Pabkins’ One Liner: The picked on, the pickers and a game of Truth or Dare taken to extremes.
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?
The Weight of Souls was a tense breath. While it was a fantasy and those elements were very interesting I felt that this was really about bullying and peer pressure. Anybody that has been to high school knows these kids, the popular ones, the tormented ones, and those that will do anything to be accepted.
The character growth of Taylor Oh follows the ‘annoying teen who thinks she knows whats best, is a bit of a snot who grows into a her’ trope. Ultimately, many young adult books use this character arc because it works. Bryony Pearce pulled it off well enough such that I didn’t hate Taylor nor did I want to abuse her right along with the popular crowd. If a character is annoying enough I find that I don’t even want to continue reading – luckily that did NOT happen here. I adored her friend Hannah even though we didn’t get to see as much of her as I would have liked. I’m anticipating that will change in the next book.
The relationship that develops between Justin and Taylor was very enjoyable to read. It was realistic and I had no problem seeing it really happen. This was excellently done – so if you’re a hater of the insta-love normally in so many young adult books you will enjoy this slow build from enemy to amore.
There is quite a bit of awesome mysticism behind Taylor’s family curse. I found it fascinating that there are snippets throughout the entire book taken from her ancestor’s journal who the curse originates with. It will be interesting to see where Pearce takes the readers from here.
The Weight of Souls