Wild Souls by Faith Prince
Out now Self-published through Amazon; 273 pages
Content Warnings: Depiction of an abusive relationship, mentions of sexual assault, bullying, mentions of kidnapping/murder, and absent parents
About the Author: “Hi, my name is Faith. I’m an aspiring novelist, mom, and YouTuber. When I first started creating videos, my intention was to explore another creative medium, entertain (I *think* I’m funny), share writing tips, and document my journey toward (hopefully) publication.
However, in March 2021,there was a shocking turn of events as I was diagnosed with cancer. A mom of a one-year-old, I was overwhelmed, devastated and plagued with doubt. Did I have the strength to take on this monster? As I gained knowledge and confidence, I decided to document my journey, hoping to help others facing a similar hardship. As I undergo cancer treatment, I continue to create videos to spread awareness, inspire and uplift others who are battling diseases and other misfortunes.
Writing and sharing my stories with the world means everything to me. I’m strong, perseverant and determined to succeed. Since I’ve found the strength to battle cancer, I know there isn’t anything that can prevent me from achieving my publishing goals. I won’t stop until you see my books on the shelves!” (Bio taken from Author’s website)
Find Faith Prince on the following platforms:
Ethan Underwood is a pariah in his town, viewed as a freak and a psychopath. However, in reality, Ethan possesses a special ability, he can see the souls and auras of those around him. Being able to tell whether a person is “good” or “evil” based on their aura, what could be viewed as a gift, serves as an immense burden both mentally and physically for Ethan. As a result, he does his best to avoid others, causing people to think of him as a liar and/or insane. However, one day, a girl named Jenna Farrell moves to town, and much to Ethan’s surprise, she likes him. Jenna has no idea about his special ability and despite the rumors of his past tendencies of accusing certain individuals of atrocious acts, she loves being around him, with Ethan being a huge comfort to her as she struggles with maintaining a positive outlook on her flakey father. As the two look to each other for companionship and strength, their relationship will be tested when Ethan manages to launch the two into each other’s souls, where they must face their demons. Will Ethan and Jenna lose each other in the process or grow even closer?
Faith Prince’s debut novel, Wild Souls, is a fantastical YA novel filled with romance, friendship, and a touch of mysticism. Ethan, despite his notorious reputation, is revealed to be a sensitive, insightful individual whose struggle with their disability (how he views his ability to see souls) alienates him from everyone. It takes meeting Jenna, bold, compassionate, and exuberant, for Ethan to recognize and gain the strength to not let his ability control his life. These characters don’t just have distinctive personalities, but they truly feel like real individuals with real experiences. I particularly enjoyed Jenna’s character because of how strong of a female protagonist she was regarding her beliefs and choices, never faltering despite her struggles. The romance between these two was something fun to read, with their exchanges of dialogue filled with witty banter as well as those sweet romantic moments. The foundation of their relationship wasn’t just love, but a mutual respect for who the two are as individuals and how they both can grow and support one another.
While this novel is predominantly a romance, it managed to cover some tough topics that are sadly prevalent in society today. Readers who are sensitive to topics relating to abusive relationships or sexual assault, although not the main focus of the novel but are touched upon throughout, may want to read with caution. The inclusion of such content in Wild Souls allowed Prince the opportunity to tackle these topics in a way that gave strength and courage to the victims. The novel also handled the topics of the stigmatization of mental disabilities and the troubles of having an absent parent in an approach that was both realistic as well as empowering for the affected individuals.
The narrative of Wild Souls was engaging, with Prince using so much beautiful imagery to describe Ethan’s visual perspective of the world. The use of colors and symbolism of creatures viewed in his visions of the souls added to the mystical value of the novel. So, if you like books like Spells for Lost Things, you’ll enjoy Wild Souls.
PRR Writer, Tereza Rascon