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review 2015-02-09 07:18
Mini Review: The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce

A copy of this novel was provided for review via Net Galley on behalf of the publisher.

A good book! Hallelujah, hallelujah, halleeeeeelllluuuujjjaaaahhhhh.

I had been looking forward to The Weight of Souls ever since I saw a review for it on Tammy's blog Books, Bones & Buffy (like a year ago - I know SHAME ON ME for reading things so late but hey ... better late than never, right? RIGHT?). I trust her opinions on books, so I knew that I was probably going to like The Weight of Souls. Which I did. Very much so.

Pearce's writing style is very, very good. I slipped right into the story and into Taylor's POV extremely easy. It was also the kind of style that just begs you to keep reading. I mean, I read this book in a few hours because it was so engrossing. Beyond that, the storyline was flipping fantastic and completely unique in the fact that Taylor has to ... murder murderers. SO AWESOME.

I wasn't entirely enthused about the ~secret society~ aspect of the book, but it wasn't enough to deter my enjoyment of the book. There's little to no romance, and it certainly isn't instalove so I appreciated that wholeheartedly. I actually love Taylor for all the shit she gave Justin after he died. I laughed.

I must warn you, though: there is a lot of potential for a book #2, but so far no word on that. So if you aren't keen on a book that has a few unanswered questions and room for a sequel but no news so far ... still read it because it was awesome.

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review 2013-09-14 23:21
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce

There isn't really much going for this book other than the premise. Dude, how awesome is the idea of a girl cursed by ghosts to hunt murderers? For some reason though, Pearce thought it a better idea to make Taylor's social life the main point of the book instead of I don't know, her curse. 

Brilliant, just brilliant. Yes, that's a perfect idea. Focus on high school, because obviously that's going to attract more YA readers who can't read books without a huge focus on high school.



While, sure we do get some time focusing on the curse, most of the book doesn't pay much attention to it. I really only read the book because of the awesome sounding plot and Pearce does a very poor job of keeping it the center of attention. Instead it gets piled under loads of unnecessary bits and pieces that detract from the overall book. I don't get it. Why would you bog down your murder mystery with an boring drama and angst? 

It honestly seemed like, that even though there was a lot resting on this, Taylor really didn't care too much about finding Justin's murderer. She seemed more interested in his pretty body to be honest. It was more of something she had to do at some point but it didn't really matter when. If it took a while, she would basically shrug her shoulders and say "c'est la vie". 

Taylor, gurl, you do realise you, the main character, don't even care about your own plot? At all? I don't think that's how it usually works but okaaay...

Like I said, Pearce focuses so much of her efforts into building drama and angst that the curse is largely underdeveloped. We are given the bare bones to work with and are basically left to speculate about the rest. There is some backstory but it's presented in such a way that it makes it a chore to read through and I, like many others, really just skimmed or skipped these parts. 

The Weight of Souls isn't an entirely bad book. The main character, Taylor, is actually pretty cool. She's one of those fun narrators that aren't really amazing but just keep the book going and you reading. Taylor is pretty level headed and actually, fairly intelligent.

Before I end this review, I have to mention two things: Justin the asshole and the 'illusive super secret organisation' that is part of the mystery for a long time. 

Justin the asshole is this guy who's died and now he's a ghost who refuses to acknowledge this. He's also, *gasp*, the love interest. You're so surprised, I know. Who would have guessed right? Well, he's also the guy who bullied Taylor for years. You know, the guy who sent his goons after her. The goons harassed her and called her horrible things all under the blessing of this Justin guy.

Yeah, really romantic backstory.

Somehow, when someone bullies you, it means that they have a crush on you. Yes, friends, every bully that will ever bully you is actually someone who has a huuuge crush on you and you'll end up living happily ever after.



What? No. That's not how it works. Bullying ≠ Crush nor will it ever. Romanticizing bullying is absolutely horrible and should not be accepted. 

