My Soul to Take by Rachel VincentMy Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Take

byRachel Vincent

Paperback | July 21, 2009

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She doesn't see dead people, but…

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…
Title:My Soul to TakeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 0.74 inPublished:July 21, 2009Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373210035

ISBN - 13:9780373210039

Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Blah Another generic YA novel. Though at least this one has an interesting concept.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The series gets better as you read on Kaylee is girl with a supernatural ability to sense when someone is going to die. With her mother dead and her father far away she tries to come in terms with what she has. Panic Attacks. Kaylee is not crazy. She might think that she is but she isn’t. Of course everyone around her thinks she is. Her cousin isn’t really sympathetic and either her aunt. Forced to live with her dad’s brother she has to learn to live by “those” panic attacks. Because that’s what doctors are telling her. When she finds her shelf on the verge of screaming her lungs out it’s because she is having a panic attack. Nash doesn’t think that that’s the case so he sets forward to explaining Kaylee what she really is. She is a bean sidhe and has the ability to tell when a person is going to die. Kaylee is confused and thinks that maybe Nash is crazy until students at her school stsrt dropping dead for no reason. It was fun to read a YA that wasn’t similar to many other books out there and Kaylee was easy to like. Nash was one sexy guy and Tod even though he is a riper I couldn't help myself but feel bad for him and I even liked him. I hope I see more of him in the next books. I gave two stars to the book mainly because I didn’t see the development between Nash and Kaylee’s relationship. I like it when you can see their growth and struggle and then be a couple. In this book they jump right into being a couple. It wasn’t bad but I just prefer my stories otherwise. Other than that the story was fast paced with some slow parts in the middle but throughout enjoyable. I will be definitely read the second book and hope I like it more because the storyline is very promising.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mythology Not Well Explained Just from the description, it was obvious that Kaylee is a banshee although I was hoping for a more demon-y approach to this novel but meh. One of the main things I had a problem with was if Nash could sense Kaylee before then why did he start showing an interest in her when he did? I feel like he should have always been interested in Kaylee and had at least conversed with her as friends prior to them interacting and dry humping at the club. The interactions between the two are lacking though, and Noah falling all over every girl and then suddenly changing his ways for Kaylee was a bit much for me (I probably eye rolled a thousand times during the course of this book because of their scenes). A lot of the plot was pretty obvious once you started to read, it was as if the author didn't want to foreshadow so much as blatantly tell the reader what was about to happen next. i.e. Kaylee and Nash guiding Emma's soul back into her body since they had just discussed that they would be able to perform that task together. The relationship between Kaylee and her extended family was so ridiculous and the interactions were forced. It doesn't make sense to me that her aunt and uncle would put her in a mental institution when he knew exactly what Kaylee was going through and why she was screaming. I don't even really understand why her father wouldn't have told her the truth even if he couldn't be around her because Kaylee looked too much like her dead mother. It is absurd to me that Nash was the first person to clue Kaylee in on what was happening. I feel like the entire plot was just merely a subplot and that nothing really happened. Like okay so some girls were being killed and Kaylee found out her identity but nothing else really happened. Overall: 2/5 stars. I thought it was too predictable and that the banshee mythology wasn't well explained.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read this is a really good book, it's an easy read with an easy to follow story line. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Date published: 2014-04-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An interesting premise This was an interesting idea - a young woman who, when someone is about to die, can't help but scream. This has been a problem, as you can imagine. At first, she's not sure what it even is. It's not like people die nearby all the time, so even she isn't entirely sure what's going on, and has lived her life feeling a bit unstable and that her aunt and uncle are right - she's got a mild mental illness, alongside panic attacks, and she needs to be careful to keep herself balanced and okay. Until people do start to die nearby her on an alarmingly regular basis, and she learns that this ability she has - this horrible screaming - is a part of something much deadlier, much more complicated, and so much more than human. I liked the premise, and the story itself was fairly tight. I'm not sure how the author intends to keep the premise fresh through a whole series, but as a stand-alone story, this one is worth a peek. I listened to this one as an audiobook.
