Title: The Weight of Souls
Author: Bryony Pearce
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Source: I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…
She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.
But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.
Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?
And what happens if she starts to fall for him?
The Weight of Souls is a fun, creepy read for fan of YA urban fantasy. I really liked the concept of Taylor's curse, it was interesting and original. I think the closest comparison is a cross between a grim reaper and an avenging angel. Regardless, Taylor's curse was my favourite part of the story.
Taylor was a great character. She's tough and, due to her curse, is forced to live on the edge of her school's society, which makes her an easy target for bullies. While she's not all that likeable from the outside, I cared about her right away and considering what she has to go through on a daily basis, I totally understand her actions.
Another character I appreciated was Taylor's father. That's right, a caring, present parent in a YA book! Not to say that he's not a bit obsessive about "curing" his daughter, because he is, but I would probably act the same if I was in his place.
I also liked the character of Justin. He illustrated really well the different personas we put on in different situations. For example, the way he acted with his friends was totally different from the way he acted once Taylor got to know him in real life.
On to the creepy bits. The creepy factor wasn't that high in this one, but there were a few. Mainly it was the concept of having to be constantly on the look out for ghosts. In fact, it was the non-supernatural aspects of V Club that were the creepiest.
Overall, I enjoyed The Weight of Souls for it's relateable main character and original ghost lore. I recommend this one to fans of urban fantasy, curses and tough-but-likeable heroines.
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