Mar 20, 2014

Review--Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by Matt Quinn, the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, the voices are demons—and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Literally.

Terrified to tell her friends or family about this new power, Bridget confides in San Francisco's senior exorcist, Monsignor Renault, who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her freakish new role, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. And when one of her oldest friends is killed, Bridget realizes she's in deeper than she ever thought possible. Now she must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone else close to her winds up dead—or worse, the human vessel for a demon king.

Gretchen McNeil's Possess was yet another surprising read. For some reason, I had thought our heroine Bridget was going to be the one possessed. Since she hears voices that aren't there and all, but she's not. In fact, she works with a priest helping the possessed get rid of the demons who took them over!

Gretchen did a great back story to this one though. 9 months ago, Bridget's father was murdered by a crazy guy. Her father was a psychiatrist and a police officer took the man to Bridget's dad for help. And it resulted in her father's death. Now, Matt, the son of that police officer and once one of her best friends as a kid is suddenly hanging around her. Helping her. She's not sure what to feel about that all of a sudden, but it does make things interesting.

Bridget isn't too friendly with people. In fact, she pretty much has three best friends. All guys, one is gay, one might be gay and the third is in love with her. Talk about awkward. But they're all friends and they are pretty loyal to her. They care for her, like friends do.

Possess does get off to a rather slow start. It's just everyday life moving forward for Gretchen. Although, recently she works with the monsignor from her Catholic school and helps him exorcise demons from the possessed. And they are actual possessions too. But then, she starts hearing voices. Voices that aren't really there. And things take a really freaky turn. Especially when they have to visit a doll shop! I share Bridget's fear of dolls. They are creepy!

As I said, the pacing is rather slow in the beginning but just past the halfway point, things pick up! Such as the murder of one of her best friends. And his murder was eerily similar to her father's. So she starts to look into things. Plus, it seems like her house might be haunted by her neighbor's dead cat and it does lead her to a clue or two!

I have to say that I did rather enjoy Bridget's personality. She's spunky. She doesn't really enjoy high school all too much. She has an enemy, Alexa who has made her life miserable since middle school, but she shares the love right back! And I found some of her reactions to things real. Like with Matt. First she was mad that he was suddenly around her so much, a little leery, then eventually she starts to like being around him. It just seemed real to me. 

There was a pretty decent mystery going on though. Not only of her murdered friend, but her father's murder gets tied back into it as well. Such as there might be more to his murder than she was led to believe! Definitely didn't see it coming! I was taken by surprised it seemed!

While the romance wasn't necessarily insta-love. The "l" word does get thrown in there and that seemed a little much for me. I was perfectly happy without that moment. I mean 2 fifteen years declaring they love one another? Heard that story before and that didn't end well! (Yes, he was older in that one, but still has the same point). But other than that part, I did like the budding romance between Matt and Bridget. It was very sweet.

Overall, Possess was an enjoyable read, but I wouldn't call it my favorite of Gretchen's novels. That actually might be 3:59 because that one was very surprising! Although Ten does stand as a close second as I did really enjoy that mystery! Gretchen is definitely becoming one of my favorite authors and I while I felt hesitant about her newest book to come out later this year, I will likely end up buying it come release day anyway!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

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