Date published: 2013-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart and Soul (Originally posted at This was actually the second time I've read My Soul to Take. I decided to take part in The Soul Screamers Reading Challenge hosted by Fitkshun over at Fiktshun's Blog because I thought it would be a great way to get back into the series before the much anticipated release of Before I Wake. I hadn't read MSTT since August of 2009, the day it came out. I was a huge fan (and still am) of Rachel Vincent's adult series, and was eagerly awaiting the release of her first YA book. And I was not disappointed. I spent one summer afternoon on my basement couch just reading, without stopping. It was addicting. It was really odd to re-read this book. After everything that has happened over the last five books (and trust me, a LOT has happened), it was really cool to go back and see how it all started. The characters have grown so much throughout the series, and it was a shock to see them back before everything happened. I found myself slipping into the story once again and, even though I knew what would happen, I couldn't stop reading it. The characters called me back every time, and the interesting and original storyline made this book completely unique. Over the series, I've come to really love Kaylee, but going back to the start I remembered my early irritations with her, and my misguided love of Nash. I kept trying to shove the characters back into the boxes of my opinion, but found it impossible. These are not the same characters they are in the later books, and my opinions of them grew as they did. I can't hate Nash because he really hasn't done anything to make me feel that way, just like I can't love Kaylee because my pride in her doesn't exist yet. I have re-read tons of books before, but this experience was new to me. Usually, characters grow but, in this case, it was like the characters weren't even the same people. And I loved it. I really adored the concept of this book even more the second time. As I mentioned before, I'm Irish, and I have studied Irish mythology more than once (not extensively, mind you) and it was great to read about Vincent's spin on bean sidhe. The added element of the Netherworld (a world apart from our own filled with grotesque creatures and soul-stealing hellions who feed on chaos and pain) was a great addition to the story. As were the reapers! I thought it was a very creative and well-thought out world, one that has so much potential built into it. And speaking of reapers...time for some Tod gushing! This adorable, sarcastic, and cunning reaper who stole my heart from his first scene. I am a very proud member of Team Tod, and love him more and more each book. It was so great to go back and see Kaylee's first impression of the angelic-haired soul snatcher, and notice a few things I didn't before! (Since what I noticed is a bit of a spoiler, I'm going to save that for a later review!) I can't wait to watch as his role increases, and as his wit and heart capture my love all over again. Overall, I'm so happy to have read this book again. Looking at the old story through new eyes was both jarring and enlightening. I think I'm going to love this series more the second time! Check out the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge if you're interested in these books! And, you can buy the first two books (and novella) in an omnibus! - Ciara who is lost at midnight
Date published: 2012-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a new paranormal creature MY SOUL TO TAKE is the first novel in the Soul Screamers series and is it ever nice to read about a different type of paranormal creature. I wonder where Rachel came up with the idea of creating a story base on a bean sidhes or banshees as more commonly known. I was super excited to be introduced to these novels(Special Thanks to Crissi @ Book Club). I used to have a thing for banshees and Irish ghost stories and the likes when I was younger. So I was excited to start reading this book. It was great! It was a fast and easy read. Nash and Tod are both pretty dreamy – I can’t pick between them! It’s too hard...don’t make me pick! I couldn’t guess what was going to happen which I really enjoy in a novel. I don’t like guessing where the story is going to go at the beginning and end up being right. I can see that Kaylee’s character is slowing going to grow and that she will have a significant role to play – I know that she is the main character but I think her role will grow into something more than just being a main character. Overall, it was a great beginning to what I’m know is going to be a fabulous series
Date published: 2012-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A really nice surprise I have no idea why I randomly picked up this title, but I'm definitely glad I did! I'm going to start with the things I didn't like just because I think this review should end on a good note just as the book did. The beginning was quite cliche (the "super hot unreachable boy who is nothing but surprisingly insightful and understanding for unexplainable reasons and is therefore too good to be true" story line has been done and done again), and for that reason was a little too much on the predictable side. Aside from that, some rather large plot holes near the end of the book left me with the feeling of "well that's a little random" which I'm not going to say too much about since it will most definitely ruin the story for all. I will say though that both of these are minor problems that the great story definitely makes up for. Now where to begin with the good things? Having read what seems like hundreds of teen paranormal-romance novels as of late, I have definitely grown tired of the same story being rehashed with new names, and am finding it quite hard to be really surprised anymore. That being said, My Soul to Take definitely caught me off guard at moments. I really feel like every character in the book was created with purpose and therefore found no real dislike for any particular person. As a matter of fact, most of the characters were really likable as well as relatable. The dynamic of the different types of paranormal beings was really interesting and all fit together like a puzzle in terms of how they interacted with each other. And the two main species of people are two that have not popped up in other novels recently and thus were very refreshing to read about. To put it together, this book was just refreshing and a great start to a new series. I've already ordered the next few books and can't wait to read them. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2011-02-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Room to Grow... It's not that I expected more from this novel, but there wasn't the initial oomph and gripping storyline that I normally am attracted. I remember not liking Vincent's first adult-oriented novel either, so I'm certainly willing to reserve judgement until I've read more. There's a part of me that also wanted a bit more interaction with Nash, a little more development. It all happpened too quickly and I like the sort of, reasonably, drawn out relationships. It's nice to see that some other readers agree on this. What I did like was that this brings us to a whole new universe outside of vampires and werewolves. In this one, we're brought even closer to the aspect of death by following along with banshees, and even a reaper. I actually found Tod to be a more interesting character and am hoping we see more of him. All in all, I like where this could possibly go, but I just wanted a little more.
