- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray (August 23, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062060716
- ISBN-13: 978-0062060716
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 79 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,892,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Possess Hardcover – August 23, 2011
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Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“A fantastic YA debut …. the humor and occasional twists will keep fans of the genre hooked and wanting to finish this book in one sitting.” (School Library Journal)
“McNeil strikes a fine balance between outright scares and sarcastic humor…[a] light, entertaining read.” (ALA Booklist)
“With demons, secrets, and a butt-kicking heroine, POSSESS is a whole lotta dark and twisted fun!” (Kimberly Derting, author of the Body Finder series)
“A dark, unique, and intelligent novel with frightening twists around every corner that left me breathless.” (Courtney Allison Moulton, author of ANGELFIRE)
About the Author
Gretchen McNeil is the author of several young adult horror/suspense novels for Balzer + Bray, including Possess, 3:59, Relic, Get Even, Get Dirty, and the award-winning Ten. In 2016, Gretchen published her first YA comedy, I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and her next novel will be the horror-comedy #MurderTrending for Disney/Freeform. The film adaptation of Ten starring China Anne McClain (Descendants 2, Black Lightning) and Rome Flynn (The Bold and the Beautiful) premiered on Lifetime on September 16, 2017. Visit Gretchen online at www.gretchenmcneil.com.
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Bridget is a pretty amazing girl, to wake up one day and learn you can banish demons is pretty crazy but the girl was strong and did her thing when it came to getting rid of the demons. I'm glad that the author gave us an explanation on why she was able to banish demons and there was a back story to it instead of her just being blessed with the gift or something.
There was romance but believe me when I say it was the furthest thing from any sort of insta love, like etc. Bridget literally wanted to be left alone by everyone including Matt who was a childhood friend of hers, which is why when she finally did fall for him it just made it that much sweeter.
I do have to say that there were some aspects of Possess that was predictable which is what kept me from giving it a full five star rating but the plot was fast paced and a lot of interesting things happened along the way.
Overall Possess was full of demons, exorcisms, possessed dolls, priests with hidden agendas, mystery, romance and a spunky heroine and if your looking for a book with all that then I highly recommend Possess.
After Bridget's father is brutally murdered by a paranoid schizophrenic, Bridget is not only left dealing with grief but also a new found power. She has the ability to communicate with and banish demons. An enterprising priest at her Catholic school realizes how useful Bridget's powers can be and teaches her the rules of dealing with demons and takes her to exorcisms as she needs them. Unfortunately, something very bad is brewing in the San Francisco area - a demon infestation - and Bridget must help to stop it. But is her new power an innocuous correlate? Or does the infestation have to do with her?
Basically, this is not your typical paranormal young adult novel, which is why I picked it up. I personally have never read about exorcisms in the form this was presented, and I found that part interesting even if it seemed that it wasn't researched enough. These scenes could have definitely been fleshed out with more details. I would say that this might actually be a strange blend of paranormal and horror, and I do wish the author had a clearer vision of what she was writing. This was kind of all over the place. There were definitely paranormal aspects, but some scenes bordered on your typical Rosemary's Baby horror, and then there was a mystery-based subplot (way too easy to guess the whodunnit) along with some action scenes. You can't have an demon-talking, ass-kicking, sleuthing 15-year-old heroine. It just didn't work well for me.
Speaking of the heroine, she seemed pretty horrible throughout the first part of the book. She has a super-hot baseball star suitor who is really sweet with her autistic brother and also is inexplicably infatuated with Bridget. I say inexplicably because Bridget is nothing but rude and sarcastic to him in all of their initial interludes. Far from finding it sweet that he is still interested in her, I just found it kind of pathetic. The same goes for Peter, who is even more pathetic. Supposedly, Bridget is best friends with Peter, who is head-over-heels freakishly in love with her, and she treats him as if he is nothing. Hector, on the other hand, is supposedly Bridget's other best friend, and I just don't ever feel like we get to know him. The secondary characters fell unanimously flat, except for Sammy, Bridget's 8-year-old brother, who sounds really freakin' cute. It was also nice that Bridget developed throughout the novel. By the end, she was actually not quite the terribly sarcastic teen she was in the beginning, so that was cool.
