Book Review: If I Die

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Book Review: If I Die / Author: Rachel Vincent / Format: Paperback / Publisher: Mira Ink / Release Date: Out Now

Supernatural stories aimed at teenagers are nothing new; the fear of the dark (and the monsters that hide in it) makes an obvious metaphor for the fear of the new caused by growing up. If I die by Rachel Vincent is a recent addition to this long list, and a welcome addition to her already very popular Soul Screamers series. Stories of this ilk have been around for quite some time, and will continue to sell for as long as there are nervous teenagers.

So the mind boggles why every publisher has to try and flog any young adult book that has a supernatural element to it as the next Twilight. Let me make this very clear; Vincent is a much better, much more skilled and much more readable storyteller than Meyer by several light years. That’s not to say I found this terribly entertaining; despite it being well written and solidly paced, it’s firmly targeted at teenage girls, and more specifically, American teenagers who live comfortable lives, and this does reduce the appeal for the rest of us by a fair margin.

If I die follows the adventures of Kaylee Cavanaugh, a girl who carries the curse of the Banshee. This means that she screams a terrible scream when near someone doomed to die. This is a great plot device, and is used very well to propel the story forward. The twist is that this time, the scream is meant for her. Kaylee Cavanaugh is a girl on borrowed time.

The supporting cast of character lends a hint of Buffy The Vampire Slayer to the whole affair; we have the loyal friend, the moping boy, the clueless boyfriend and the bitch from hell as characters here, and this is part of the problem; they aren’t terribly sympathetic and I was often filled with the urge to give some of these youngsters a firm telling off and to stop moping.

This tells me that if this is your sort of thing, then you’ll find yourself totally enthralled. Rachel Vincent is a solid talent, and I look forward to what she has planned next; but for now I’ll be giving this series to my younger friends to enjoy.

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