Date published: 2010-03-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Could Have Been Better I wanted to like it more than I actually did. It was unexpected and creative, and I liked that. The plot was good, it just wasn’t executed well enough. I really liked the beginning, but lost some of the interest towards the end. The whole thing was rushed, and very short. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting. It just shouldn’t be a high priority on someone’s reading list. However, I am definitely willing to give this series a second chance.
Date published: 2010-01-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Becomes less interesting as story progresses My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent is the first book in the Soul Screamers series aimed for older teens. I was disappointed that the relationship between the protagonist, Kaylee, and Nash, developed too fast. Thus by page sixty, the two were already kissing. There were numerous parts in between that I lost interest in what I was reading and was hoping that those parts would quickly finish. This novel has mystery and romance. The concept of the story was interesting, with banshees (bean sidhes), grim reapers, and other creatures that inhabit the underworld. The abilities of banshees and grim reapers were the most fascinating to read about. Overall, it was a quick read, but I'm not sure if I want to continue reading the series. After reading a few teen novels, I am seeing repetition in the stories, and feel like I am looking for more from a story. There isn't even a slight hint of a moral to this story, like many others in this genre; they are written merely for the purpose of entertaining. Maybe the many novels of this category will please younger readers, but not those that are looking for something satisfying to read. Kaylee Cavanaugh lives with her Uncle Brendon, Aunt Val, and cousin, Sophie. Her mother died when she was three, and her father resides in Ireland. Sometimes Kaylee faces problems if she encounters someone that is supposed to die soon while she is in a large crowd. Once that person is spotted, Kaylee can no longer speak. She has an urge to scream that doesn't die until the person dies or she gets away from them. Unfortunately, Kaylee doesn't know why she has this urge and who she truly is. The story starts with Kaylee and her friend, Emma Marshall, sneaking into a club called Taboo because Emma's sister, Traci, works there. Emma is beautiful and Kaylee feels lucky to be her friend. There, as Kaylee watches Emma dance with any choice of partners available to her, Nash Hudson shows up and actually tries to have a conversation with her. Nash is one of the most good-looking guys from Kaylee's school and has a reputation of having a lot of girlfriends in the past. While Kaylee and Nash dance, she spots a beautiful blond girl in her teens who seems strange. Then, with a drink in her hand, Kaylee spots the blond again with an odd shadow around her. In an instant, Kaylee can no longer do anything but to try to stop herself from screaming. She knows that the blond will die very soon. How will Kaylee recover from the humiliation of Nash seeing her in such a state? Will Nash still talk to her when they see each other in school? Why is Nash talking to her and what is he hiding? Why are teenage girls dying without any cause? 2.5/5
Date published: 2009-12-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A New Series by Vincent! Kaylee has this "gift". She can sense when people around her are about to die. And when this happens, something beyond her control makes her scream at the top of her lungs. But why? Kaylee wants to know, but Nash, the most popular guy in school, seems to know more about her urge to scream that she does. And when girls start dropping dead for no apparent reason, the two start to investigate the case with their fellow reaper--and possibly dangerous--Tod. What they find out can cost them their lives. I really enjoyed this new world Vincent has created compared to her Werecat series. You can't help but to make comparisons between the books. Faythe, in Werecats, is a strong female lead, whereas Kaylee is the clueless girl who doesn't know the secret to her life. The only negative thing I have to say is that I found it a little dry at times, but other than that, it was still a nice read. I'll be waiting to read the sequel: My Soul to Save.
Date published: 2009-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You'll Be Screaming for More! This new series starts off by providing readers with a free prequel on the author's website called "My Soul To Lose". You do not have to read the prequel before you read "My Soul to Take", but the prequel does explain some things. Throughout the short online prequel, Kaylee Cavanaugh is at the mall with her best friend Emma. Suddenly, Kaylee sees a little boy in a wheelchair with a shadow outline and she begins screaming uncontrollably. Kaylee ends up in the psych ward because she tried to rip her own throat open when she was unconscious. The doctors do not really understand what Kaylee is suffering from, and she starts to believe that she has really gone crazy. The first novel of the series (My Soul to Take) takes place after the short prequel. Kaylee has been released from the hospital and she is trying to continue to lead a normal life. However, Kaylee and Emma go to a club, and Kaylee felt very uncomfortable when she saw another girl. Kaylee knows this feeling so she clamps her jaw shut in order to stop from screaming. Nash, who is a popular guy from Kaylee's school, comes over to Kaylee to try to help with her "panic attack", even though he had never even spoken to her once. Kaylee tells Emma and Nash (when she was able to speak) that the girl was going to die soon. The next day, Kaylee turns on the news and she calls Nash right away to tell him to turn on the news: the girl from the club did die the night before. As the novel goes on, Nash and Kaylee become closer with one another. However, Kaylee keeps having to clamp her mouth shut because her classmates keep dying. Kaylee tells her Aunt and Uncle (whom she lives with) that she can predict when people are about to die. However, even though her aunt says she does not believe her, Kaylee overhears her aunt and uncle talking about Kaylee living on borrowed time and that it is time for them to call her father. Kaylee and Nash try to figure out what secrets are being hidden from her. Nash also has his own theories too and he tells Kaylee that they both have special abilities to predict someone's death and bring them back to life. As the novel continues, Kaylee and Nash find out that there is a bad grim reaper who is killing people that are not on "the list". Kaylee, Nash and both of their families work together to stop the murdering grim reaper. Turns out somone in Kaylee's family is the cause of everyone dying because they made a deadly bargain with the grim reaper. I enjoyed this novel because there was lots of suspense, romance and secrets and the book kept me guessing all the way through. I also liked how this book is different from other paranormal books. The author plans to continue the series.
