7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando

cover image

Penguin, 2011. ISBN 9780143206255.
(Age: 14+) Mary is a wealthy and popular teenager living in New York City. On the morning of her seventeenth birthday, she wakes up expecting presents. Instead she finds herself naked and scratched in a department store, and no recollection of the night before. Soon her life starts falling apart, and she has no idea why. She thinks that someone is out to get her, but who? Isn't she the popular girl everyone loves?
7 Souls is definitely original, I can most certainly say that. The problem is, perhaps it was a bit too original. The plot is very strange and some elements are a little annoying. The main character, Mary, is very hard to relate to, and the dialogue is quite clumsy, as though the writers themselves weren't sure what the characters should be like. The pace is slow at the best of times and some of the supporting characters are much undeveloped. But this book redeems itself from those flaws with a couple of things. First, the description. This may be why the pace is a little sluggish, but anyway the description is vivid and powerful, and makes the story far more interesting than it would have been. Second, the plot. Although it is very strange, it actually makes for an intriguing idea, and a truly chilling prospect. It is quite a scary book.
This book is not for everyone. A lot of pages coupled with a very strange plot means you could either love it or hate it. Either way, it is still a fairly decent read.
Rebecca Adams (Student)