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 friends, 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 is the first book of a trilogy and the honest truth is . . . I didn't know what to expect from a book such as this one. Having won this book from the publisher and with the book having a strange and yet a very interesting concept (what with the main heroine receiving creepy emails from a dead sister and then this dead sister appears in this somewhat 'virtual reality' online social network who then invites her sister to this website in question), I thought the premise wasn't going to win me over so easily. However, despite my first thoughts and after reading this book in one sitting, I have to say it certainly did surprise because I actually did like it after all since it was odd but a very good odd-ish kind of book!
The book may have had its problems here and there, but I found SOUL BEACH had everything a young adult and thriller book needed, so I guess that's why I was so entertained and surprised by it in that case. After all, the book was original, relatable (at least in most circumstances) and it also managed to weave the teenage cyber world with a supernatural twist to it as well which was a really cool idea if I do say so myself. Now I won't giveaway a terrible lot about the plot but every single bit of it was engaging and fast-paced, and the characters were just as entertaining and interesting as the plot itself.
Considering this book is a quick read, I have to say the characters were a very colourful bunch and were quite well-developed. Take for example the main character Alice. I mean despite her inner thoughts being constantly overshadowed by the death of her sister, even before her death, she soon grew out of the rivalry for her sister, which only goes to show how well she developed as a main character because she finally got to stand on her own two feet without second-guessing her every action and thought. Now while I wasn't a huge fan of Alice's sister, but the character I did happen to love more than Alice was the character named Danny! I won't say too much about Danny but he was such a swell guy, and I'm looking forward to seeing how his character will turn out in the sequel because he was a really, really interesting guy to get to know in this first installment of a trilogy.
Overall, SOUL BEACH is something really different and its something I haven't really read before. So fans of the Beautiful Dead series or anything related to death being brought back to life in one shape or form, you will love this book also!
3 1/2 / 5 stars