Date published: 2009-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good I really liked this book. I liked the characters and the story had a good pace to the plot. A great start to a new series. I look forward to the next book.
Date published: 2009-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It!! This was a great read, the whole idea behind this book is so different, unique and really interesting. The characters were really cool, and the way it was written was brilliant. It was defiantly a hard book to put down, you always want to know what happens next, because Kaylee is an awesome character with wicked powers..... Kaylee knows when some one is about to die, a scream rises from her chest, that makes her throat close up, her vision blurry, her heart racing......and the sight of someone who is darkened, meaning they are about to die. Kaylee's Aunt and Uncle accuse her of just having "panic attacks", but when Nash takes interest in her, he seems to know way more about her screams..then she does. 3 days, 3 girls die, Kaylee sensed two of them, but her and Nash know that they weren't supposed to die, secrets are revealed and the mystery unravels, Kaylee finds out the truth, one page at a time.... I really liked this book, the moment I started I was hooked. This was the first book I read by Rachel Vincent, but damn.. it won't be my last!! I am so anxious to read the sequel!!...My Soul To Save..
Date published: 2009-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling Read, Unique Mythos Reason for Reading: Even though I do not like romance books, I am getting into Paranormal Romances and Harlequin's new Teen books intrigued me. Comments: Kaylee can feel when someone near her is going to die. In fact she sees a dark shadow surrounding them. But then Kaylee has an overpowering urge to scream, a loud piercing, almost ear splitting screech that once starts she has no control over. The only way she can stop it is to get far enough away from the person then her urge dies down. Her best friend Emma helps her, thinking they are panic attacks. Her aunt and uncle, whom she lives with, have already sent her to the psych ward once so now she keeps the attacks secret. All her life the attacks have been years or almost a year apart but suddenly three girls in town drop dead in as may days and Kaylee is a witness to two of them. Something is not right. At the same time she meets a boy, Nash, who is able to calm her urge to scream without removing her from the 'pre-deceased'. This book was amazing! I won't tell you what Kaylee eventually finds out about herself but Ms. Vincent uses a very seldom used creature from folklore as characters in this novel. She has created a whole new wonderful mythos to work with that was pure joy to read. The story was compelling, very hard to put down. Kaylee is a strong female character, independent, yet respectful where it is due. It really is the story and the plot that kept me so hooked, though. Very well-written and unique to say the least. For a teen book, I was pleased with the portrayal of the romance aspect. Both Kaylee and Nash are smart, intelligent teens. Kaylee knows when to back off and not let things go to far and Nash is very respectful to notice Kaylee's body language and never take more than has been offered. Personally, I am not a big romance fan so the girl sighing over the boy in the beginning did have me rolling my eyes quite heavily but once the plot got going full steam the drooling over his various body parts took a back seat to the paranormal part. I mention this so that paranormal fans won't be afraid to pick up a book by Harlequin, thinking it will all be romance with a capital "R". Instead what you get is an incredibly unique paranormal story that is too good to miss, even if there is a bit of romance. I am very anxious to read Book 2. This one ends nicely with the plot being wrapped up, but there are some character threads left open that will transition nicely into the next book. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2009-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Scream MORE! Ever get the uncontrollable urge to do something, but that rational conscience of yours screams at you that it's a bad idea and you decide not to do it? Kaylee Cavanaugh has an urge she can't control or explain. There's no convenient conscience able to help her stop even when she's trying her best to resist. Kaylee is cursed with an unnerving ability to predict the imminent deaths of anyone around her. It just happens that this particular gift/curse also makes her scream as loud as she can when she does have a prediction for death. Kaylee thinks she might never get a handle on her screams, until one night she finds herself amidst a crowded bar scene with her high school's hottest catch and she feels the urge to scream. Nash is quick thinking, ushering her outside and calming her in a way she's never been able to be calmed before. He seems to know more about her gift then she does and when more girls start dying Kaylee decides that she wants answers! This first installment of Rachel Vincent's new YA series was absolutely phenominal! Ever since I read Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning I've been hooked on YA paranormal novels and series. With all honesty this has shot up to my top five favourites! It's got a heady mixture of romance, intrigue and all things paranormal. A new twist on death that'll make your bones rattle for more! Book 2 My Soul to Save is due out in December/09!
