Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bookanistas: POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil

Welcome back to Bookanista Thursday. We haven't done this in a while, so let me remind you of the basics--Bookanistas recommend some good reads every Thursday. We're all writers, so you won't find traditional reviews, but you will find things to add to your to-read list. Which is awesome.

Today, I'm OH-SO-STRONGLY recommending POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil. Here's what it's about:

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.

So when I was in junior high and early in high school, I was so addicted to Christopher Pike that I read the covers off them. Literally. I read Lois Duncan and VC Andrews--anything that gave me goosebumps. Eventually, I moved on, but I can still give you a page-by-page rundown of Last Act. Poor Melanie.

POSSESS reminds me of everything I loved about those books. It's genuinely chilling without being gross-out or taking me into I'll-never-sleep-again territory. It's fast paced and un-put-downable. It has a heroine that I'd like to befriend and a hot guy to drool over. There are scenes that made me gnash my teeth over, because they are just That Good. At least they were clean teeth. I brushed them while holding the book because I couldn't bear to put it down.

I know. I'm gushing, and I don't usually gush.

As a big horror aficionado, I was really curious to see how this book would handle the process of exorcism. I've read a lot about it, which probably won't surprise you. The process here is very simplified, which initially had me a little worried, but I felt like this was absolutely the right choice for the story. It keeps things fast paced and avoids a lot of pesky religious questions. In short, regardless of what your exorcism-related beliefs are, you should still be able to appreciate this as a good story.

Frankly, my only complaint about this book is that it's the first one I read while on vacation, and then it was downhill from there. Nothing else stacked up to it.

Check out what the other Bookanistas are recommending this week!

Elana Johnson sings out for Chime

LiLa Roecker thinks Epic Fail is a great success - with giveaway

Matt Blackstone feels The Pull of Gravity

Scott Tracey
is entranced by Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Carolina Valdez Miller
marvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

What're you reading now?


Karen said...

This book sounded so good I pre-ordered it right away.

As for what I'm reading right now, I just finished Sorta Like A Rock Star by Matthew Quick and I'm about to start Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin (aka Elizabeth Scott).

Jamie Grey said...

This has been on my list for a while, but I think I'm going to have to run out and order it today! I'm reading The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff right now and am loving it - this sounds like it might be in a similar vein. Thanks for the great review!

Becky Mahoney said...

Thank you so much! This sounds right up my alley. And what a fabulously creepy cover to boot!

Carrie Harris said...

Karen: YAY! You'll have to let me know what you think! And I haven't read those other two...will have to check them out!

Jamie: It's very Replacement-esque! That's a great comparison.

Becky: Isn't that cover just fabulous? It totally fits the book too.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

That's the key for me with horror--if it keeps me up terrified to go to sleep, I really struggling reading it. But so far Possess has kept me up just because I can't put it down to go to sleep!

Valerie Kemp said...

Yep. That cover still freaks me out. It sounds really interesting though!

Also woohoo for Christopher Pike! Last Act is one of my favorites too!

Suzanne said...

I've just finished If I Stay by Gayle Forman (I'm several years behind everyone else in the world), and now I'm onto Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson. Neither of these are creepy, just beautifully written.

Last week I read some rad zombie book called Bad Taste in Boys... can't remember the name of the cool chick that wrote that...