Thursday, August 08, 2013

Review: The Weight of Souls by Byrony Pearce

Book Description:

Paperback, 350 pages
August 6th 2013, Strange Chemistry

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?

Source: Byrony Pearce (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

The Weight of Souls easily drew me in with its vivid storytelling an sinister vibe. Taylor, the heroine, was a very interesting character albeit a bit too troubled and battered in more ways than one. I cheered her on despite the too often gloom mood she was in.

I rarely read about Egyptian mythology in YA that it has become a breath of fresh air for me, leaving me hungry and breathless for its exotic tang. The Tale of Oh-Fa, the translated account of Taylor's family curse, broke the tension of Taylor's narrative. The otherworldly experiences of Oh-Fa alternated with the modern struggles of Taylor in school. The colliding spheres of the past and the present created a sense of balance in the story, as well as maintained the level of unpredictability and interest.

Taylor and Justin shared a passionate hate relationship. But when Justin died, the bully and the bullied learned to work together for both of their sakes. Through the weeks, they got to know each other better and most of all, they learned to care for one another. It was ironic seeing them like this when they could have done it before when they were both alive. Taylor and Justin were more connected now than they ever were before. Reminiscent of Hereafter's couple, they appealed to my inner romantic. But their relationship seemed a bit rushed for me. Although I loved their sweet moments, I felt that the transition should have been longer.

One of the things that I liked most in The Weight of Souls was the diversity. The book had a little bit of everything from Chinese and British culture, to paranormal and mythological concepts that clash and contrast with modern scientific ideas, to the popular clique and the outsider duo. I simply got the best of many worlds in one single story sphere.

Although the novel was paranormal, enough contemporary-ness was injected into the story to delve into social politics and high school student body hierarchy. Bullying, peer pressure, manipulation, loss and grief came into play, bringing out the raw feelings out of the characters. The ups and downs of friendship were also explored, centering on Hannah and Taylor. With their friendship pulled taut and strained by secrets and unexplained absences, the two took uneasy steps towards one another, knowing that sooner or later one of them might just quit.

All in all, The Weight of Souls is a refreshing take on ghost hunting and afterlife. Beautifully written, tragic, heartfelt and exotic, this gem was easy to read and get lost into. I recommend this to paranormal readers and mythology enthusiasts.


4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!


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  2. Ooh, this sounds really good! I love these types of ghost stories-- although haven't read many of them, unfortunately!

    Great review!