If I Die (Soul Screamers Series #5)

( 154 )

Overview

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students....

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If I Die (Soul Screamers Series #5)

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Overview

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.

Anything.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373210329
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Series: Soul Screamers Series , #5
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 286,631
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent loves good chocolate, comfortable jeans, and serial commas. She’s older than she looks and younger than she feels, but is convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan. Now absorbed in the dark, tangled loyalties of her UNBOUND world, as well as the travails of a teenage banshee in her SOUL SCREAMERS world, Rachel can be found online at www.rachelvincent.com or urbanfantasy.blogspot.com.

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Read an Excerpt

I used to think death was the worst thing that could happen to a person. I also used to think it was the last thing that could happen. But if I've learned anything from surrounding myself with reapers, and living nightmares, and my fellow bean sidhes, it's this: I was wrong on both counts…

"What are you doing here before the warning bell?" I asked, sliding into my seat in first period algebra II with four minutes to spare. "Isn't that one of the signs of an impending apocalypse?"

"If so, this is how I want to go out." Emma Marshall sighed, digging the textbook from the bag on her lap. "Enjoying the view."

I followed my best friend's gaze to the front of the class, where Mr. Beck—hired in the wake of Mr. Wesner's untimely demise—was writing math problems on the white board with green ink. His numbers were blockish and completely vertical; he had the best handwriting of any teacher at Eastlake. But Emma's focus was several feet below his numbers, where the jeans encouraged by the new "Spirit Fridays" policy proved that Mr. Beck was much more dedicated to physical fitness than the average high school faculty member.

"And I suppose your sudden interest in math is purely academic, right?"

Her grin widened as she set the book on her desk, and it fell open to the place marked with a fat, purple-print emery board. "I don't know if 'pure' is totally accurate, but I haven't figured out how to entirely avoid academia in the school setting. I think the most we can hope for is something pretty to look at, to distract us from the inherent pain of the educational process."

I laughed. "Spoken like a true underachiever."

Emma could have been a straight-A student, but she was satisfied coasting by on effortless Bs, except in French and math, the only subjects that didn't seem to come naturally for her. And the hot new math teacher had done nothing to improve her grades. Thanks to the aesthetic distraction, she was less inclined than ever to pay attention to what was written on the board and in the book.

Not that I could blame her. Mr. Beck was undeniably yummy, from his dark, tousled hair to his bright green eyes and the scuffed sneakers he always wore, even with slacks.

"He's only twenty-two," Em said, when she caught me looking. "Less than a year out of college. I bet this is his first teaching job."

"How do you know that?" I asked, as Mr. Beck set his marker down and dug through his desk drawer for something.

"Heard it from Danica Sussman. He's been tutoring her after school, to keep her eligible for softball."

"Where is Danica?" I asked, on the tail end of the late bell. She'd been out sick for a couple of days, but she'd never missed on a game day before—Danica was supposed to pitch that afternoon.

"Still sick, I guess," Em whispered, as Mr. Beck started taking roll. She unfolded a half-blank sheet of notebook paper. "Did you do the homework?"

I rolled my eyes and pulled out my own work. "What happened to your new interest in math?"

"It doesn't extend to homework."

"Kaylee Cavanaugh?" Mr. Beck called from the front of the room, and I glanced up, startled, certain we'd been caught cheating. But Beck was just standing there with his roll book in hand, waiting for my answer.

"Oh. Here," I said, and he'd called three more names when the door opened and Danica Sussman stepped into the classroom. She was pale, except for dark patches beneath her eyes, which she hadn't even tried to cover.

"Danica, are you okay?" Beck asked, as she crossed toward the front of the room, a blue late slip in hand.

"I'm fine." She handed him the slip, but he balled it up in one fist and dropped it into the trash can next to his desk.

"I haven't called your name yet, so you're not really late," he said, frowning, like he wasn't convinced by her answer.

"Thanks, Mr. B." But when she headed toward her desk, Danica had one hand pressed to her stomach, her face scrunched up in obvious pain.