Date published: 2009-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting - I look forward to reading the follow up Kaylee Cavanagh is our heroine/lead in this new YA series by Rachel Vincent called Soul Screamers. And Kaylee has a huge problem on her hands: When people are about to die, not only can she sense it and see a dark cloud around the person, but a blood curdling scream is the only way she can seemingly release or deal with this information. She has been institutionalized for it, and these attacks have been written off as severe panic attacks, but everything she has come to believe and her life changes when she meets Nash Hudson. Nash is the hot jock from high school. Kaylee and Nash have barely acknowledged one another’s existence until one night at Taboo (a night club Kaylee and her best friend Emma snuck into) when Nash comes up to her, and starts chatting her up. Kaylee is quite skeptical at first as she cannot understand why this hot boy is talking to her of all people and knows things about her. As she is attracted to him and trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, while they’re dancing at the club, she starts to feel one of her “panic attacks” coming on. The source seems to be a strawberry blond girl at the bar. Kaylee starts silently freaking out, and Nash helps her escape the busy scene until they are outside in an alley. Distance helps ease the build up of the scream it seems, but once outside Nash is also somehow soothing Kaylee, a first, and while she’s dealing with the building scream in her head, cannot understand why Nash is being so understanding, and not freaking out on her, labeling her as crazy and freak. Once the “attack” eases she is also compelled to tell Nash the truth about everything that is happening and how she is feeling, and still after hearing all of it, he is being more than understanding. But it’s not only Nash that hear’s her confession as her friend Emma hear’s it too, and initially brushes it off as Kaylee being Kaylee with all her panic attack craziness. Even with Emma's "crazy" brush off of the attack, Kaylee can tell that Nash is not quite brushing off her attack as easily, and us readers know that there is more to Nash than what meets the eye! Suffice to say, once Kaylee recovers, she drives both Nash and Emma home. While Emma is not around as much in the novel until more than halfway through the book, the reader knows right away from the bar and drive home scenes that Nash becomes a very important character and support for Kaylee as he helps her realize the truth behind the attacks, her life, and his feelings for her. Beyond the blossoming relationship that is Kaylee and Nash, the duo have some other problems on their hands. Not only does the strawberry blond girl drop dead at that club, but other young beautiful girls seem to be dropping dead at a one-a-day rate. The cause of death is very suspicious, and although the girls are not related, the fact that they are young and beautiful, and this is all happening in the span of a few days, means that in no way is this a coincidence. But how are Kaylee and Nash going to prove such a thing? I mean these girls are hanging out with the friends one minute, and crumple to the ground the next! Well I’m obviously not going to tell you, you’re gonna have to read it yourself if you want to find out what happens!!!! It should be noted that Kaylee’s family situation is not terribly great either. She lives with her aunt and uncle (and horrid cousin Sophie) as her Mom passed away in a car wreck when she was young, and her father left her in his brother and wife’s care when he couldn’t handle her as she reminded him of his late wife. While the father does make a reappearance, we learn a lot more about Uncle Brendon and Aunt Val as the story progresses. Their role in the story is an important one. Family overall in this series, I think is going to play a big role in the storyline! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was very introductory, as most first books in a series are, did not have a lot action-action, but it was not boring. I think the story of Kaylee (and Nash) will only get better as the series continues. This is not a typical paranormal with vampires and shifters. If I were to pick a type, I would say Faerie-LITE. This series so far does deal with Irish folklore (bean sidhes etc.), a Netherworld, Grim Reapers, and death which has a very bureaucratic edge to it. If you are looking for something a little different in the paranormal genre, that’s interesting, has romance, and a good story line with great potential, definitely give this one a try. It’s a quick read at less than 300 pages, but it’s quite good! Enjoy
Date published: 2009-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from When an Banesidhe is a teenage girl Well I gotta give Rachel Vincent credit. A teenage banesidhe in the american heartland is original. Although I gotta say there wasn't much mystery as to what she was. The main character is A)Female B)Screams when people are about to die. C)Of Irish descent. And she doesn't guess that she's a banesidhe(banshee/whatever). So i'm going to say she D)Dense as a brick This isn't a straight paranormal. It's a paranormal teenage romance. So get ready for some sappy teenage agnst. Plot line? Girl sneaks into bar. Meets Boy. Notices another girl is about die. Nearly screams like a banshee infront of boy. Boy seemingly understands what happening and helps her make an escape. Girl has another experience. Girl confides to guardian. Girl confides to boy. Boy explains situation to girl. Girl is flabbergasted. Girl and Boy investigate mysterious deaths. Girl/Boy/Girl's Guardian/Parent/Grim Reaper/kitchen sink/etc. fight epic battle against evil. Girl gets boy. The end.
