The Weight Of Souls - Bryony Pearce
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?
*Received in exchange for an honest review*
This book was definitely something different for me. I have never read a book like this before and was pleasantly surprised by it! The only ghosts stories that I have ever successfully managed aren't even ghost stories - they are the ghosts which reside in Hogwarts. I was a little sceptical about whether I would enjoy this book, especially with the romance element brought it, but it really was a fantastic read.
The novel follows the path of Taylor Oh and her battle with an inherited curse. Taylor can see ghosts, and if touched by one, she must avenge their deaths by passing on the mark which calls to the Darkness. If she fails, the Darkness will come for Taylor, leading her to an unknown fate. Needless to say, this does not make life easy for a sixteen year old girl. Constantly picked on in school, Taylor has only one remaining friend, Hannah. Taylor's constant scouting and avoiding of ghosts puts a strain on their friendship, something which isn't helped by the bullying antics of Justin, James, Tamsin and their gang.
The Weight of Souls takes a massive twist as we discover that Justin is dead. The novel follows the path of Taylor and Justin as they attempt to discover the mysterious causes of his death. The events which unfold make for an action packed novel; a novel which explores coming of age, trust, cults, death, friendship, bravery and loyalty. I could not put the book down. Almost every chapter ended on a cliff hanger, making you want to read more and more. Despite having an idea of who was responsible for the death of Justin, it was incredibly tense discovering the exact method and the corruption of an established cult within the school; something which continues ones the children leave.
It was tense and the romance did not dominate the book. This was something I found incredibly relieving. The prose was given over to the battle of Taylor and Justin, the romance was a side note and something which came with an interesting twist. The character of Taylor was incredibly well built; we learn about her family history, the origins of the curse and the struggles that she encounters daily. I loved the world building and it all felt incredibly familiar. It is an easy world to lose yourself in and is easily imaginable. I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it!