Before I Wake (Review)

Book cover for "Before I Wake" by Rachel Vincent.Title: Before I Wake

Author: Rachel Vincent

Publication Year: 2012

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

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….

(This is the fourth book in the Soul Screamer series, after Reaper (novella), My Soul to Lose (novella), My Soul to SaveMy Soul to Keep, My Soul to Steal, If I Die, and Never to Sleep (novella).)

Can I start this out by saying … I love Kaylee and Todd together! The relationship between Kaylee and Nash had gotten so strained after the whole hiding-his-addiction-to-Demon’s-breath thing that I had been hoping things would end up over between them. I think that for me, the Todd/Kaylee and Nash/Sabine couplings work much better. They just seem to fit more, and once Nash eventually calms down, I think that they see it, too. It’s one of those rare times when I think that the love triangle thing actually worked out well in a YA series, though I’m a little annoyed that it seems to imply that everyone needs to be in a relationship to be happy and whole.


I really liked getting to follow Kaylee around as she becomes a reaper and learns the ropes, and I particularly loved getting to see her and Todd’s relationship develop. I think that Before I Wake was the novel in the series where most of the characters got to grow up a lot, moving on from being high school students trying desperately to save the world to being … well, high school students trying desperately to save the world while recognizing that they might not succeed. It just seemed a little bit more grown up, a little more high stakes. And it worked.


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