Soulmates and Other Ways To Die by Melissa Welliver

Soulmates and Other Ways To Die by Melissa Welliver – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Destiny, science, soulmates, friendship, survival.
YA book title: Soulmates and Other Ways To Die.
YA authors: Melissa Welliver.
Genre: Dystopian romance.
Published by: Chicken House
ISBN: 9781915947130.
Recommended for children aged: 14+.
First published: Paperback March 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: Teenage romantics.

Soulmates and Other Ways To Die by Melissa Welliver

To see the latest price or order, click on the book cover image.

Our review:

It’s June 2045 and the world’s slowest apocalypse is underway. Ten years ago, a gene mutation was discovered that could identify everyone’s soulmate – their KinTwin. The one person that you’re destined to be with for life. While that’s great news for the romantics – and comes with tax breaks if you live together – the downside is that you feel your KinTwin’s pain, even if you’ve never met. And if they die, then so do you.

Such “Dearly Departed” deaths have decimated the population and many of those who are left have become paranoid isolationists.

“You didn’t want to start a conversation with someone who could drop dead any moment.”

Sixteen-year-old Zoe is a self-confessed control freak. She carries a survival kit with her whenever she is forced to leave the house and is determined not to succumb to an early Dearly Departed death. A freak accident reveals that her KinTwin is daredevil adrenaline junkie Milo, who feels that life is not worth living without taking risks, with little thought for his own – or Zoe’s – safety.

Soulmates and Other Ways To Die by Melissa Welliver spread 1

Unable to change Milo’s reckless behaviour, the only thing that can save Zoe is to find a cure and break their “kinship” for good. Unfortunately, destiny – and a team of power-crazed scientists – have other plans…

“Life, just like love, wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I’d rather have no KinTwin at all than a bad one.’

Soulmates And Other Ways to Die is a clever twist on the teenage romance novel. The “enemies to lovers” trope is given a welcome refresh with Zoe and Milo’s prickly relationship. Their pairing is literally a matter of life or death, bringing into question issues surrounding free will, power and control.

Told from Zoe and Milo’s alternating points of view, the story is fast-paced and engaging. Side characters are well developed and there is a nice theme of LGBTQ+ inclusivity, with the KinTwinning providing “literally scientific evidence that love really did win.”

Soulmates and Other Ways To Die by Melissa Welliver spread 2

Readers will quickly become immersed in this near-future, scarily real dystopia. Zoe’s face masks and elbow bumping are covid-relevant, with the casual attitude to multiple sudden deaths adding a chilling twist to the normal teenage mindset of invincibility.

Soulmates And Other Ways To Die is an original tale of destiny and independence that will appeal to fans of I Loved You In Another Life and You & Me at the End Of The World.

Many thanks to Chicken House for the review copy.

To order a class set of this book, please click below to order via, an organisation that supports local bookshops, or

Buy from UK.Bookshop.Org Buy from

Disclosure: If you buy books using the buttons above: we may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookshops; as an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.

If you like Soulmates and Other Ways To Die by Melissa Welliver you might also like: our reviews of Thieves’ Gambit by Kayvion Lewis, Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher, You Think You Know Me by Ayaan Mohamud, When Shadows Fall by Sita Brahmachari and Channel Fear by Lisa Richardson.

Browse our Year 10 reading list

About Melanie Dillon

Photo of author
Melanie has a Master’s degree in Information and Library Management; a Post Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature focusing on the Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme & LGBT YA fiction, and extensive experience working in school and public libraries. Linkedin | Reviews by Melanie Dillon