About the Book

Title: Soulprint
Published: 2015
Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Cover Story: Literal Big Face
BFF Charm: Yay!
Talky Talk: Many Monologues
Bonus Factors: Reincarnation, Prison Break, Conspiracy
Relationship Status: Fellow Party Guest That You Strike Up a Convo with But End Up Forgetting About Afterwards

Cover Story: Literal Big Face

OK, so this would be even more accurate for a book called Facepunch Faceprint, but it’s still pretty on the nose. And wayyyyy better than the watery, helix-y conjoined heads of the paperback/Kindle cover, because WHAT. 

However, both covers have whitewashed — or, rather, ambiguous-washed the half-Latine main character, so it’s a double Big Face fail times two. 

The Deal:

Alina Chase has spent most of her seventeen years on a secluded island. That might sound like it has a lot of potential for awesome, but she’s actually imprisoned there. Alina’s big crime? Being born. Sort of.

You see, technology can track souls passing through different lives. Alina’s has the misfortune of belonging to notorious criminal June Calahan in the previous life. And now Alina’s paying for what June did, big time. At least, until a group of teens help her escape from her prison. But what’s in it for them? Can they be trusted? More importantly, can Alina herself be trusted to avoid the criminal inklings of her past self?

BFF Charm: Yay

Yay BFF Charm

Alina’s never really had any friends on account of, y’know, being sequestered in an island prison for most of her life. But resigned to her fate, she is certainly not. Even before the rescue mission, Alina’s been preparing for escape on her own, training her body in secrecy to endure the rigors of such a feat. Her plight to be recognized as her own person goes far beyond the typical teenage #strugglebus for individuality; her actual freedom is at stake. I totally felt for her wanting to break free not only physically, but of the unfair expectations and prejudices that have plagued her life.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Alina forges a connection with one of guys that liberates her from her prison (not a euphemism for ‘pants’). I found their relationship to be pleasant but snoozy; they’re definitely into each other more than I am into them as a couple.

Talky Talk: Many Monologues

While Megan Miranda’s world is well thought out, it does favour science-fantasy more than science-fiction — as to be expected when the concept of souls is so integral to the story. I don’t need nuts ‘n bolts hard sci-fi to buy into a story, but this still required more suspension of disbelief than I’d normally afford this genre.

Because this story is told from only Alina’s point of view, everything the reader learns about June is through Alina, so there’s a fair bit of expositional dialogue. I generally don’t care for not enough show and too much tell, and this book was no exception. But props for a creative premise, and a standalone at that. 

Bonus Factor: Reincarnation

Getting punished for what your past life did is such a raw deal. You have no recollection of what happened, but you have to pay for it anyway? Wouldn’t that just be motivation to wreak havoc just before you die, since some other sucker would be saddled with the consequences? (No? Just me with the anarchy streak, then?)

Alina being imprisoned for June’s crimes does seem to be the exception, not the rule, so most people wouldn’t have to worry about their former selves’ lapses in judgment. However, it still sets a dangerous precedence that someone can and will be punished for what they did in another life. 

(This book also had me wondering why souls usually inhabit the same gender from life to life — although that part does get a brief mention — and if reincarnation as a different species is possible. SO MANY QUESTIONS.)

Bonus Factor: Prison Break 

The plan to help Alina escape involves infiltrating her prison in order to break her out. Although spoiler alert: no one gets a full-torso tat for the occasion.

Bonus Factor: Conspiracy

What did June Calahan do for Alina Chase to pay so heavily for her crimes? Well, there’s what the world knows, and then there’s what actually happened. As you might suspect, the two aren’t exactly the same.

Relationship Status: Fellow Party Guest That You Strike Up a Convo with But End Up Forgetting About Afterwards

This book and I hit it off like we were old friends — or like we knew each other in another life (YEAHHHH…!). I didn’t know how its story would unfold, so I was eager to learn more. It kept me entertained, but once the party was over, so too was our brief friendship. 

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Bloomsbury. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). Soulprint is available now.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.