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Bliss Hardcover – Large Print, September 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—In the summer of 1969, hippie teenager Bliss in the Morning Dew sees her whole world turn upside down. One day, she is unceremoniously dropped at her grandmother's house in Atlanta after her parents decide to leave their commune and move to Canada. Now, not only does she need to get to know her grandmother, but she also has to learn the ways of the society she now inhabits. That includes attending the exclusive Crestview Academy. This might sound like a typical story of a girl getting to know a long-lost family member, but it's not. This story is straight-up horror—with Bliss right in the center of the storm. The nice, polite, nonjudgmental teen has been singled out by one girl at school—a girl whose obsession with blood rituals borders on insanity. Lilliana was once a student at Crestview, but her mysterious death has long haunted the school. Yet, one girl believes that Lilliana can and must be brought back from the dead, and there's only one student who can help—Bliss. However, the protagonist has some secrets of her own, and she's not going to let Lilliana return without a fight. Myracle also works in period references, including the "The Andy Griffith Show" and the Manson Family murders. Although the story drags a bit in the middle and Bliss seems a bit too forgiving of a new friend, this novel is sure to cause goose bumps all the way to the dramatic and surprising end.—Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* It’s the summer of 1969, and Bliss has been unceremoniously dumped by her hippie parents into the custody of her grandmother. Soon Bliss finds herself adjusting to life as a freshman at a fancy Atlanta school—and it’s a lot different from life on the commune. Although she quickly finds “normal” friends, she is drawn to Sandy, a gruff and unpopular girl with a long-standing grudge against Sarah Lynn, the icy beauty of the freshman class. The push and pull of the school drama is engaging enough, but there’s another element pressurizing the situation: an unsettling voice calling to Bliss from inside one of the school buildings, a voice somehow related to strange blood rituals and a long-ago suicide. Myracle is running on all cylinders here, exercising an agile teenage drama, a Stephen King–like yarn of high-school horror, a cautionary tale of ’60s race relations, and some affecting social commentary: each chapter begins with a period media quote, and the startling mix of Andy Griffith and Charles Manson perfectly distills the nation’s teetering into terror. The conclusion is a bit awkward, but the lead up is unbearably tense and will have readers buzzing about the audacious plot twist that none of them saw coming. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810970716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810970717
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,499,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren Myracle is the author of many popular books for teens and tweens, including New York Times bestsellers ttyl and ttfn (Abrams). She lives with her family in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Redich on February 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
First of all I'd like to say that I did enjoy Bliss. It had good momentum through out, good action, some fairly interesting creepy moments. However, and this is just my own preference here, I hated the ending. There was no resolution. And here's a spoiler so don't read further if you haven't read the book.....that disgusting Sandy basically just takes over the school. The student population turns a blind eye to her past behavior and she suddenly reigns supreme. I know it's just fiction but the ending just felt weak. Further, no one seems to be mentioning that this book seems to tell the story behind the "bitches" in the earlier novel Rhymes with Witches. And after all the build up in Bliss about the "power" now held by Sandy all that power seems to be used for is for certain girls to be "beautiful and popular" which let's face it, certain girls seem to manage without any help from dark magic. What ever happened to Lawrenece? What about Bliss and Mitchell? The ending just left way too many loose threads hanging for my taste.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laura on March 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's amazing to me when an author can't end a book. I was looking forward to some sort of closure to tie this haphazard mess into a story, well, I'm still looking. She made some attempts, but there were too many loose ends, too many questions. The author did a great job of interweaving current events that were taking place in with the story line and at first I was interested in where the plot was going. Unfortunately, the plot wasn't well thought of, instead it seemed she was more interested in writing a book about Charles Manson and The Family and not of this world she had created. The characters she sketched at first were interesting and drew you into the story but then the book dragged on. 'Scary' scenes felt fake and the real malice that she was trying to create seemed nothing more than a fabrication. I wanted to like the book because it did seem different, but I just couldn't. I felt the book was a huge disappointment and let down, especially after reading reviews that said how wonderful it was. I'm an avid reader and with many books to compare, this one will never be recommended by me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Woodard on December 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Summary: Bliss was left with her grandmother, when her hippie parents ran off to Canada. She is now the new girl at Crestview Academy. This will be Bliss' first school. She also has to change her lifestyle from living on a commune to the living in the city.
Crestview Academy was a convent before it was a school. School legend is that a girl named Liliana, jumped from the third store of the building. She sense that something is wrong with the school. She can hear the Liliana's plead to come set her free, but she can tell the voice is one of evil. Bliss just wants to make friends; not hear a dead Liliana's voice. She meets a girl, Sandy that is obsessed with the past. Especially that of the suicide at Hamilton hall. Sandy also tries to justify the Manson Murders. Bliss also becomes friends with Sarah Lynn, a popular girl that Sandy hates for some reason. As one of her friends goes deeper into the hole of evil, Bliss wants to save her, but she might lose someone else.

My Review: This book is amazing. The layout is awesome. Each chapter is started by a quote with references to "The Andy Griffith Show," the Charles Manson murders and racial intolerance. Sometimes, there is a diary entry from another character that goes by S.L.L. The diary entries have blood splattered on them. I also really liked Bliss, she is a really sweet girl. She is quite innocent, which is perfect for a horror novel. Lauren Myracle of telling a story in the 1969's. The plot was amazing. I think this is Myracle's best work, and highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Curtis on March 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book was really interesting throughout, especially with the references to the cult killings and the Charles Manson case interweaving through the plot, but then you get to the end of the book, and there's no denouement...the story just kind of falls off. You have no idea what happened to Lawrence, you have no idea what's going to happen to Bliss, and the antagonist seems to win in the end, even though there's still the lack of an actual END to the story. It seems as if there was a sequel planned that never came.....(You can't call Rhymes with Witches a sequel to this book.) I know you can't always expect the author to wrap up the story in a nice and neat little bow at the end, but COME ON! There's no resolution here! I definitely won't be recommending this book to pissed me off.
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By Jennifer Rossi on March 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book had everything I felt I wanted from a book about a very major time in historical America and about ghosts and about coming of age. Bliss was a pretty fascinating character, born and bred a hippie who now must learn the social mores of the south and her grandmother's ideas of propriety. Not to mention the idea that black people ought to be segregated unless you needed a token one to keep your school from being called racist. It was that point in American history that we Americans probably would wish had never taken place because we are accepting of all skin colors now, to put it bluntly.

As part of the generation that had not been born yet during the time period of this book, it was both fascinating and appalling to see the racism. I think one of the main messages of the book though was to point out how terrible racism was but then to point out just how terrible the other "segregations" are that can be imposed on others out of ignorance, stupidity, or spite.

Bliss befriends 2 girls, one who is universally disliked, and one who is universally loved for seemingly no reason. Bliss attempts to forge a true bond with them only to discover that they are not exactly what she had thought them to be in the first place. It seems like a typical story but there is a paranormal aspect to it that gives the entire book a hard, interesting edge -- if sometimes a little disgusting.

The biggest issue I had with this book was that it grabbed an idea, ran with it (along with the protagonist who embraced it all the way) but then dropped completely at the end. The end was like feeling free, running flat out for the first time in your life, then suddenly meeting a wall & realizing you can't go any further.
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