Immediately, you're drawn into the world of the average teenager. Shopping at the mall with her best friend, discussing how to make Kaylee's ex-boyfriend regret dumping her and gawking at the popular kids are all on the list of things to do for this girl. But in the midst of a crowded mall, Kaylee feels a "panic attack" coming on. Her more-than-understanding best friend, Emma, helps her through the attack but eventually Kaylee succumbs to the scream. It finally bursts free in the middle of a crowded store.
There's no explanation given by the author as to what is happening to Kaylee. We're only given Kaylee's description of what's happening to her, what she's seeing and feeling. It's as if we're experiencing the "panic attack" right there with Kaylee. We only know what she knows. And Kaylee has no idea why she is screaming.
Rachel Vincent does an excellent job painting a painful picture of Kaylee discovering herself in a psychiatric ward. We're along for the ride as Kaylee tries desperately to convince her family she is okay while at the same time trying to deal with the screams that she can't seem to hide from.
I love Ms. Vincent's writing. She's incredibly easy to read, her story flows beautifully and I believe she accomplishes exactly what she intends to do with this short story. She leaves the reader utterly confused as to what could possibly be happening to Kaylee and madly craving the answers so you'll read My Soul To Take, the first full book in the series.
Since I'm a Soul Screamers "virgin", I was left with so many questions when I was done:
Where is Lydia now?
What was Lydia doing to Kaylee?
Should I have waited to read this novella until after My Soul To Take so I had a better frame of reference?
Well, I'll figure it all out later when I keep reading through the series :)