Possess by Gretchen McNeil
2011, Balzer + Bray
My Rating: 4/5
Description(From Goodreads.com – shortened):
Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit hesitant at first because of the major Catholic themes in the book, but it all worked out. I am an atheist so I tend to roll my eyes over religious talk and I was worried that there would be a lot in this book that I didn’t care about. I was very pleased to see that there wasn’t much of a religious agenda at all and that the plot was great!
Bridget is our protagonist. She is half Chinese, which is something I haven’t seen in a protagonist before (in books, obviously), and her personality is quite spunky. She has a gay friend so I enjoyed that there were pro LGBTQ themes. The other characters were realistic and likable. I liked the variety of characters.
I was worried about romance, but I liked the direction this book took it. In particular, Bridget’s mom is involved in a love triangle that involves Bridget’s best friend’s dad. I thought that was an interesting touch because it isn’t often that we see a love triangle that involves the parents!
The plot was really well done and I think this was my favourite aspect of the book. Some bits were predictable, but there were so many layers to the story that I couldn’t help but try to anticipate what was going to happen next. The book read like a creepy mystery, and I found I especially loved the creepy scenes. There were several instances where I was creeped out and I really enjoyed that. Alongside the creepy scenes, there was a phrase that jumped out at me a few times for comic relief: “Sweet cartwheeling Jesus!”
This was a really nice read to have right before Halloween. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to read a YA horror/paranormal story. Plus, look at that cover! It is so beautiful. 🙂