Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Review: Soul Beach by Kate Harrison

Title: Soul Beach
Author: Kate Harrison
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: September 2011

Tell Me About It
When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again - and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . . . But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next? The first book in an intriguing and compelling trilogy centred around the mystery of Megan Forster's death.

My Thoughts
I have had my eye on Soul Beach for a while so was very excited to receive it, along with Soul Fire, in the post and I jumped in straight away.  The synopsis says it all so I am just going to jump straigh in with my review.

When Soul Beach begins we are introduced to Alice and her family and we get to see how they are coping with the death of Megan, Alice's older sister who is also famous.  As the story progresses we are drawn into the mystery of who actually murdered Megan and also the excitement of entering Soul Beach.
One of the main things I liked about Soul Beach was how even though Alice was in her room she actually felt like she was on the beach, and the way the author describes it, you can imagine it all and feel like you are there too. While I did enjoy the visits to Soul Beach, I did feel sorry for both Megan and Alice. Apart from the reason Megan is at the beach, the time on the beach isn't forever and could stop at any time making the time that they do spend together even more precious.
I loved the different characters on the beach. I was never quite sure of Triti but after her heart to heart with Alice I did feel sorry for her. Javier was someone who I changed my mind about a lot, and it mostly depended on what mood he was on whenever Alice visited. As we get to learn more about the guests at the beach and what life was like for them I did feel sorry for them all. Soul Beach may seem like an idilac place to be, but the lack of everyday things we take for granted, birds, seasons, made it repetitive for them.

Cara was a hard one for me to understand. I know the she and Alice have been friends for a while, but they are so completely opposite, not only in personality but their whole attitude that I found it hard to actually picture them as friends if they weren't characters in a book. I didn't like how she involved Lewis via Robbie, but I did like how he was quick to help Alice for no reason than just to be a friend.

Alice was one character that I was not only drawn to, but was one I could relate to. The life she has after Megan's death is not easy, and having a famous sister does nothing to help her grieve. But the way her grief is portrayed and how, not only herself but also her parents deal with it, is described in a realistic but sensitive way. She puts a brave front on for others while she is still trying to deal with it herself, and I think her visits to Soul Beach and having a goal to aim for helps her adapt to life without Megan

I found myself really enjoying Soul Beach and I did not want to put it down. The whole idea behind Soul Beach really made me think about what I would want if it was me. When it wasn't revealed I didn't find myself disappointed, I think this was due to the fact that there was so many other things going on in the pages, it just made me want to read Soul Fire even more.
Kate Harrison has wrote a page turning book that does not disappoint and this is one series that I will definitely recommend to others.

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