Gretchen McNeil’s debut novel, Possess, released on August 23. I found myself in the mood for it this week, yearning for a spooky book. I enjoyed it very much though for different reasons coming out of it than going into it. It was, and wasn’t, what I thought it was going to be.
The book follows Bridget Liu, a 15 year old girl who has an unusual ability; she can exorcise demons. She found this out during a babysitting job gone awry. Now she has teamed with her local priest and a representative from Rome to dispel demons. Trouble is her new found talent keeps getting in the way of more important things…like life…like school…like avoiding annoying boys left and right. She hears voices, she hears movements, she can’t shut it out. Bridget certainly has her work cut out for her, in all directions.
I found this book to be a fun read. It’s not as spooky as I wanted it to be, but I am very satisfied with it nonetheless. I think my unflappability stems from this – I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school. I am very aware of how scary nuns and priests can be. I very much enjoyed the tone of this book, and I wanted to be scared, but I wasn’t. Maybe becoming a non-believer in my adulthood has killed the fear, slayed those particular dragons. Maybe Catholic fear and mythology simple does not frighten me any more.
Clearly, I’m a little disappointed that I wasn’t scared, but only a smidge. The book still holds up. McNeil succeeds with this book despite my fearlessness. She has created a very unique monster slaying YA novel that will have readers wanting a sequel (is there a sequel?). I hope there is a sequel in the works. I loved all of the characters in this from Bridget to her love interest to her enemies to her friends. I loved her family and her allies. I enjoyed her story very much. It’s the perfect book to read if you are in the mood for a gutsy heroine.
5 out of 5 stars.
– Follow the Reader –