Date published: 2009-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Umm...WOW! I was very close to not getting this book and was completely suprised to find how amazing it was and how much i loved it! Origional and creative, fast paced with a touch of romance, great characters. PLEASE go and read this book!
Date published: 2009-08-02

Read from the Book

"Come on!" Emma whispered from my right, her words floating from her mouth in a thin white cloud. She glared at the battered steel panel in front of us, as if her own impatience would make the door open. "She forgot, Kaylee. I should have known she would." More white puffs drifted from Emma's perfectly painted mouth as she bounced to stay warm, her curves barely contained in the low-cut shimmery red blouse she'd "borrowed" from one of her sisters.Yes, I was a little envious; I had few curves and no sister from whom to borrow hot clothes. But I did have the time, and one glance at my cell phone told me it was still four minutes to nine. "She'll be here." I smoothed the front of my own shirt and slid my phone into my pocket as Emma knocked for the third time. "We're early. Just give her a minute."My own puff of breath had yet to fade when metal creaked and the door swung slowly toward us, leaking rhythmic flashes of smoky light and a low thumping beat into the cold, dark alley. Traci Marshall—Emma's youngest older sister—stood with one palm flat against the door, holding it open. She wore a snug, low-cut black tee, readily displaying the family resemblance, as if the long blond hair wasn't enough."'Bout time!" Emma snapped, stepping forward to brush past her sister. But Traci slapped her free hand against the door frame, blocking our entrance.She returned my smile briefly, then frowned at her sister. "Nice to see you too. Tell me the rules."Emma rolled wide-set brown eyes and rubbed her bare, goose-pimpled arms—we'd left our jackets in my car. "No alcohol, no chemicals. No fun of any sort." She mumbled that last part, and I stifled a smile."What else?" Traci demanded, obviously struggling to maintain a rare scowl."Come together, stay together, leave together," I supplied, reciting the same lines we'd repeated each time she snuck us in—only twice before. The rules were lame, but I knew from experience that we wouldn't get in without them."And"Emma stamped her feet for warmth, chunky heels clacking on the concrete. "If we get caught, we don't know you."As if anyone would believe that. The Marshall girls were all cast from the same mold: a tall, voluptuous mold that put my own modest curves to shame.Traci nodded, apparently satisfied, and let her hand fall from the door frame. Emma stepped forward and her sister frowned, pulling her into the light from the hall fixture overhead. "Is that Cara's new shirt?"Emma scowled and tugged her arm free. "She'll never know it's gone."Traci laughed and motioned with one arm toward the front of the club, from which light and sound flooded the back rooms and offices. Now that we were all inside, she had to shout to be heard over the music. "Enjoy the rest of your life while it lasts, 'cause she's gonna bury you in that shirt."Unperturbed, Emma danced her way down the hall and into the main room, hands in the air, hips swaying with the pulse of the song. I followed her, keyed up by the energy of the Saturday-night crowd from the moment I saw the first cluster of bodies in motion.We worked our way into the throng and were swallowed by it, assimilated by the beat, the heat and the casual partners pulling us close. We danced through several songs, together, alone and in random pairs, until I was breathing hard and damp with sweat. I signaled Emma that I was going for a drink, and she nodded, already moving again as I worked my way toward the edge of the crowd.Behind the bar, Traci worked alongside another bartender, a large, dark man in a snug black tee, both oddly lit by a strip of blue neon overhead. I claimed the first abandoned bar stool, and the man in black propped both broad palms on the bar in front of me."I got this one," Traci said, one hand on his arm. He nodded and moved on to the next customer. "What'll it be?" Traci smoothed back a stray strand of pale, blue-tinted hair.I grinned, leaning with both elbows on the bar. "Jack and Coke?"She laughed. "I'll give you the Coke." She shot soda into a glass of ice and slid it toward me. I pushed a five across the bar and swiveled on my stool to watch the dance floor, scanning the multitude for Emma. She was sandwiched between two guys in matching UT Dallas fraternity tees and neon, legal-to-drink bracelets, all three grinding in unison.Emma drew attention like wool draws static.Still smiling, I drained my soda and set my glass on the bar."Kaylee Cavanaugh."I jumped at the sound of my own name and whirled toward the stool to my left. My gaze settled on the most hypnotic set of hazel eyes I'd ever seen, and for several seconds I could only stare, lost in the most amazing swirls of deep brown and vivid green, which seemed to churn in time with my own heartbeat—though surely they were just reflecting the lights flashing overhead. My focus only returned when I had to blink, and the momentary loss of contact brought me back to myself.That's when I realized who I was staring at.Nash Hudson. Holy crap. I almost looked down to see if ice had anchored my feet to the floor, since hell had surely frozen over. Somehow I'd stepped off the dance floor and into some weird warp zone where irises swam with color and Nash Hudson smiled at me, and me alone.I picked up my glass, hoping for one last drop to rewet