Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Possess by Gretchen McNeilPossess by Gretchen McNeil

Genres: Young Adult
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-08-23
Pages: 400

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her over-protective 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. The monsignor 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.

Also by this author: Ten, 3:59

Ever since I read Ten a while ago, I’ve been dying to start Possess and read more of Gretchen McNeil’s other books. I was fairly disappointed by Possess and I truly expected more from this paranormal romance novel. I never really was all that interested in Bridget Liu and her adventures exorcising demons. I truly expected so much more from this debut novel and it truly didn’t deliver the story I really wanted to read.

Bridget Liu has a rare and powerful ability to exorcise demons and she is working with a priest to hone her skills. Liu needs to protect the world from a group of demons who are trying to raise their demon king. To make things even more complicated is the subject of two boys’ attention and her father was recently murdered.

Bridget wasn’t a very interesting main character and I was never very sympathetic to her. Bridget is extremely furious with her mother due to her affairs with two different men and she decides to act all uptight and take her anger out on random innocents. Even when I felt like I should’ve empathized with her, I never really formed a connection with her character and I was just annoyed by her actions.

Matt Quinn is the love interest in this book and he is an extremely unappealing character who was extremely irritating and creepy. Even when Bridget rejects Matt several times, he’s so persistent and won’t take no for an answer no matter how adamant she was. When a girl says no, it means stop flirting with her and bothering her; later on in the book McNeil gives a reason why Bridget kept rejecting him but that still shouldn’t make a difference.

The demonology in Possess isn’t bad, but it was very uninspiring and it didn’t add anything new to the paranormal genre. I’ve seen this plot-line before in several different incarnations and Possess felt like a watered down version of a Buffy episode.  Some of the exorcism scenes were wonderfully creepy (especially the doll shop scene), but this wasn’t enough to catch my interest.

Possess was slightly entertaining, but at the same time I felt extremely relieved when it finally had ended. The romance and paranormal aspects of this book were subpar and never managed to trigger any strong emotional reactions on my part. I’m truly hoping 3:59 and Get Even interest me more than Possess did.

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I'm a teenage guy who blogs at Scott Reads It, a blog with a focus on YA books. One day I hope to have written a book, but until then I'll be writing, watching Sherlock and Doctor Who and geeking out over fictional characters.

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