Author: Bryony Pearce
Publication date: August 6th, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
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?
I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first ARC from a publisher since I been blogging for the last three months. I was extremely excited to read it and had to keep my hands from crawling to it each time I finished a book and was selecting another to read. I wanted to wait until it was closer to the release date so the book would be fresh in my mind for my review. When I read the synopsis, I was flabbergasted that nothing like this has been written (that I can find) yet. It is such a unique perspective on a girl who can see ghosts. Avenging murder victims due to an Egyptian curse placed on your family ages ago? Uh, yes, please!
This book opens on an Asian girl named Taylor who is the butt of every joke, the focus of every torment, and the dirt beneath every shoe. She is not popular, to say the least. She used to be normal and happy, until her 10th birthday changed all that. She started seeing ghosts and being hounded by them to be avenged. The stalk her and toy with her until her life is a twisted mass of paranoia that alienates her from the meager amount of friends she has.
The king of the tormentors is one, Justin Hargreaves. He hates her for some unknown reason and has made it his mission in life to make her miserable. He succeeds perfectly, even right up until he marks her and causes her to go on a journey to find who murdered him and feed them to the Darkness before the Darkness eats her first. Along the way Taylor and Justin start to see each other in a new light. Dare I say, they could actually be... friends?!
This book was beautifully written. The authors that work with Strange Chemistry Publishing all seem to be very elequante in their writing. They don't use a lot of slang, they don't use too much or too little imagery, and they have a way of transporting their readers directly into the main character's position so we feel what the character feels. I was aching for Taylor. I couldn't understand why everyone wished to tear her down and make her feel less than nothing. Sure, she was weird. But, who could blame her? If I was threatened with death on a constant basis AND saw dead people? I would probably be a bit odd too.
The Weight of Souls is an alternative fantasy read that actually has a non-Caucasian main character as many other books seem to be feature. It features the strength of it's female protagonist in the face of insurmountable obstacles and her determination to do what she has to do to stay alive even when most in her situation would have given up. The Weight of Souls spotlights as a must read for fantasy buffs who enjoy female characters who are a bit crazy, a little sassy, and extremely lovable.