The second thing is much less atrocious, and more humourous. 

I'm going to try and not spoil anything but basically this extremely powerful club is a bunch of kids doing dares and having sleep overs. But not just any dares, *whispers* bad boy dares. Oh yeah, they're doing big kid dares. So. Scary.

There is a lot of unexplored potential in this book that really just went to waste. The Weight of Souls could have been so much more if certain aspects were fleshed out a bit more and others given a more minor role. Overall, The Weight of Souls was a huge disappointment. While it wasn't completely unenjoyable, it wasn't very good either. I don't really recommend this book to anyone.

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review 2013-08-24 00:00
The Weight of Souls
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce YES. Asian protagonist. Asian model on the cover.Thank you.(Oh, and the synopsis sounds cool too.)8/24 Edit: Need to write a real review ... but I really did like this one. Lots of cool stuff thrown in without it feeling too mish-mashy (probably not a word ... but whatevs.) I also liked that the protagonist is Chinese but it wasn't like OMG THIS CHARACTER IS ASIAN LOOK HOW ASIAN AND DIFFERENT SHE IS (thank you for not making her a martial arts expert as well.) She's just the main character and is also Chinese. Proper review to come soon.
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review 2013-08-14 00:00
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce I liked the concept. The combination of teenage angst, high school drama and the connection to an ancient family curse was quite interesting.It ticks all the YA boxes and has a side note of pending horror.The author also tackles the issue of bullying and being isolated in school. The emphasis was on one of these 'popular people' teen groups that forces kids to take part in dangerous stunts or face a life of hell in school. This type of peer pressure, in the guise of fun, seems to be an alarming trend in our day and age. It is a type of group hazing, which often ends with disastrous results.I have to say I was a tad disappointed that Pearce decided to end it with a pseudo Partridge family ending. Where is the mystery in that? Why not let them leave things on a sour note instead of packing nearly all the loose ends into one neat box. How about leaving some of the conflict for the sequel?Taylor's Dad needs to see a shrink, Hannah needs to grow a pair and Pete deserves a clip round the earhole.There, I fixed that for you.Despite that it was a good read and both the character and concept have a lot of potential, so I am hoping Taylor Oh comes back with a bit more bite and lot more darkness.I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.
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review 2013-08-06 00:00
The Weight of Souls (Strange Chemistry)
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce

'Dead men take me to the nicest places' (pg 1)

 

From the very first sentence 'The Weight of Souls' had me hooked. The intensely, deadly scene at the start, to the enticing scenes at the end, were captivating, mysterious and downright terrific.

 

Taylor was a girl who just wanted to live a normal life. One without the torment from her peers, pressure from a parent and peace from the ghosts that only she could see. Victims whose souls cried out for justice.  What I really liked about Taylor was that she was Asian. It was nice to read about a girl from another culture than mine. My only disappointment was that I never really got to read more about it.

 

I was, however, impressed that the author had gone against the traditional route of the stereotypical white girl. Taylor had a lot going on with her life and had pressures that could have driven anyone else insane.There were other characters that I grew attached to as well. Justin, a boy who tormented Taylor for reasons she didn't know, didn't believe he was dead, that he had been murdered. Even though he started off as a bully, he had hidden traits so when I read more about him, I couldn't help, but like him. He was a perfect companion for Taylor.

 

The story line was imaginative and had a lot of flair. There was something really unique about the talent Taylor inherited from her mother. The events throughout the book flowed with thrilling brilliance.

 

I adored the writing style of this book. I must admit that I have read 'Angel's Fury' by this author, but I never got attached to that book in the same way I have this one. I positively adored this book - the exciting scenes, the characters (even creepy James) and the unexpected legend. A legend that may not be familiar to some people.I found it really hard to find anything that I didn't like. It was one of those books that just charmed me.

 

As such, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy mixed with ghostly characters.Now for my rating:- five out of five stars.

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