Halfway through class, as Emma scrambled to finish her homework without ever taking her focus from Mr. Beck's face, a familiar, sharp pain began to scratch at the back of my throat.

No! My heart beat so hard I practically shook in my chair. It couldn't be happening again. Not at school. Not just six weeks after the loss of three teachers in a two-day span. My winter had felt like a series of deaths connected only by my advanced knowledge of them. I'd been hoping for a spring reprieve.

But a bean sidhe's wail is never wrong. When someone near me is about to die, an overwhelming urge to scream—to cry out to his soul—consumes me. And the scream clawing its way up my throat at that very moment could only mean one thing.

I clenched my teeth so tight my jaws ached, denying the scream an exit. My hands gripped the sides of my desk, muscles so tense I accidentally pulled it back an inch, and Emma glanced up when she heard it squeal on the dingy linoleum tile.

She took one look at my face and frowned. Again? she mouthed, and when I could only nod, her frown deepened. Emma had seen me resist screaming for someone's soul often enough to recognize the symptoms. At first it had freaked her out, and a large part of me wished it still did. I didn't like how accustomed she was becoming to the cocoon of death that seemed to surround me.

Yet there were definite advantages to having a best friend in the know. Like the fact that she didn't panic as she watched my gaze travel over my classmates, waiting for the dark aura to materialize around someone and show me who was about to die. But I saw no aura, and the scream remained a steady, painful pressure at the back of my throat—fairly easily stoppered, since I knew what I was doing—as if the soon-to-be-deceased and I weren't actually in the same room. That thought made me relax enough that I raised my hand to be excused.

Mr. Beck started to nod in my direction, but before he could, Danica Sussman slid right out of her chair and onto the floor. Unconscious.

The entire class gasped, and chairs squealed against the floor as people stood for a better view. I was so surprised my mouth almost fell open, which would have released my painfully shrill shriek into the school.

Mr. Beck stared at Danica, blinking in shock and confusion.

Was it her? Was Danica about to die? If so, why wasn't my urge to scream getting any stronger?

Mr. Beck rushed down the aisle, but before he got there, Chelsea Simms dropped onto the floor and stuck her hand in front of Danica's face, an inch from her nose. "She's still breathing…" Chelsea sat back and glanced over our fallen classmate, obviously looking for an injury. Then she gasped again, sharper than before. "Shit, she's bleeding!" Chelsea scrambled backward on her knees and bumped her shoulder on the nearest desk, as shocked whispers echoed across the room.

Mr. Beck knelt beside Danica, features tense with worry. "Chelsea, call the office from the phone on my desk. Just dial nine." When Chelsea stood, I saw what everyone else had already reacted to: the pool of blood spreading beneath Danica's thighs.

That's when the scream hit me full force. While everyone else whispered and stared, gathering around our fallen classmate until Mr. Beck ordered them back, I sat stiff in my chair, gripping the sides of my desk again, swallowing compulsively to fight back the scream that was scalding me from the inside out.

But Danica was still breathing. I could see her chest rising between the shoulders of two basketball players standing in the aisle. Her breathing wasn't even labored. But the strength of the scream within me said that someone was going to die any minute. If it wasn't Danica, who was it?

"You okay?" Emma asked, leaning close to me, eyes wide, forehead furrowed. "Is it her?"

I could only shrug. The only way I know how to check was.

I let a thin thread of the scream trail from my lips, an emaciated sound so soft no one else heard it over the steady, stunned buzz of the gathered spectators. But it was enough. With that sound calling out to the soul, I would be able to see it when it left Danica's body. Assuming she was the one about to die.

But the insubstantial form hovering over Danica Sussman was like no soul I'd ever seen. Usually, a soul's appearance—merely its representation in the physical world—mimicked its owner's size, at least. But this soul was tiny. No bigger than my fist, and irregular in shape. And Danica's breathing had not slowed.

And that's when I understood. Danica wasn't dying. She was losing her unborn child.

