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Bliss Hardcover – Large Print, September 1, 2008

3.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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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: Harry N. Abrams (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: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,849,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this book was okay, but it felt like it was about 100 pages too long. It also had way too much happening in the plot. There was a scandalous interracial relationship, a ghost story, a possession, hippie culture, news of the Manson killings in CA, and a girl trying to establish a relationship with her cold grandmother. Any one of these could have been a story all on its own and been really well written by Myracle. I just felt that in putting all of these plots together, it was almost as if Myracle was trying to create the oddest book she could. Because there was so much going on, it was hard to connect with any one character.

Sandy was somewhat developed, but it didn't feel like Sarah was developed well. Throughout the book Sarah was the popular girl who couldn't be bothered by others. Near the end, Myracle tries to change that; by that point, I was already feeling the book was in need of serious editing. Bliss was a great character and her story at the commune was one that could have been a book on its own as well. I felt like readers were hit over the head with this odd ghost story, when the book could have just as well been as creepy being about a girl coming from a hippie commune and following her as she navigates a consumer driven culture in the racist south. I mean, one of the major characters had a father who was in the Klan and that really didn't come in to play at all until the end.
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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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Format: Paperback
Okay, so I finished Lauren Myracle‘s new-ish YA novel Bliss last night and I am sort of at a loss for words at the moment because it was basically . . . freaking weird. I know, so eloquent, right? Well, I don’t know what else to say at the moment. I loved Lauren’s TTYL trilogy so I was really excited for this book. It definitley wasn’t bad – I read the entire thing (450 pages) in almost one day, but it was just so bizarre and not what I was expecting!

It’s 1969. Bliss is a 14 year old who has jaust been left at her rich grandmother’s home by her hippie parents, after growing up in a commune. She is enrolled in the prestigious Crestview Academy and soon begins making friends. One of her new friends is Sandy, a loner who has always been picked on. Around this time, Bliss starts hearing a frightening “blood voice” every time she nears the building Hamilton Hall. Someone seems to be speaking to her. Sandy is also growing increasingly stranger and making Bliss grow very uncomfortable. Bliss soon realizes the voice is likely connected to the suicide that occurred in Hamilton Hall many years before (no, this is not a spoiler, this is revealed very early on). Bliss realizes she has a special “power,” and though fascinated by the occult, she is beginning to grow very scared.

The book is also interspliced by really creepy journal entries by another character, also interested in the occult and the “blood voice.” The story also references the Vietnam War and the Charles Manson case quite a bit, as both were occurring at the time this story took place.

This is certainly unlike any other book I have ever read. It’s creepy and disturbing without going too far.
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