my suddenly dry throat—and wondered fleetingly if Traci had spiked my Coke—but discovered it every bit as empty as I'd expected."Need a refill?" Nash asked, and that time I made my mouth open. After all, if I was dreaming—or in the Twilight Zone— I had nothing to lose by speaking. Right?"I'm good. Thanks." I ventured a hesitant smile, and my heart nearly exploded when I saw my grin reflected on his upturned, perfectly formed lips."How'd you get in here?" He arched one brow, more in amusement than in real curiosity. "Crawl through the window?""Back door," I whispered, feeling my face flush. Of course he knew I was a junior—too young even for an eighteen-and-over club, like Taboo."What?" He grinned and leaned closer to hear me above the music. His breath brushed my neck, and my pulse pounded so hard I felt light-headed. He smelled sooo good."Back door," I repeated into his ear. "Emma's sister works here.""Emma's here?"I pointed her out on the dance floor—now swaying with three guys at once—and assumed that would be the last I saw of Nash Hudson. But to my near-fatal shock, he dismissed Em at a glance and turned back to me with a mischievous gleam in those amazing eyes."Aren't you gonna dance?"My hand was suddenly sweaty around my empty glass. Did that mean he wanted to dance with me? Or that he wanted the bar stool for his girlfriend?No, wait. He'd dumped his latest girlfriend the week before, and the sharks were already circling the fresh meat. Though they're not circling him now I saw no one from Nash's usual crowd, either clustered around him or on the dance floor."Yeah, I'm gonna dance," I said, and again, his eyes were swirling green melting into brown and back, flashing blue occasionally in the neon glow. I could have stared at his eyes for hours. But he probably would have thought that was weird."Let's go!" He took my hand and stood as I slid off the bar stool, and I followed him onto the dance floor. A fresh smile bloomed on my face, and my chest seemed to tighten around my heart in anticipation. I'd known him for a while—Emma had gone out with a few of his friends—but had never been the sole object of his attention. Had never even considered the possibility.If Eastlake High School were the universe, I would be one of the moons circling Planet Emma, constantly hidden by her shadow, and glad to be there. Nash Hudson would be one of the stars: too bright to look at, too hot to touch and at the center of his own solar system.But on the dance floor, I forgot all that. His light was shining directly on me, and it was sooo warm.We wound up only feet from Emma, but with Nash's hands on me, his body pressed into mine, I barely noticed. That first song ended, and we were moving to the next one before I even fully realized the beat had changed.Several minutes later, I glimpsed Emma over Nash's shoulder. She stood at the bar with one of the guys she'd been grinding with, and as I watched, Traci set a drink in front of each of them. When her sister turned around, Emma grabbed her partner's drink—something dark with a wedge of lime on the rim—and drained it in three gulps. Frat boy smiled, then pulled her back into the crowd.I made a mental note not to let Emma drive my car—ever— then let my eyes wander back to Nash, where they wanted to be in the first place. But on the way, my gaze was snagged by an unfamiliar sheet of strawberry-blond hair, crowning the head of the only girl in the building to rival Emma in beauty. This girl, too, had her choice of dance partners, and though she couldn't have been more than eighteen, she'd obviously had much more to drink than Emma.But despite how pretty and obviously charismatic she was, watching her dance twisted something deep inside my gut and made my chest tighten, as if I couldn't quite get enough air. Something was wrong with her. I wasn't sure how I knew, but I was absolutely certain that something was not right with that girl."You okay?" Nash shouted, laying one hand on my shoulder, and suddenly I realized I'd gone still, while everyone around me was still writhing to the beat."Yeah!" I shook off my discomfort and was relieved to find that looking into Nash's eyes chased away that feeling of wrong-ness, leaving in its place a new calm, eerie in its depth and reach.We danced for several more songs, growing more comfortable with each other with every moment that passed. By the time we stopped for a drink, sweat was gathering on the back of my neck and my arms were damp.I lifted the bulk of my hair to cool myself and waved to Emma with my free hand as I turned to follow Nash off the dance floor—and nearly collided with that same strawberry blonde. Not that she noticed. But the minute my eyes found her, that feeling was back in spades—that strong discomfort, like a bad taste in my mouth, only all over my body. And this time it was accompanied by an odd sadness. A general melancholy that felt specifically connected to this one person. Whom I'd never met."Kaylee?" Nash yelled over the music. He stood at the bar, holding two tall glasses of soda, slick with condensation. I closed the space between us and took the glass he offered, a little frightened to notice that this time, even staring straight into his eyes couldn't completely relax me. Couldn't quite loosen my throat, which threatened to close against the cold drink I so desperately craved."What's wrong?" We stood inches apart, thanks to the throng pressing ever closer to the bar, but he still had to lean into me to be heard."I don't know. Something about that girl, that redhead over there—" I nodded toward the dancer in question "—bothers