This book has been a favorite of mine since I was a teen. I love it to pieces, therefore be warned: I may be slightly biased in my review.
Things that make this novel different:
1. The book features Bean Sidhe (Banshee) from Irish folklore.
2. Parents in this book are actually very significant to the story.
3. The MC voluntarily involves her uncle into the issue instead of trying to handle it all by herself.
4. The MC actually has a spine and doesn’t instantly fall for the love interest.
5. Family relationships become the interesting dynamic in this novel
6. THERE ARE NO VAMPIRES OR WEREWOLVES PEOPLE!
When I say this book is different, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now aren’t you? Yeah, you are. But what you’re probably thinking is that it’s basically a paranormal romance but with a different creature? NOPE.
This book features a heroine who isn’t stupid, or TSTL (Too Stupid To Live). She’s one of the most relatable heroines I’ve read in a long time. And when I first read this, I was in high school. I think she’s a kick ass chick. She doesn’t keep secrets from people. When things become too dangerous, she lets her uncle know what’s up. She doesn’t do that fucked up thing where the MC usually will do something against all odds…resulting in you thinking “this chick is stupid.” No. She thinks before she acts. The best thing is that I didn’t want to slap her. I wanted to hug her. I can’t even name five YA heroines I’d want to hug. Most, I’ve wanted to end.
The male love interest isn’t overly domineering or an ass. He’s mellow. He’s sweet. He actually talks with Kaylee about interesting things, like about their culture and what they can do as Bean Sidhe’s. He’s not always the one who initiates the kissing scenes. He’s NICE. He actually cares about what Kaylee wants instead of deciding for himself what she wants.
What drew me into this Tale:
But the thing that drew me to this book in the first place was the term Bean Sidhe. My parents would read me Irish ‘lore as a child. I was never really much into reading until the Harry Potter books, but I loved Irish folklore. They were my fantasy tales. They were horrific, engaging, scary, and at times insightful. There are so many other types of faeries than most people can imagine. Bean Sidhe’s are one of those beings. Their tales are one of the most interesting and morbid tales I remember hearing when I was a child. This is what drew me to these books: I wanted more tales about Bean Sidhes.
What Made me Continue:
Kaylee made me empathize with her on many levels. She’s got a subtle wit about her. She’s not new to sarcasm and Vincent weaves it into the story to provide humor in certain places. But, the author doesn’t overload the book with sarcasm so that it became annoying and unnecessary.
Kaylee’s mother died when she was young and her father lives in Ireland. Her father has trouble looking Kaylee in the eye without seeing her mother. They looks so much alike, in his eyes.
I never felt that Kaylee was a special snowflake, for those who may wonder about this. She doesn’t obsess about her looks. She focuses on important things for a teenager, like working in order to pay her insurance bill. She’s responsible, unlike her bitchy cousin Sofie. But just because she’s a supernatural creature, doesn’t mean she’s the only one in existence. She doesn’t feel like she’s different than other people and neither do others. She’s normal, not an anomaly. This. I liked this very much about Kaylee. She wasn’t out there to prove herself as the chosen one or shit like that.
Kaylee’s not one to easily accept things. She bases things on logical thinking. This is one smart chick. When she finds out she’s not human, she doesn’t buy into Nash’s speech. She wants answers. But all she can see are coincidences:
“Bean sidhes are native to Ireland. That’s why the stories all stem from old Irish folktales.”
Oh. Now that was quite a coincidence. But nothing more. “Got anything else, Houdini?”
And, eventually she comes to the realization of what she really is.
What I also liked about her was that she wasn’t quick to accept Nash’s attention to her suddenly. She’s want to know why the fuck he’s so interested her all of a sudden. She wants to know his game. I don’t blame her. I mean super popular guy is suddenly licking her shoes? Why? But then you’re reassured that Kaylee knows what she’s doing. She’s calls him out on his crap:
“I can count the number of times we’ve really spoken before tonight on one hand.” I help up that hand for emphasis. “Then you come out of nowhere and play white knight to my damsel, and I’m supposed to believe you want nothing in return? Nothing to tell your friends about on Monday?”
He tried to laugh, but the sound was stilted, and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I wouldn’t–”
“Save it. Rumor has it you’ve conquered more territory than Genghis Khan.”
I love this girl.
Kaylee thinks about death a lot and for a good reason. Girls have been dropping like flies for no reason. She feels panic and sadness whenever her Bean Sidhe voice acknowledges that someone is about to die:
The keening began deep in my throat, so low it felt like my lungs were on fire. Yet the sound was soft at first. Like a whisper I felt more than heard. I clamped my jaws shut in horror…
This scares the shit out of her for several reasons, but the most logical being that if she screams at the top of her lungs people might take her to the hospital…again. What a break this girl gets.
But on top of that fucking cherry is that her family has been lying to her. They’ve been keeping critical secrets from her. Frankly, I haven’t forgiven a certain aunt, uncle, father, and fucked up cousin yet. There’s also the taking her to the hospital instead of telling her the TRUTH, that I have issues with. Who wouldn’t? By the way, that isn’t a spoiler. You find it out very early in the story.
Lastly, what I loved: Tod. The sexy grim reaper. He’s so fucking awesome. He’s got sarcasm coming out of his but:
Tod glanced at me for the first time, his frown practically etched into place. “You were expecting someone older? Taller? Maybe kind of gaunt and skeletal?” Contempt dripped from his words like acid, and his focus snapped back to Nash in annoyance. “See? That’s the problem with the old title. I should start calling myself a ‘collections agent’ or something like that.”
I like him more than Nash, who is the love interest. There’s no love triangle, but….man he’s sexy. Who knew death could be sexy.