Wednesday 8 February 2012

If I Die by Rachel Vincent. (Blog Tour: Review and Q&A)

For Review: Mira Ink
Published: 3 February 2012

From Goodreads: No one wants to be this teacher's pet…

The entire school’s talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr Beck. That is, 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.

As everyone has probably worked out I am a massive fan of this series. I'd heard that this one was a series changer and now I know why! But it's in a really, really good way!

The story picks up where we left off at the end of My Soul to Steal. Kaylee and Nash are trying to work out their troubles, a possible Incubus is feeding off high school students and Kaylee is informed she only has a few days to live...

This is most definitely my favourite of the series so far. It takes elements that have been set in place in previous books and kind of fits them all together. I had no idea how Rachel Vincent was going to tie the storyline up - what would happen at the end of the book - but I had absolute faith that I would love it. And love it I did!

Kaylee really grows in this instalment. Because of the news she receives about her impending death this is kind of inevitable - she has to face those tough decisions she's tried to ignore in the past. And I love that she focuses on fighting the Incubus and helping people even with everything she is feeling and going through.

I have to say I felt really sorry for Nash in this. Despite my reservations for him and Kaylee as a couple I love his character - he has some issues he really needs to face and I love that Vincent hasn't given him the easy way out. She also throws additional stuff at him in this so I'm looking forward to seeing how he reacts when we catch up with them all in Before I Wake. 

As for Tod - I think I love him even more! I am so pleased he shared the story of how he died with Kaylee - I have been looking forward to that since reading Reaper. And Sabine is on fine form too! Honestly I adore her and am so glad she is now a permanent part of the gang.

As for the ending - HOLY BLINKING NORA and YAY! Let's just say I got my wish and the ending to this really sets up the next book as a must read!

Awesome with a side of awesome!

As part of the blog tour for the release of If I Die, Rachel Vincent also took the time to answer a few of my questions...

I'd heard If I Die described as a series changer and now I understand why! Was it always your intention to take the story in this direction?

No. Honestly, while I don’t deny that If I Die is a game changer in more than one way, the path to most of those changes actually began way back in My Soul To Keep (book 3). Maybe even earlier, though I didn’t see it coming at first. What happened to Nash in My Soul To Save and the decisions he made in MSTKeep changed him. They changed him for the better, as a character, in my opinion. No one calls him a cookie-cutter YA boyfriend anymore. He has real strengths and weaknesses, and he deals the best he can. But in a group as tight-knit as Kaylee’s circle of friends and relatives, no one character can go through a change that big without affecting all of the others. Nash changed. His relationship with Kaylee changed. Her understanding of what she wants (for him, for them as a couple, and for herself) evolved and changed.

The reason for that is simple: the things that Nash is going through can’t be fixed in a day. Or in a week. Or in a month. Or, most likely in a year or more. He’s not going to recover overnight, like a television sitcom character, and if I’d tried to make him bounce back that fast, I would have been lying to him, to myself, and to the readers. Consequences are real in the Soul Screamers world, just like in our world (though the breadth is certainly wider there than in our world). Nash’s relationships have been tested. They’ll continue to be tested. But he’s fortunate enough to have a great support system, whether he sees that right now or not. ;)

I love the world you've created with this series. How much work goes into planning and mapping it all out? And how do you keep track of it all...?

Um…a lot, though I don’t really know how to quantify it. At the beginning, I kept track with an Excel chart, but I got really bad about that after a few books. Now, I mostly search the previous manuscripts for any bits I’ve forgotten. That works, except in the cases when things were changed at the page proof level and are slightly different from the printed version.

And, sometimes I ask my readers on line if they remember a certain bit of information, which I then verify. My readers are awesome, and they don’t seem to mind helping me remember how old Kaylee’s dad is or what color Harmony’s eyes are. ;)

Another thing I love about your stories is the way the characters stay true to themselves. They may evolve and grow but they don't change in order to service the plot. Is something that is important to you as an author?

SO very important. Characters should grow. Without growth, the stories will stagnate. But grown shouldn’t be confused with a sudden, miraculous shift in outlook or action. Unless something really big happens to a character. As in the end of If I Die. ;)

I've been looking forward to it since reading Reaper so I'm really pleased Tod shares his story with Kaylee. Will Nash ever learn the truth?

About how Tod died? I suspect he’ll learn in the final book. It doesn’t seem fair to keep it from him much longer.

Do you have any plans for another YA series?

Plans? Yes. Contracts? Not so far. I won’t have time to finish a new proposal until after I’ve turned in the last book.
Thanks Rachel!

You can find Rachel Vincent at her Website, on Facebook and Twitter.


XROCK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
smiling_ina said...

Sorry, was signed into the wrong account. Here's my comment again. ;)

Awesome interview! Love the questions - and answers, too, of course. :D Wow, I cannot wait for Nash to find out the truth. I sooo want to know his reaction and thoughts to that. :)

Anonymous said...

Fab review and interview - I've only read the first in the souls screamers but I'm dying to read the rest!

Interesting way of keeping track of the world :D


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