"I don't think I can eat today." Emma stirred a paper bowl of tomato soup with a plastic spoon. "This just isn't in good taste."

I cracked open my soda lid without glancing at her lunch, for fear I'd be sick at the sight. "I'm pretty sure they plan the menu months in advance." But that was little solace after what we'd seen that morning. Somehow, even after all the death I'd both witnessed and heralded, I'd never even considered the possibility of a miscarriage triggering my instinct to wail for a yet-unborn soul. The usual helplessness, frustration and horror that accompanied any death for me were magnified almost beyond my own comprehension. This was a baby. A child who would never be. And I didn't know how to deal with that.

"It does look pretty gory, though," Sabine insisted from across the table, ignoring her own tray as the spring breeze blew long black hair into her face. She tucked the stray strands back, exposing a mismatched set of silver hoops in her upper ear. "So is it true that Danica Sussman hemorrhaged all over the floor in first period?"

"Both true and gruesome." Em dropped her spoon and pushed her meal back as Nash settled onto the bench seat next to me with a cardboard tray of nachos. "I hope she's okay."

An ambulance had come for Danica, and though she was still unconscious, I was long past wailing for her baby by the time they wheeled her away on a stretcher. And I was the only one who knew for sure that she would live—but that a tiny, hidden part of her had already died.

"I hope so, too." Nash slid one arm around my waist and squeezed me, then dug into his chips, and I couldn't help wondering if we would have been able to save Danica's baby, if we'd both been there when it happened. As a male bean sidhe, Nash didn't wail for the souls of the dying. His gifts included Influence—the ability to compel people to do things just by speaking to them—and the capacity to guide a disembodied soul. Together, we could reinstate a person's soul and save his or her life—but only in exchange for someone else's. A life for a life. That's how it worked.

But I had no idea if it would work at all on an unborn child, without a fully formed body in which to reinstate the soul. Or if it would last, even if it did work. I mean, miscarriages happen for a reason, right? Because there's something wrong with the baby, or because the mother can't handle the stress. Or something like that. So…really, a miscarriage is a blessing, right?

Or maybe I was just desperate to find a silver lining to go with the single darkest, most horrifying cloud of a death I'd ever witnessed.

"People are saying it was a miscarriage," Emma said softly, and I flinched when a guy in a green-and-white senior class shirt turned around on the bench behind her, his brown eyes shiny with unshed tears, face flushed with anger. Max Kramer was Danica's boyfriend of almost a year, and his pain and anger were so raw I felt like I was violating his privacy just by witnessing them.

"Well, people are wrong," he snapped, and Emma froze, obviously embarrassed, then turned to face him slowly.

"I'm sorry, Max. I didn't mean."

Max stood without letting her finish, towering over our entire table. "They're all wrong." He didn't raise his voice, but made no special effort to lower it either, so half the quad heard him when he continued. "Danica couldn't have been pregnant. We've never even done it. So find someone else to talk about. Or better yet, why don't you all just shut the hell up."

We stared after him as he stomped off toward the cafeteria doors, and one look at Emma told me she felt just as bad for him as I did.

"Poor fool," Sabine said, one of Nash's cheese-covered chips halfway to her mouth. "I think he really believes that." As a mara, Sabine could read people's fears and feed from the nightmares she wove for them while they slept. But even beyond her mara abilities, she had an uncanny ability to read people's expressions and body language. To my constant irritation.

"Of course he believes it." Emma would have taken any excuse to argue with the mara—Sabine had dragged her into the Netherworld six weeks earlier and almost sold her to a hellion, body and soul. But this time her anger was obviously about more than that; Em felt guilty for passing along what she'd heard in front of Max. "Just 'cause people are saying something doesn't make it true. My aunt had a miscarriage last year, and it looked nothing like that. There was hardly any blood. Mostly just some cramping."

Sabine shrugged, unfazed. "I'm no doctor, but if you ask me, she was pregnant, and the baby didn't belong to good ol' Max. But he obviously hasn't figured that out yet."

