If I Die by Rachel Vincent

Posted August 15, 2013 by Brin in Reviews / 1 Comment

If I Die by Rachel VincentIf I Die by Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers #5
Published by Mira on February 3rd 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Source: I Bought It
Goodreads

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.

Anything.

Ok total fangirling moment here – I absolutely loved this book. If I Die is the fifth book in a series that has completely captured my attention and stole my heart. It was the most nail-biting, tense and exciting book yet. I was captivated from the very first chapter right to then end (and what an ending). If I thought My Soul to Keep was a game-changer well this book completely and utterly turned everything around and on its head. I am still reeling from all the twists and turns. Rachel Vincent – I salute you. Never have I been more surprised (and delighted) about how a story has developed.

You know you are in for a bumpy ride right from the very first chapter. Kaylee walks in and overhears a conversation between Tod (her boyfriend Nash’s reaper brother) and her father. Tod has to deliver some devastating news to Kaylee. The latest reaper list is out – and Kaylee’s name is on it. Kaylee’s father is determined to overturn this but Tod advises that her life cannot be extended. Since her mother gave her life in exchange for Kaylee’s in the accident all those years ago, Kaylee has been living on borrowed time – and there are no second chances.

Kaylee is left reeling from this news. However, there is no time for her to dwell on her predicament when she discovers that one of her teachers is actually an Incubus, who has been preying on young, impressionable teen girls, and who has made her best friend Emma his next target. Kaylee throws herself into yet another investigation, all the while trying to come to terms with her imminent demise and also trying to juggle her conflicted feelings for Nash and set her affairs in order.

Throughout the course of her investigation, Kaylee finds herself relying on Tod more and more until suddenly she realises she can no longer hide from what is right in front of her anymore. Kaylee must make a decision about which boy holds her heart, even though her time is very quickly running out…

This was definitely my favourite book yet. If I Die was such an incredible read. Right away the story hooks you in. Rachel Vincent is not afraid to shake things up and when you find out that the main character is going to die in the very first chapter, you know that you are in for quite a ride. My heart broke with Kaylee when she discovered what her fate was going to be. In typical Kaylee style, she did not sit around bemoaning the fact that she was going to die within a week; she took action and threw herself into helping others once more.

Kaylee may be starting to make herself into something of a martyr but I really like the fact that she is so selfless but at the same time realistically flawed. She doesn’t always make the best decisions, but they are from the heart every time. Case in point: what happens between Kaylee/Nash/Tod. I admit, I was very happy with how this triangle was resolved. I have long been an advocate of her ultimate choice, though how it transpires is a little unfortunate for all parties concerned.

**SPOILER ALERT – HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW**

Nash is a character I have struggled with but I really felt sorry for him when he saw Kaylee and Tod kissing – he did not deserve to find out like that. Still I feel that Kaylee made the right choice, even though it hurt of all three them.

**END OF SPOILER**

I liked the Incubus plotline but my interest really lay with Kaylee’s personal storyline. I loved how the two eventually converged even though what ended up happening to Kaylee ripped my heart into teeny tiny pieces.

**SPOILER ALERT – HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW**

If I didn’t already love Tod before, his being unable to reap her soul when she was dying would have done it for me, especially with the consequences it had for him – thank heavens Kaylee managed to get Tod restored or I would have heaved my book over the room and probably never returned to the series! 

**END OF SPOILER**

Thane (the reaper sent to take Kaylee’s soul for the second time) was another interesting character. Even though Tod ‘fed’ him to Avari I very much doubt this is the last we will see of him.

If I Die was by far and away the best book in a series that has surpassed all my (high) expectations. The series just goes from strength to strength. The storylines are always interesting but really makes the series so special are the characters. They are so realistically depicted: selfless but flawed at the same time.

I have to say Kaylee is one of my favourite protagonists. Even when I find her actions frustrating, I always root for her and admire her strength and innate goodness and courage in the face of adversity. Tod is my favourite character in the series (and right up there with Adrian Ivashkov as my favourite YA male). I just adore his snarkiness but you really get to see another side of him in If I Die. Even Nash has really grown on me and, heaven forbid, so has Sabine. I felt for her in the last book but could not bring myself to like her at all. This book changed my opinion completely.

**SPOILER ALERT – HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW**

I could perhaps even root for her and Nash as a couple and I would never have said that whilst reading the last book!!

**END OF SPOILER**

Emma once again proved what a great friend she is (I love seeing well depicted girl friendships in YA). Alec wasn’t in the book much but I still liked what we saw of him. Even Sophie didn’t annoy me too much.

Kudos Rachel Vincent. Another exciting instalment in a series that continues to impress at every turn. I cannot wait to read Before I Wake.

Brin

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