me." Well, crap. I hadn't meant to admit that. It sounded so pathetic aloud.But Nash only glanced at the girl, then back at me. "Seems okay to me. Assuming she has a ride home""Yeah, I guess." But then the current song ended, and the girl stumbled—looking somehow graceful, even when obviously intoxicated—off the dance floor and toward the bar. Headed right for us.My heart beat harder with every step she took. My hand curled around my glass until my knuckles went white. And that familiar sense of melancholy swelled into an overwhelming feeling of grief. Of dark foreboding.I gasped, startled by a sudden, gruesome certainty.Not again. Not with Nash Hudson there to watch me completely freak out. My breakdown would be all over the school on Monday, and I could kiss goodbye what little social standing I'd gained.Nash set his glass down and peered into my face. "Kaylee? You okay?" But I could only shake my head, incapable of answering. I was far from okay, but couldn't articulate the problem in any way resembling coherence. And suddenly the potentially devastating rumors looked like minor blips on my disaster meter compared to the panic growing inside me.Each breath came faster than the last, and a scream built deep within my chest. I clamped my mouth shut to hold it back, grinding my teeth painfully. The strawberry blonde stepped up to the bar on my left, and only a single stool and its occupant stood between us. The male bartender took her order and she turned sideways to wait for her drink. Her eyes met mine. She smiled briefly, then stared out onto the dance floor.Horror washed over me in a devastating wave of intuition. My throat closed. I choked on a scream of terror. My glass slipped from my hand and shattered on the floor. The redheaded dancer squealed and jumped back as ice-cold soda splattered her, me, Nash, and the man on the stool to my left. But I barely noticed the frigid liquid, or the people staring at me.I saw only the girl, and the dark, translucent shadow that had enveloped her."Kaylee?" Nash tilted my face up so that our eyes met. His were full of concern, the colors swirling almost out of control now in the flashing lights. Watching them made me dizzy.I wanted to tell him something. Anything. But if I opened my mouth, the scream would rip free, and then anyone who wasn't already looking at me would turn to stare. They'd think I'd lost my mind.Maybe they'd be right."What's wrong?" Nash demanded, stepping closer to me now, heedless of the glass and the wet floor. "Do you have seizures?" But I could only shake my head at him, refusing passage to the wail trying to claw its way out of me, denying the existence of a narrow bed in a sterile white room, awaiting my return.And suddenly Emma was there. Emma, with her perfect body, beautiful face and heart the size of an elephant's. "She'll be fine." Emma pulled me away from the bar as the male bartender came forward with a mop and bucket. "She just needs some air." She waved off Traci's worried look and frantic hand gestures, then tugged me through the crowd by one arm.I clamped my free palm over my mouth and shook my head furiously when Nash tried to take that hand in his. I should have been worried about what he would think. That he would want nothing else to do with me now that I'd publicly embarrassed him. But I couldn't concentrate long enough to worry about anything but the redhead at the bar. The one who'd watched us leave through a shadow-shroud only I could see.Emma led me past the bathrooms and into the back hall, Nash close on my heels. "What's wrong with her?" he asked."Nothing." Emma paused to turn and smile at us both, and gratitude broke through my dark terror for just an instant. "It's a panic attack. She just needs some fresh air and time to calm down."But that's where she was wrong. It wasn't time I needed, so much as space. Distance, between me and the source of the panic. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room in the whole club to get me far enough away from the girl at the bar. Even with me standing by the back door, the panic was as strong as ever. The unspoken shriek burned my throat, and if I unclenched my jaws—if I lost control—my scream would shatter eardrums all over Taboo. It would put the thumping dance beat to shame, and possibly blow out the speakers—if not the windows.All because of some redhead I didn't even know.Just thinking about her sent a fresh wave of devastation through me, and my knees collapsed. My fall caught Emma off guard, and I would have pulled her down if Nash hadn't caught me.He lifted me completely off the ground, cradling me like a child, and followed Emma out the back door with me secure in his arms. The club had been dim, but the alley was dark, and it went quiet once the door thumped shut behind us, Emma's bank card keeping the latch from sliding home. The frigid near-silence should have calmed me, but the racket in my head had reached its zenith. The scream I refused to release slammed around in my brain, reverberating, echoing, punctuating the grief still thick in my heart.Nash set me down in the alley, but by then my thoughts had lost all semblance of logic or comprehension. I felt something smooth and dry beneath me, and only later would I realize Emma had found a collapsed box for him to set me on.My jeans had ridden up on my legs when Nash carried me, and the cardboard was cold and gritty with grime against my calves."Kaylee?" Emma knelt in front of me, her face inches from mine, but I couldn't make sense of a word she said after my name. I heard only my own thoughts. Just one thought, actually.