Sunday, October 26, 2014

#PrivateSchoolProblems: Possess Review

This post is part of my blogtober celebration, my month-long blog party about all things creepy and Halloween-y! Don't forget I've got a ton of giveaways going on!

Possess by Gretchen McNeil ( web | tweet )
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 379
Keywords: exorcism, demons, supernatural
Format Read: ARC via publisher (thank you!)
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.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.
First of all, I want to say I had NO IDEA this was THE Gretchen McNeil. Of 3:59, Ten, and Get Even. Yep, that girl. This is her debut, and I could not have been more impressed.
Initially I was too scared to pick this book up, and man am I mad at myself I waited so long. This ARC has been on my shelf for an embarrassing length of time (I'm talking since before it was published. That's when I got this). I'm also a huge fan of McNeil now, and I've actually got another window open as I type this buying 3:59 and Ten because I've not read those yet.

I really felt fully immersed into the story from page one, and it dumps you right into the middle of one of Bridget's first "banishments," her nicer way of saying exorcism. She's evidently got way more power than the priest leading her has ever seen, so she's his mentee learning on the job and attending all kinds of demon-ridding activities. You know, on top of being in high school and worrying about boys (there's a really cute one in this).

McNeil didn't hold back when it came to plot, and I was definitely surprised by some of the plot twists that happened. One left me sitting on the couch with my mouth hanging open because I just didn't believe it. Think Walking Dead plots, where no one and nothing is safe, no matter how much you like them.

The characters were great (um, steamy kiss scenes galore! That was a huge surprise considering the overall topic of the book), the plot was suspenseful and interesting, and I ended up reading this in one day, and I feel like I finally got out of my three-star-okay-books rut.
Below is a screenshot of my Goodreads updates (which I'm trying to do more of; they're a lot more fun than Facebook!)
I forgot about my problem with the cover — the fact that the character is Chinese is a pretty important point, and it seems like her whole family is, so I was a little confused why the girl on the front seems so American. But maybe that's just me? What do you guys think?

My general feeling about this book is GO BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. It was great. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. (Also was sad there wasn't a second because it DEFINITELY seems like the start to a series.)

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