Author – Jackie Sonnenberg
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3.5/5
Most of you may have noticed that earlier in the year I was reading and reviewing books in pretty rapid fashion. At least it was fast for me. I was able to check out several works from Terry M. West, Kevin Strange, and several volumes of my favorite series, Vampire Hunter D.
A few months back the Horror Society Facebook was contacted by author Jackie Sonnenberg to check out her novel My Soul to Keep. At the time I was churning out a book review on a weekly basis so I accepted to check it out. Sadly, things at work and home have been so hectic and I couldn’t make the time to finish the novel until now. I want to apologize to Jackie for taking so long to get the review up!
**Spoiler Alert**The story follows a young girl who is having a hard time coping with the loss of her father. Her mother had taken her to several doctors and even had her medicated but nothing seemed to work. She tried something a bit more drastic and had her sent to a private school so she could better heal. She quickly meets an old friend and rekindles that old connection but something strange starts to happen on campus.
She spots a group of people wearing robes and follows them to a clearing where she witnesses them levitate. She believes that they can communicate with the dead and tries to learn more about them. She soon discovers that they are a group of students on campus that believe in their inner light. She quickly joins the group in hopes of speaking to her father again but things are not as they seem. She soon finds out that some things are better left alone.
I’ll be honest, this is not the kind of book I would normally pick out for myself to read. I really enjoy bizarro horror stories that following talking dildos and other strange characters like you find from the mind of Kevin Strange or serious horror stories that paint visceral images of gore like Terry M. West. This story looks and feels like it was aimed towards the teenage readers. With that being said, I really enjoyed it.
The story for this one is well thought out and full of intrigue and mystery but does go on for a little too long. A little too good an eye for detail if you ask me. The story is a teenage drama at it’s base and then surrounds itself with the supernatural. It’s primary focus is the life of a young girl who has a heavy heart and trying to fit in. She has to deal with social organizations, peer ridicule, and clicks. This is something we have seen so many times before in film and literature. What really sets this one apart from the others is the supernatural angle. This fun take on the supernatural left me guessing up until the very end. My only real complaint is the length of the story and how much detail Sonnenberg went into. So many pages could have been cut and left out just to help move the story along.
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters as well. They are written in a similar manner as R. L. Stine would write his characters. They are cookie cutter characters that can be found in any children’s book or television show. This gives the reader something to identify with. Stories like Harry Potter andPercy Jackson has the reader following characters with abnormal abilities which the reader has nothing in common with.
Finally, this novel is well written and very easy to follow. There is no over complicated words or a complex reading experience making this one a perfect read for any teenager or adult minus a few profanities. There is a few, very few, errors and mistakes. In fact, this 388 page novel has fewer mistakes than this short review. Overall, My Soul to Keep may not be the type of story I would normally adventure to but it was still an entertaining read. It hit all the right notes and pulled me into another world.
Check it out!