Friday, 9 September 2011

Book Review: Soul Beach ARC

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Indigo (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1780620063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780620060

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.

Soul Beach was a thrilling, heart-stopping and romantic read.

Our protagonist is sixteen year old Alice who is grieving for her big sister, Meggie.  Four months ago, Meggie was strangled…and the killer hasn’t been caught. Just when Alice thinks her life is slowly starting to move forward again, it is thrown straight back into a loop by the arrival of an email. From her sister.

Alice receives an invite to the elusive social network site, Soul Beach, where she can talk once again with her sister. At first she believes it is a sick joke and ignores it, but when she hears the plea of her sister, Alice cannot ignore it.

Soul Beach becomes a morbid fascination for Alice. Full to the brim of the young and beautiful, and dead, the Beach becomes more real to her than her own reality. It seduces her senses and while she is fully grounded in her room, earphones in and looking at the laptop screen, she can almost feel the warmth from the sun, feel the sand beneath her feet and hear the gentle slapping of the waves.

In her own reality, Alice’s friends are losing patience. Almost overnight Alice loses what progress she made over the death of Meggie and becomes a recluse – her own priority the Beach. But the people on the Beach are eager for Alice to return to her reality – to help them…and undercover the truth behind their deaths. Because no one who died of natural causes is on the Beach.

Soul Beach was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. With random excerpts from the killer’s perspective, it gives the book a certain fearful reality to it, and how people we encounter everyday are capable of brutal acts. Most importantly it shows us how fragile life can be.

I adored Alice and sympathised with her as she battled to keep up a normal façade when she is feeling anything but. She is a motivated character and well driven, and I cannot wait to see where ends up in the second instalment of this new trilogy.

Soul Beach has something for everyone – sadness, piles of emotion, murder mystery and an impossible romance. We were left with a heck of a cliff-hanger that ensures the wait till the next book will be excruciating indeed.


C.E. Hart 13 September 2011 at 12:36  

Sounds like a great book!

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