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Monday, April 15, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Posses
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: August 23 2011
Publishing House: Balzer & Bray
ISBN: 9780062060723
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by Matt Quinn, the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, the voices are demons- and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Literally. 

Terrified to tell her friends or family about this new power, Bridget confides in San Fransisco's senior exorcist, Monsignor Renault, who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her freakish new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. And when one of her oldest friends is killed, Bridget realizes she's in deeper than she ever though possible. Now she must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone else close to her winds up dead - or worse, the human vessel for a demon king.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


It's not everyday you come across a YA book focusing on exorcism and while Possess was interesting enough and entertaining enough, I found parts of it lacking. 

Meet Bridget Liu, she lost her father to a psychopath, she can hear demons and apparently she also has the power to banish them, add to that this totally cute guy who's protective of her and oh did I mention that there's a demon king who wants to enter the human world and she's got to find a way to stop him? Yes, she's got problems and it isn't surprising at all that she has issues.

One thing I like about the book is that it's genuinely creepy. I liked the descriptions of the exorcisms, or banishment, that Bridget attended - the mood was great, very eerie and disturbing and I will admit to having goosebumps rise up on my arms while reading it. It's probably just me though because I'm a big baby and ghost stories freak me out. Watch out for the doll shop. I was definitely weirded out by that scene.

What I found lacking though was the character development. Bridget's a pretty okay protagonist and I had no problem with her voice it's just that I found her lacking a bit of spark in her personality. She just wasn't real enough for me and I had a hard time connecting with her. The secondary characters were sadly underdeveloped and seemed to just pop out of the woodwork with minor explanations as to their connection with Bridget. And Matt, well, I guess he's pretty much okay, he fits the YA male love interest mold to a tee and I thought that his relationship with Bridget happened way too fast - I wasn't happy with the transitioning.

I will admit that it was interesting reading about exorcisms and demons and the role of the Catholic Church in it all and it was great how McNeil managed to give readers that information without it seeming like it was being spoon-fed to us. But I also wished that the author had provided us more with a background on things - history and things like that. 

Overall, Possess is an interesting book, it's got creepy banishment scenes - exorcisms -, scary demons and freaky powers which I'm pretty glad I don't have. I wouldn't want to have demons speaking to me in my mind. Would I recommend this book? Why not? It's not everyday you see a YA book focusing on exorcisms.



1 comment:

  1. The summary alone gave me a Supernatural feeling to it, not the word, but the show Supernatural.
    And aw, I'm disappointed with the YA love interests nowadays, they all basically have the same characteristics: kind, caring, and protective.
    Nice review Nicole! (: