Thursday, October 4, 2012
Bridget Liu isn't just a moody, combative teenager that just wants everyone (including her parents, her mom, and the cute son of the police sergeant) to leave her alone. She can communicate with demons and send them back to where they came from. Fearing her loved ones reaction to her power (or her belief in her power), she confides in Monsignor Renault, who then guides her and asks for help on increasingly more dangerous exorcisms. On one of these, Bridget hears a demon say something frightening that turns her whole world upside down. She has to figure out a demon's plan before it's executed and find out who around her is working for it.
I usually don't really like exorcist stories, but the awesome metallic blue cover and the good things I've heard about Gretchen McNeil's writing made me ignore my misgivings towards the genre. I was pleasantly surprised by most of the story. Bridget is a smart, capable heroine that has special powers over demons. Even though she can be too whiny and annoying, her good qualities outweigh those annoyances. I liked seeing the story through her eyes because she adds her own sarcasm and unique point of view. Her character develops throughout the novel and she gets much less annoying and much more mature by the end of it. My favorite scene is the one where a doll shop is infested with demons. There are some pretty creepy moments, but nothing mindblowingly scary. Possessed dolls are just disturbing by themselves. Gretchen McNeil's writing is what made the book enjoyable. Despite my problems with it, I read it pretty fast because she built up momentum really well and grabbed my interest. The plot moves swiftly after the exposition with the demonic activity increasing as it goes along.
I did have some problems with this book. The minor characters are paper thin with little to no character development. A boy is in love with Bridget and literally stalks her around school and sends her frightening and obsessive text messages. This situation gets way out of control and totally could have been prevented if she had just told an authority figure about it and gotten him help. It just makes her look horrible and like she doesn't really care about her friend and the other people he could hurt because of his obviously unstable mental state. I really had to suspend disbelief with the religious aspects because I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic schools. It did pull me out of the story a couple times at the beginning, but I was so interested in the story by the end that it no longer mattered. There were some twists and turns in the plot, but I could see most of them coming a mile away.
Possess was kind of uneven for me. The character development was great for Bridget, but most of the other characters were basically cardboard. I do wish it were a little more scary. Most teen horror is kind of underwhelming. Despite the problems I had, Gretchen McNeil's writing kept me interested throughout the book and I will definitely be reading her new release, Ten.
My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins