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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

'7 Souls' by Barnabas MILLER & Jordan ORLANDO

Received from the Publisher

From the BLURB:

When popular schoolgirl Mary wakes up on her seventeenth birthday she is shocked to find herself naked with scratches down her back in a sofa warehouse in downtown Manhattan and a street full of people staring up at her. What on earth was she doing the night before? This isn't like the usual hangover. The day gets progressively weirder from there. At school, no one treats her like the popular girl she's always been. Her boyfriend drops her for no reason. Everyone is behaving strangely. Mary finds herself in a wildly confusing world that keeps getting stranger and scarier. Eventually, she inhabits the bodies of seven people who were close to her, and finds out just what each of them thought of her -- and it isn't pretty.

Mary Shayne wakes up on the day of her birthday, butt-naked, in the display window of a Soho furniture store. Not the best start to the day. . . but things only get worse and weirder from there. Mary has no memory of the last 24 hours. She has mysterious scratches on her back. Her boyfriend has just dumped her and her Upper East Side best friends are completely blanking that today is her birthday. Her pudgy study-buddy is screaming at her that she’s in mortal danger, and her little sister’s scruffy best friend is asking her out on dates.

Mary’s perfect world is spiralling out of control. She is experiencing the worst day of her life and learning some uncomfortable truths. Things like this shouldn’t happen to girls like Mary. She’s beautiful and popular and all the boys want her and all the girls want to be her.

Only one thing is certain on this day of days; Mary Shayne is about to have one killer birthday.

I was surprisingly enraptured by this book from writing team Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando. I will warn that the book is deliberately hectic and confusing – hieroglyphics on the cover and a strange opening quote about the powers of death and the powers of life. All of these supernatural clues seem at odds with the opening chapter of party-girl Mary waking up from an all-night-bender . . . all I can say is ‘persevere’.

Miller and Orlando layer mystery upon conundrum and keep Mary spiralling out of control ... ‘7 Souls’ is constantly set at a fast and frenzied pace, and it’s brilliant. The helter-skelter plot and constant confusion actually lend a lot of heightened feeling and delicious tension to the book. So even while you’re scratching your head and wondering where the storyline is going, you can’t help but be sucked in and strung along for the duration. . .

At first the novel seems to be all about teen angst as the perfectly popular princess, Mary, learns a thing or two about being knocked off her pedestal. . . The novel is set in New York and Mary’s clique is the requisite Upper East Side darlings; her penthouse boyfriend and designer-clad besties.

But then things take a turn for the weird . . . Mary takes the old adage ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’ to heart, with disastrous consequences.
Mary was crying again. “It’s the worst day of my life; it’s sucked since the moment I woke up. Everyone’s been out to get me, all day!”
“You sound paranoid,” Dylan said. He was shaking his head, looking more confused with each passing second. “There can’t be – ”
“I'm not paranoid!” Mary yelled. Her throat ached with the strain.
I am in gob-smacked awe at Miller and Orlando’s twisted plot. I spent the whole book trying to guess what was around the corner and the ‘whodunit’ mystery at the centre of it all. I was not prepared. I wasn’t even close to figuring it all out . . .

‘7 Souls’ is a cross between ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘Scream’ and ‘Jawbreaker’. This is a paranormal tale with a strong moral compass. Mary is the perfect protagonist and somewhat unreliable narrator – she’s a girl with a lesson to learn (even if she has to choke on her comeuppance). You will never guess the ending to this twisted tale, but you’ll love picking apart the pieces of the puzzle.

5/5

2 comments:

  1. By golly, you sure know how to make a book sound awesome. Can't wait to read my copy!

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  2. this sounds so awesome!!! I LOVE ur reviews hehe =D

    ReplyDelete