Friday, September 25, 2009

Bliss Review

Bliss in the Morning Dew goes from living in a commune with her hippie parents to living in regular society with her uptight grandmother in the late 1960's. She doesn't know anything about typical society or who to trust in it. She meets Sarah Lynn, the aloof popular girl that everyone falls all over themselves for, and Sandy, a kind hearted outcast. Which one experiments on cats and is obsessed with the occult? Who should she trust? In addition to her social problems, the ghost of a girl who committed suicide keeps trying to lure her to a creepy room at her school.

The plot of the story is framed by quotes from the Manson murder trials and the Andy Griffith show. This may initially sound odd, but the quotes really capture the mood or theme of the chapter to follow. The juxtaposition of sociopathic murderers and the idealized society is very effective. The Manson murder trial quotes represent the mentality of the mysterious villain in the book. It's disturbing that people in reality can commit such atrocities and have the attitude that the Manson family did. On the other hand, the Andy Griffith quotes reveal Bliss's only reference for normal society and what to strive for.

I really liked the view of society that was used. Even though this is a young adult book, the racism of the time isn't sugar coated at all. I was genuinely shocked when young girls started spewing racial slurs and stereotypes like it was acceptable. Bliss has the same reaction because she hasn't been a part of “normal” society. There is an immediate kinship felt with Bliss.

Overall, the book was compelling. The creepy journal entries with the plot and the different quotes made a very interesting form. This book is a good introduction in to the horror genre. It isn't too scary or intense, but still holds one's attention. The main characters were multi-dimensional and believable, while some of the minor ones didn't evolve during the story at all. My big problem with the book was that I was incredibly unsatisfied with the ending.



Zombie Girrrl said...

From Peace, ♥, and Baby Ducks to Manson murder mystery? That's a switch. Sounds cool, though! Excellent review. :)

Misty said...

You had me at "The plot of the story is framed by quotes from the Manson murder trials and the Andy Griffith show." I was like, wtf? Awesome.
Great review!