August 30, 2011

Book Review: Possess by Gretchen McNeil

I must admit, I was intrigued by the premise of this book. I'd heard around the writing block that arcs of it went quickly at Book Expo and that there was a lot of buzz about it. So, this weekend, after reading an adult vampire novel, I decided to continue with the dark and twisty theme and read Possess next. And I'm so glad I did. I read it in one day-not one sitting, although I would have if not for my small people and their ever long list of wants and needs. It was a fast read with a strong YA voice and a plot that successfully mixed mystery, horror and romance. Right down my proverbial alley. The biggest plus of all was that it managed to be creepy, but not over the top scary, so I didn't terrorize my hubbie afterwards with crazy nightmares.

In a nutshell the book is about a girl with the ability to excorcise demons. Her name is Bridget and she discovered her special abilities not long after her father seemingly dies at the hands of a mental patient he was evaluating. She begins training with a priest at her Catholic school, learning his five rules of banishments(what he calls exorcisms), which is a good thing because cases of possession are cropping up all over town and Bridget is their best hope for release. But Bridget isn't sure she wants this new ability of hers or the addictive rush of power and exhilaration she feels while banishing the demons. She isn't sure she wants to know why she's so connected to the dark side. Bridget has to find a way to come to terms with her powers and figure out why the town is becoming overrun with evil before that evil comes after her and the ones she loves.

This book was wholly original in how it presented the whole topic of exorcims while still maintaining the same foggy eeriness of the stories that came before it, like The Exorcist. I liked how real and genuine Bridget seemed, how confilicted she was about what she could do, and how she managed to be both kick butt and girlishly vulerable at the same time. Clear an afternoon sometime soon and spend a little time in her world...just lock away any china dolls you may have first...and carry a crucifix, just in case.

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