author one day, though. :) So glad you enjoyed this!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah hah, I guess that’s a good point, Sam.

      Agreed, there have been some dicey moments for me too, especially in the middle of the series. But I thought books 5 and 6 really turned everything around, and I started loving the series at that point! I hope you enjoy this when you get to it.

  24. Tanja - Tanychy

    Why haven’t I started this series yet? Ahh there is no good excuse for it anyway. So I’m really happy that you enjoyed this story. Sounds really interesting and I love the covers. Great review Wendy :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I don’t know, Tanja! Get on that, will you? ;)

      Yeah, the covers are lovely–and the gold dress really does appear in this book. I don’t know about the rest, hah.

    • Wendy Darling

      I am excited for you to read it! Ugh, Sabine. *sniffs disdainfully*

      How funny though, Jennifer–we usually are rooting for opposing teams, so it’s nice to hear we agree for once. ;) I hope you enjoy this last one just as much as the others!

    • Wendy Darling

      I definitely started to like this series more after book 5, Jen–5 and 6 were actually the strongest books to me! But yes, I thought this was, overall, a great series ender.

      Have you read her adult UF series? I didn’t care for Shifters at all, and enjoyed/but wasn’t all that excited about the Blood books. Funny that I like her YA better.

  25. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I’m so not a fan of Sabine, either. But there’s so much in this series that just makes me smile — it’s been a fantastic ride! Rachel Vincent did a great job with it all and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next, either!

    • Wendy Darling

      There are things written into this book where Kaylee starts to find her a teeny bit more acceptable, but yeah–I am not nearly so forgiving.

      I agree, fantastic ride–and this one goes in places you can’t predict, too!

  26. Sunny Duvall

    I have never heard of this series! I’ll have to go ahead and look it up :) I so agree with you on the authors torturing us though…everything seems to be ending this year or there is such a BIG gap between books. While soem parts seem frustrating, this series sounds very good! Thanks for the great review :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh wow, they’re really fun, Sunny! The world-building is really well done, and the relationships are well-written, too.

      2013 is the year of torture. *sigh*