"Well, no one asked you," Emma insisted. "So mind your own business."

The mara frowned. "It's not like I was going to tell him!"

"Sabine." Nash half groaned.

Normally, I like it when he's irritated with her. Sabine was my boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, and she wasn't too happy about the "ex" part.

"She's right," I said, as softly as I could speak and still be heard at my own table.

"How do you…?" Emma asked, and I met her gaze reluctantly.

"Because I felt the baby die."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 154 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(130)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 154 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic

    I enjoyed reading this book. Good plot, great characters. you will be entertained for hours.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Can't Wait

    The Soul Screamers series only gets better. This next one will definately be beyond amazingly awesome, I just know it. Especially with an ending like the one My Soul To Steal had, this book is going to be the best ever. Rachel is the best author and all of her books are great, so why would this be an exception?

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an exciting twisting (perhaps too many spins) thriller

    Following the sudden death of math teacher Mr. Wesner, Eastlake hires Mr. Beck to replace him. He is gorgeous and even his handwriting on the board is gorgeous. All the girls are attracted to the hunk with many coming to school early and staying late just to see him. The only two females not attracted to Mr. Beck are rivals for the heart of Nash the banshee, Kaylee the banshee screamer of death and Sabine the Mara bringer of nightmares.

    They realize why Mr. Beck is the fantasy of their female classmates; as he is an incubus whose sustenance is absorbing the desires of humans. Kaylee and Mara believe that if Mr. Beck learns they know his secret, he will come after them. As her current life span draws closer to her final soul scream for herself, Kaylee teams up with her adversary Mara to rescue the females of Eastlake from the handsomest male at school. However, the incubus is more diabolical than Kaylee imagined as he forces her to do his bidding even if it means harming her relationship with Nash to save her friends' souls.

    The latest Soul Screamers urban teen fantasy (see My Soul to Keep and My Soul to Save) is an entertaining entry as Kaylee struggles to balance her teen life at school and at home with saving the lives of her schoolmates from the clever incubus. Young adult readers will enjoy Kaylee's exploits as she ponders not If I Die but when I die soon in an exciting twisting (perhaps too many spins) thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    OMG

    cant wait until it comes out!!! omg the wait is endless!!! ooo i hope kaylee ends up with Tod!!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    MUST READ!!!!!!!

    Rachel Vincent is an awesome writer and the soul screamers series is just amazing! I love all of her books and i cant wait to read this one! This is a must read series!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Best

    Best book in the world. Team Tod forever!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Absolutely loved this book! I was hooked on this series since bo

    Absolutely loved this book! I was hooked on this series since book one. If you enjoy paranormal romance you will love this book. I couldn't put the book down. I also recommended this book to three different people and they all three loved it. Can't wait until "Before I Wake" comes out, I'm literally counting the days down! : P

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    There isnt another one

    Sorry to say people but that was the last book in the series i liked the ending and found it amusing. It didnt really tell you what happend to the minor characters but it had an overall good ending

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Love this book!!

    I was so surprized, I couldn't stop reading! Love the ending and I cannot wait untill the next book comes out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Awesome!

    Loved it! Kept me guessing until the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    OMG

    Ok out of all the Soul Screamersbooks this had to be THE BEST ONE !!!! I love thos whole plot and characters! This is one of my fave series! I cant wait u til the next one comes out !!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    BookWhisperer Reviews If I Die

    Just when we thought things we looking up for Kaylee Cavanaugh If I Die will crush all of the previous assumptions. Rachel Vincent is an incredibly talented author with several incredible series under her belt. While I find it hard to rate my favorite ; the Soul Screamers puts up one good fight for the running. This latest addition takes everything readers have come to love about the series, and turn it topsy turvy. From the start it is obvious that this was not just going to be an easy addition to the well loved story. As the story progresses Vincent will build the twists and turns until readers find a whole new story, and momentum for the story to continue to strong. I love to write reviews that allow readers some description of the story, but this novel was so action packed that to do so would mean spoiling some of the story. That is just something I can not in good conscious do so I apologize for not for reviewing in part of the direct story, but this is one you just to experience for yourself. Soul Screamers is a BookWhisperer Recommended series, as is every other wonderful series that Rachel Vincent has created. She is a wonderful storyteller that will have you addicted from the start.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Best book i have ever read!!!

