Soul Beach – Kate Harrison

“The girl is dead, no doubt about it.
That face, the one that launched a billion internet clicks, is flushed, as though she’s spent too long in the sun. Somehow, her skin still glows – one of the TV critics called her dewy – but that won’t last, of course.”
When Alice receives an email from her sister she is stunned. The emaill arrives on the day of a funeral, a funeral of someone who’s been dead for four months, her sisters funeral. It must be some kind of sick joke, someone must have hacked Meggie’s emails. But then an email arrives inviting Alice to Soul Beach, an online community of glamourous, beautiful, young people, who all happen to be dead. It’s the one place where Alice can talk to Meggie and find out if she knows anything about the person who murdered her. 

When Soul Beach came out last year I heard nothing but good things, I kept meaning to get hold of it but kept forgetting about it when I was in bookstores and browsing online. I knew it was one I wanted to read but for some reason it was pushed to the back of my mind. Then I was offered the second in the series for review and the time was right for me to read Soul Beach. 
There’s a reason all these good things were floating around the blogosphere about Soul Beach, not only is it a great mystery and thriller, its a brilliant contemporary that deals with grief, love, family and handling life and death. Alice’s sister was famous because of a reality TV show and then she was dead. But this online community allows Alice to connect with Meggie and her new – dead – friends, and Alice realises she can help them.
The story is quite an interesting one, it very much transpires that Soul Beach is like Limbo, its where people go when they die and have unfinished business. Alice thinks she can help but quickly gets sucked in to live on Soul Beach… It might sound like Ive told you the entire story there but there’s so much covered in this book that I haven’t and it doesn’t get too much at all, it makes it all very exciting. 
Alice is such a sweet character, she’s racked with grief and can’t seem to operate real life following her sisters murder, which is understandable really. I liked that she didn’t jump to conclusions about things but she did rush into things a little bit which worries me a little. Meggie is the best big sister and such a realistic one, they are friends but they are still sisters and it made me love the pair of them. Cara is a really good friend to Alice but I can understand why she acts the way she does, she wants to help but doesn’t know how and its hard for them both… and Robbie, he does seem a bit wet but he was a nice lad… thats about all you can say for him. There’s too many people in this book that I didn’t quite grow to like and I think everyone, in my head, is a suspect as to Meggies murderer, especially a couple of the boys, including Lewis, Ade and Tim – Meggies boyfriend who the police believe to be the biggest suspect. 
Soul Beach is the first in a trilogy and becuase of this there are a lot of unanswered questions, including the identity of Meggie’s murderer. I liked that there was a kind of separate investigation going on though and I really loved Triti and finding out more about her was really eye-opening. I wanted her to stop hurting and it hurt so much to read about what happened to her. 
I really loved Soul Beach. There was something missing for me. I don’t know what it was but I couldn’t give the book five stars, it was amazing and I really enjoyed it but something didn’t sit right and I think it might have been the lack of answers. However the story really gripped me and the different themes included really helped make this book something unique. I also really, really liked the passages included from the murderers point of view and how it changed parts of the story. 
I really cant wait to read where the story goes next and thankfully Soul Fire is ready waiting for me to read. I wasn’t planning on reading it straight after soul Beach but no I’ve finished that, I might just have to.
Soul Beach is the first in the in the series of the same name, it was published in trade paperback in September 2011 by Indigo, and released in mass market paperback in May 2012. The second, Soul Fire is due for release on July 5th. My copy was sent in exchange for an honest review from the publishers. 


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