My number one gripe with this novel, though, is the writing. It was told third person, but in a really jarring stream of consciousness type of way. We are never really given a lot of insight to Bridget's reasoning for things, but she does do a whole lot of bitching. And good God, the rhetorical questions. I have a good idea, Gretchen McNeil, instead of asking us questions, why don't you tell use what's going on since you're the one inside of Bridget's head. (Sorry, Gretchen, I think you're awesome. Did you guys know that the author of this book is also an opera singer and circus performer? That may just be what made me bump this from 2 to 3 stars.) Anyways, this is a capturing from one 10 page segment of this book: "Had the neighbor's cat gotten in some how?... Or maybe it was a rat?... But how had he gotten inside the house? And more importantly, how was Bridget going to get him out?... What the hell?... Had she imagined the footsteps?... why had the door been swinging back and forth?...Could this be the same thing? See?... Was she losing her mind?...How exactly did she bring this up?... Had everyone gone insane?" It was painful to read.
Other than all that, I still finished this book. It's part of a series, and I don't think I'll read the next one, but this book wrapped up enough to be read standalone I think anyways. I would recommend this to middle school or high school students who enjoy paranormal young adult romance. It's a little more frustrating reading it as an adult, but I can see why it has a high rating. For the most part, it's just not for me.
Growing up is hard enough as it is after the murder of her father a year ago, but Bridget Liu has an extra problem on top of that: she's an exorcist that can hear demons. A warning given to her by a demon during her first exorcism sets her on edge; could the demons be lying as Monsignor Renault has taught her they do or are they really trying to get a message across? More messages, all along the lines that something is coming and she must beware, lead her to a horrible discovery: someone is going to attempt to summon the demon king Amaymon and someone close to Bridget may becomes his vessel.
While I loved Bridget and her sense of humor (and that she was POC because we need more great POC heroines--winkwinkwinknudgenudgenudge), I wasn't keen on any of the other characters, particularly Matt and Alexa. Matt didn't quite win my approval as Bridget's love interest; I thought he was a little condescending and pushy. Possess showed such promise and this is why is made me very sad that Alexa's character had to be that of a stereotype mean girl and she had to be shamed for having sex and enjoying it. She will no doubt play a bigger role in the sequel (tentatively scheduled for fall 2013) and I can only hope she will be given more depth then.
The exorcism element of the novel was fantastic and McNeil wrote some very good and very, very creepy scenes. If only some of the scenes I wrote could turn out as well as the scene in the doll shop! The mythology got more right than most angel/demon/etc. books currently published and popular. A few things were off about it, though, and I'll excuse those for the sake of creative license. Liberties get taken sometimes.(And Kira darling, if you ever read this: The book gives credit to Semyaza as leader of the Watchers. For serious. It's a one-line thing, but it's better than some books do, right?)
The book positively flew by thanks to great pacing, smooth writing, and how overall enjoyable it was despite the little issues I had with it. I devoured large chunks of the book in single sittings and had the book finished in about three days. There were a few plot-related stumbles that really through me out of the groove, though. One was a plot point about another character that was brought up around halfway through the book, completely forgotten about, and only brought up again in the final chapter. Then Matt and Bridget are searching her house for the key to stopping Amaymon from coming and what do they have? A makeout break! Just as bad as the sex breaks of adult books but with fewer pages consumed and less sex (usually).
Now that all the set-up work is done and readers are familiar with the mythology of the world, I look forward to seeing where the sequel can take us. Definitely recommended (unless shaming girls for having sex makes you spazz out in the bad way, in which case proceed with caution)!
Most recent customer reviews
I loved Gretchen's book, Ten, but this one didn't have the same effect on me. Possess was an interesting story and definitely kept me guessing throughout, but...Read more
Even with the dolls.
Especially the dolls.