Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: Our Souls to Keep by Gary Caruso


Rating: 5

After seventeen-year-old Wake Reynolds agrees to trade his life to prevent the damaged soul of his suicidal mother from the fiery tortures of Hell, Satan strips him of his humanity and forces him to become a demonic collector of souls. With no memory of his human existence, Wake preys on defenseless teenagers until they willingly end their own lives.

After many years of loyal service, something inside Wake is changing. Images of a forgotten life, lost human emotions begin to emerge. As Wake struggles to keep these new sensations hidden, Satan orders him to corrupt the soul of a pregnant girl, Annemarie. Beautiful, gentle Annemarie. From the moment Wake sees her, she brings lightness to his blackened heart. If he chooses to defy Satan and spare the lives of Annemarie and her unborn child, his mother’s soul will writhe in Hell’s deepest pit for eternity. Annemarie or his mother? It’s a choice no one should have to make.

My Review:
This is one of those novels where, going into it, I had high expectations. Guilty as charged for judging the book by it's (awesome) cover. Not to mention, I am a huge fan of everything supernatural, especially the tensions and battles between angels and demons.

This is also one of those novels where my expectations are completely met, exceeded, even. Our Souls to Keep is breathtaking from the first page. Caruso's writing is brilliant, the plot is exciting, and it is a story that I literally could not put down. It is a non-stop masterpiece for fans of the paranormal.

As I mention a lot, I feel there are two main goals when you are writing or reading. One, to be able to affect the reader's emotions to the point where you change a piece of them, and two, to give them an escape from reality. Our Souls to Keep blows these goals out of the water. It is like Caruso writes with a direct line to your heart, and knows exactly how to twist it.

Why is it that all of the stories that aren't completely focused on romance end up as having the best romance? Because this novel is a perfect example of that, as well.

The characters are extremely well-developed. How refreshing is it to have a protagonist who isn't perfect? Who has a dark side to him, even if it is not of his own fault? And a pregnant love interest? When the pregnant teenager is one of your favorite kick-butt characters, it is clear that something went very right. Personally, I am a believer in villains with a degree of class (don't the wicked always have great quotes?) and even the demons - and Satan himself - are excellent characters.

I feel that I mention this a lot as well, but one of my favorite themes to explore is to question and challenge the distinction between good and evil, and Wake's character fits that bill perfectly.

Instalove critics, beware. Because I haven't known this novel for more than two days, yet I am in love.

Our Souls to Keep is powerful, emotional...a truly remarkable read. I would highly recommend this novel to any fans of Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural, Romance, and reading in general. 

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