    I stayed up to 3 in the morning to read this book!!! Its soooo good :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    the series was awesome. i am hoping this was not the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best soul screamers book so far!

    Wow!!!! This book literally took me on the biggest emotional rollercoaster! This book is the definition of emotional thrill ride. I felt every emotion at some point in this story, many of them one after another on the same page. I am still trying to get myself together after reading it. As the overview tells you, Kaylee finds out her life-line is about to run out. She has less than a week before she will die, and being Kaylee she needs to save people. Her best friend Emma is at risk of being the next victim to her Incubus teacher and Kaylee wants to make sure that her, and any other potential victims are safe before she dies. Kaylee is already living on borrowed time and knows that this is it, there is no way around it. This is her last chance to protect the people she cares about. She wants to make her last days mean something. Sabine and Kaylee come to a sort of truce to try to work together and find a way to get rid of the Incubus, which is very entertaining. I love Sabine's character, so more of her is always a good thing to me. She is so fierce, and brutally honest and the dialogue between her and Kaylee is always fun to read. As always, Tod is there to help Kaylee when she needs it, and Nash gets jealous about her spending time with him. Tod is the one best suited to help Kaylee with certain things since he has some pretty cool skills being a reaper and all, so we get more of him. (which in my opinion is always a good thing *sigh*) There are so many twists and turns in this book and it was so hard to put down. This book will make you laugh, cry, smile, and probably stay up all night reading until you finish. You need to read this. (and if you haven't read the first four yet, what are you waiting for?) This is the best Soul Screamers book yet! This series gets so much better with each book, and I am dying to know what comes next in Before I Wake.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best One Yet!

    In the acknowledgments, Rachel states that she always says "this is her best one yet!" but with this one... She is 826% correct! IF I DIE was outstanding, it truly was the best one yet. If I Die had everything you could have ever asked for: romance, anger, death, heartbreak, struggles, laughs, triumphs, fights, and super smexy times! I could have not asked for a better fifth book. I am anxiously waiting for BEFORE I WAKE because I absolutely need more an cannot wait to see what happens next. A billion stars out of 5. TOD FOREVER!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2014

    5/5 stars

    5/5 stars

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  • Posted June 9, 2013

    Well now ¿ that was rough. I mean the whole series so far has be

    Well now – that was rough. I mean the whole series so far has been good and engaging and exciting but that was – wow.

    Vincent throws us back into Kaylee’s world, her and Nash are working things out, Sabine is still around making life difficult, Emma is FINALLY in the know about most everything, and Tod is still dreamy Tod. Until he has to deliver some devastating news – Kaylee’s time is up. She is on the list.

    Hole. Ee. Crap. What would you do if you knew when you were going to die, and that day was only a week away? Kaylee decides she needs to fix one more thing – and to do that she has to continue going to school. I personally wouldn’t go to school but that’s just me.

    And of course if knowing you are going to die isn’t bad enough, everything else starts unraveling as well. Things with Nash aren’t perfect, Kaylee is lying to Emma and turning to Sabine for help and advice, and Tod is … well Tod is dreamy.

    This whole story kept me on the edge of my seat, on my toes, and I had no clue where it was going. Just when I thought “OK, this is what’s going to happen,” BAM – I was wrong. If you haven’t started this series yet WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Even though the read-a-long for Before I Wake isn’t until June, I may not be able to wait to read it. I must know what happens next, and sooner rather than later!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Every Soul Screamer book gets better and better. Can't wait for

    Every Soul Screamer book gets better and better. Can't wait for the last one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    This series is addictive. 

    This series is addictive. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 154 Customer Reviews

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