Book Review: 7 Souls by: Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando


Delacorte Press for Young Readers

Publish Date:
July 13, 2010

ALA for Review


Order From: 
Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick.

Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.

But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.

With its blend of suspense, horror, fantasy, and realism, 7 Souls is an adrenaline rush of a thriller.

Review: Mary Shayne, who is the IT girl at her high school is having an awful birthday. It started from the moment she woke up, hung over and disoriented, and found herself lying naked on a display bed in a furniture store with weird scratches down her back and no memory of the night before. At school everyone forgets her birthday and her boyfriend breaks up with her. However, that’s not the worst to come – she’s murdered later that night.

That’s the whole story, right? Wrong. Mary finds herself waking up after she dies and not as a ghost, but in her friends’ bodies – one by one until she’s experienced life as all seven. She can now see pieces of the truth as she inhabits each person. Perhaps if she is able, she can change who she is and alter her fate. She has a lot of work to do, since she’s one of the most self-centered and shallow teenagers I've read about in a long time.

Mary’s not a very likable character, but as you live through her last day with her, she becomes a bit more sympathetic. She is now able to see herself through others’ eyes – her friends – and it gives her insight she never had before. It's an eye-opening experience to learn what people truly think of you.

Things really get rolling toward the second half and it is really an interesting premise for a book. I enjoyed the book a lot and found myself liking Mary after all. Others may not be satisfied by the ending, but I like a bit of looseness so that each reader can make their own interpretation.


  1. Interesting. I'm hoping to snag a copy of this book for review from Random House, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. Thanks for the review!

  2. Ow this sounds painful - a book out of my comfort zone, but will maybe give it a try. Fab review


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